(Photo: Facebook/My Messy Box)
My Messy Box
My Messy Box, which focuses on sensory play and experiential learning, is one of the earliest subscription box services here.
After a year of planning and pre-production, the first box was launched in 2013 by husband-and-wife team Jeff and Gladys Lim, both 31.
Mr Lim is a property agent and Mrs Lim is a housewife. They have a four-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son.
It was their son who inspired them to start My Messy Box. When he was two years old, they felt his fine-motor development was “a little delayed”. After some research, they found that sensory play – which was then popular in Britain and Australia – could help.
Mr Lim says: “We tried sensory play with our son and found that it worked really well for him – not just in terms of fine-motor development, but also as a medium for teaching. So, we wanted to create something that can raise people’s awareness of this.”
They sank a five-figure sum from their savings to set up My Messy Box, which they initially ran from home. They did everything themselves – from coming up with the themes and curriculum planning to designing, printing and packing the boxes.
They now have 15 different box themes and are in the process of developing more. The boxes are recommended for children between three and six years old.
Subscribers can choose from a three-, six-or 12-month plan – priced at between $25 and $34 a month.
Each box consists of between 10 and 20 items in three packs: An active pack with toys and items related to a theme; a creative pack with art and craft materials; and an explorative pack containing sensory play materials.
Some of their most popular boxes are the Under The Sea box, which contains cube-shaped water beads, and the Let It Snow box, which contains instant snow imported from the United States.
Mr Lim says: “Many parents say they do not have time to play with their kids. We come up with the ideas, source for the materials, pack them together and deliver the boxes to your doorstep. All you need to do is to open up the box to play and learn together with your child.”
He declined to reveal figures, but says they have “built up a steady following over the years”.
Last year, the couple expanded their business by setting up a centre called Busy Tables in Rochester Mall, where sensory thematic and sensory art classes are conducted by early childhood educators.