CHATTANOOGA – Kids Art Box is a family-owned business that uses the Montessori method — which, in part, focuses on child-led activities — to teach children ages 3-12 how to create art. The Kids Art Box kits come with all the necessary supplies and step-by-step instructions to complete monthly projects. Boxes are hand-assembled and tested at a warehouse located in Chattanooga, by their team of 20 employees.

Founded in 2020 prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the art box subscription supplements a homeschool, virtual learning curriculum. It experienced success from the outset, growing to thousands of customers in 12 months during 2020 school shutdowns.

Kids Art Box was created by Melanie Phillips, a mother of three boys who range in age from 2 to 7 years old. A former engineer from France, Phillips started creating art activities with her children as a hobby, posting their finished projects on her personal Instagram account. After gaining interest from her 15,000 followers, the idea for “Mommy and Me Art Box” was born.

Phillips went from selling 14 boxes to 20,000 boxes in one year, necessitating a 6,000 square-foot warehouse. She now sells to a wide range of customers, including parents who homeschool their children and parents who work full time.

In many schools, art was already being phased out, even prior to the panemic. When virtual learning became widespread in the midst of the pandemic, art classes became almost nonexistent. Phillips thinks the high demand for the boxes exists because it allows families to consistently get exposure to different art mediums and techniques that are not being taught as often in an online learning environment.

“Art is very underrated in school right now,” Phillips said. “There are so many benefits that come from learning art. It teaches the kids creativity, which results in problem-solving skills, and it teaches them about culture and civil movements when learning about art history. Art provides kids with critical sensory input and can help children express their feelings in a multidimensional way even if they lack the vocabulary to describe their feelings with words.”

Kids Art Boxes sell and ship to all 50 states, and prices range from one month of $35 to a one-year subscription for $360 and offers three different kits. The “Mommy and Me Art Box” is for children ages 3-6, and each box comes with three art activities, one science project, and one visual recipe. The “Daddy and Me Art Box” is for children ages 4–7, and each box comes with three art activities, one science project, and one origami tutorial. “My Artist Box” is for children ages 6-12. Each box comes with three art activities and a diorama, all inspired by an artist of the month. For more information, vist kidsartbox.com.

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