Flinto is a learning activity box, with four to five different activities based on a theme — Wildlife Safari, Colour Scientist, Space Adventure, Fun with Lights and Shadows — that changes every month. All the material needed for the activities is provided in the box. To quote the seller, “Create+ Explore+ Read + Play = Flinto”. A create activity involves craft (making a safari jeep out of cardboard sheets and plastic nuts and bolts), an explore activity has simple experiments (mixing and discovering new colours), reading is taken care of with a theme-based book, and a board or card game makes up the play element.
Manufacturer’s Claims Examined
“The magical monthly discovery kit: Discover your child’s new interests and hobbies every month at home.”
The ‘magic’ in the product cannot bedenied; children take to it like the proverbial fish to water. The range of activities will also tempt children to venture into things untried so far.
“Purposeful way to engage 3-7 year olds at home, which is also fun for them,” “Subjects come alive,” “Learning made fun.”
No debate on these statements – we fully agree.
“Ever thought: Can I cut back on my child’s TV time?”“Reduces TV time,” “No mindless games.”
Many parents that we spoke to strongly agreed that a Flinto box does reduce the time spent by the child, not just on TV, but other electronics as well.
“…Inspire children to explore the awesome world around them and feed their curiosity for new things. All they have to do is open the box and get engaged…”
While we agree with the first sentence, we found that adult guidance is essential for most of the activities in the boxes that we examined (‘Wildlife Safari’ and ‘Fun with Lights and Shadows’). Most parents that we spoke to also agreed with our observation.
While the variety in themes is interesting, not all themes are appropriate for children in the 3-7 years age band. ‘Fun with Lights and Shadows’ and ‘Space Adventure’ seem more suitable for children six years and above, while pre-schoolers will love ‘Wildlife Safari’ and ‘I Love my Vegetables.’
“Fun family time”
Definitely, if the parent has the inclination to set aside time to spend with the child and the Flinto box.
“Discover new talent,” “Habit building.” These are highly subjective claims, and the outcome will depend on unique aspects of the child and his environment.
Holistic development made fun — Addresses 12 different developmental needs of children (Gross motor, caring, explore, discovery, creativity, fine motor, language, cognitive, sensory, culture, balance, academics)
We could see enough evidence of how needs such as creativity, fine motor, discovery, sensory, explore are addressed. However, for the rest — caring, gross motor, language, cognitive, culture – it really depends on how the Flinto box is used, and how the child engages with a peer, sibling or parent using Flinto.
- The high child-friendliness quotient
- The self-contained box – everything you need for the activities is in the box
- The pause-subscription feature — we would be tempted to use it if we suspect the child will not take to a particular month’s theme (though the seller intends this for vacations, exam time etc!)
- Instructions for some activities are not very clear
- There are no photos of the finished craft item on the instruction leaflet; these would have been helpful
Is Flinto Value-for Money?
Flinto costs Rs. 845 a month for a single box, and Rs. 795, 745 and 695 when you sign up for a quarterly, half-yearly and yearly subscription respectively.
If we look at the pricing in the light of how many hours a child can engage with the kit (and what we may otherwise need to spend to engage him gainfully), and the effort it will take for the parent to put together a box like Flinto, we would definitely say the product is worth the price.
Flinto boxes are sold online at www.flintobox.com/shop and delivered to your doorstep.
You should be prepared
- To get involved – to hand-hold completely, explain instructions or troubleshoot occasionally, depending on the age of your child and whether he is a single child or not.
- To spare some time to carefully display or store finished or work-in-progress craft items, to stow away activities and games that your child may not be developmentally ready for, to make space for the earlier months’ boxes.
- To allow less-than-perfect results, and give the child room to explore with the box.
Buy – If you have two children in the 3-7 year old band (or even 3-10 year old band), you will get maximum bang for your buck, and you may not need to guide or supervise too much. Don’t Buy – If you are a hyper-busy working couple of a three-year-old single child looking for an option to engage your child without your involvement.
- Ramya G
“I researched on the Internet for other such kits; Flinto is more scientifically designed and also offers the best value-for-money.” - Rashmi Sathe, home maker
“The Flinto box comes to my office and I bring home one activity or game a week. Flinto has enhanced my son’s concentration levels.” - Raja Selvam, corporate lawyer
“I was running out of ideas to keep my four-year-old boy engaged, so I was attracted to Flinto. There is no way I can think of so many things on my own!” - Ayesha Abdullah, software