It is the gift that keeps on giving. Thing of the Month is a subscription gift store. Choose the duration of your gift subscription, from a full year to four months, and the recipient is sent a present a month. The gift giver chooses the group of presents to be sent, which are organized by themes. Above is one of the gifts sent as part of the Paper Automa Club, one of the 4 month clubs. Automata are self-operating machines that do amusing and surprising tricks, and are a great way to teach kids about mechanics and motion. It is the cleverness of the gifts that make this such a fun idea. No Barbies in the bunch!
At right is one of the gifts in the Get Crafty Club, which comes as both a 4 and a 6 month subscription. These funky crewel embroidery kits are one of the crafts; others include a knitting kit and a paper crafting kit. No passive toys here - Thing of the Month clubs are about making, and doing, and learning, but in a fun way. The Activity Kit Club has kids brewing their own root beer (such a handy skill to have for later, in their college years!) and building and using a pinhole camera. Family Game Club gets everyone involved. Prices vary depending on the club you choose and the length of the subscription, but Thing of the Month is a great gift idea for those of us busy vying for the coveted role of Best Aunt, Ever.