Subscriptions services are all the rage these days–you have craft subscriptions, wine subscriptions, healthy snacks, beauty products, subscriptions just for moms, and even beard grooming subscriptions. We like fun and new, but with ease. Apparently.
After trying Kiwi Crate and really enjoying our experience with them, I decided we should try another subscription service that’s caught my eye, Little Passports.
Little Passports is toted as a global adventure for children. Each month you get a package (mailer envelope) from two friends, Sam and Sofia, who travel the world (and US) on a scooter with a magical GPS. They send souvenirs, stickers, postcards, recipes, games, and stories each month from the country they’re visiting.
I went with a 3-month subscription because I think that’ll give us a more well-rounded, consistent experience of what Little Passports has to offer than a single package.
The first package you receive from Sam and Sofia is a small cardboard suitcase to store all your mail in and put your sticker from each country. You also receive a passport and each month a sticker stamp to go in it.
When the first Little Passports package arrived it was shipped in a box and we got our little suitcase. It’s a cute little suitcase and I love the idea of covering it with all our potential “travels.”
I was surprised there wasn’t much in the suitcase. Just a few sheets of paper: a letter from Sam and Sofia explaining how they found the scooter with the magical scooter, a picture of them, the passport, and stickers of Sam and Sofia to put on the suitcase.
I was let down that that was it. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I expected something more…better, maybe? The quality of paper was like cheap copy paper and some of our letter was smudged. I definitely wasn’t impressed.
Doing the Activity.
There wasn’t much to do. We read the letter from Sam and Sofia, looked through the passport book (there are a few things you can fill out, kids can interview parents about their travels, & put their own picture in the passport), a large fold-out map to put pinpoint stickers on for each country, and put the stickers on the suitcase. That was it.
Again, I didn’t know what to expect, but after seeing how thorough, creativ e, and hands-on our Kiwi Crate was I guesss I was hoping for a similiar experience.
Thus was our introductory box, so I figured Little Passports had more potential once we started visiting countries.
Our first country was Brazil. (I’m not sure if they come in a predetermined order or if you can request certain countries. That’d be nice especially if you’re pairing it with a country study.) We received the package in a padded mailer envelope. I didn’t even realize what it was unitl I noticed a very faint stamp marking Brazil on the front.
When we opened this one, a few sheets of paper and a rock (in a bag) spilled out. It was more of the same from our initial box. A luggage tag for Brazil, a sticker for the passport and suitcase, a brochure-type paper telling few details about Brazil, a postcard of an animal they met (and talked to), a recipe, and a few paper games. There’s also a link and code to go online for more activities and games.
Once again, we read through the letter and put the Brazil paraphernalia on the suitcase, and we were done. The games were too advanced for my kids, so we skipped those.
(Little Passports recently came out with a new line called Early Explorers which is geared toward 3 – 5 year olds, which may make it more accessible to my children’s ages, 4 and 6. We haven’t tried it yet, but it may resolve/adjust some of my disappointments with Little Passports.)
What do the kids think?
To my surprise the kids seemed to enjoy it. They thought it was fun to put the stickers on the suitcase and map. I think the postcards and papers were short enough to keep their attention span. Joey wanted to do some of the games and while he can go word searches pretty well, the one for Brazil was an unscrambling word game and he’s just not there yet.
Momma’s Last Word
Honestly? I’m disappointed in our Little Passports subscription. I think the concept is a great way to introduce kids to other countries and cultures. I just wish there were more hands-on activities and that it was accessible to younger children (again, the new Early Explorers set may address this). Right now, it feels like we’re paying a subscription price for a few flimsy pieces of paper and stickers.
From a Montessori perspective, unless you have elementary readers, there’s not much a child could do independently with Little Passports. While my boys stayed engaged with our first country package, we were done within 5 minutes. There’s also the magical GPS too. What would’ve been so hard about Sam and Sofia traveling by plane, showing the process of packing a suitcase, going through the airport and such? They could even take other modes of transportation (like a bus, train, or boat) to get between countries closer together.
If you visit Living Montessori Now, Deb has built a ton of great Montessori activities around Little Passports. They could be a great edition to a country or continent study. I just feel that for a paid subscription there should be more than a few things I could easily Google. I was looking for more of an experience and hands-on activities than pieces of paper.
I think Little Passports has a lot of potential, but it’s just not there yet.
However, we’re going to stick with it for another month or two. I do think it has potential, but it just doesn’t rank with the quality of Kiwi Crate.
Reviewed by Jessica Mueller on .
Summary: Little Passports has plenty of potential, but is lacking in hands-on activities for a younger (3-5 yo) crowd.
Review Stars: 3.5
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29 comments… add one
I am glad to read this review. I thought as much. Thank you!
yeah I was hopeful these would be something worth while but it looks as though they even use a pretty inaccurate map projection – or none at all – which is disappointing enough since my son LOVES maps. I wanted to give them a chance and hope they would improve as funding increased but what you describe….I’d rather build kits myself lol. thanks for the review!
Thanks for your great review! Have you tried the cultured owl subscription kits? I signed my girls up for the 6 month subscription. Loved it because I could add on a second child for less than half the cost of the first child. Little Passports unfortunately doesn’t offer this option. It only offers full price for each child. We’ve been super happy with our 6 months of cultured owl. You get a passport per child and a blow up globe and flag stand in the intro kit. Each country kit comes with two crafts (with supplies), a toy, trading card, nice fabric country flag, recipe, and booklet about country-all printed items are on a nice card stock. We check out coordinating country books/videos/music from our library to add to the experience and have started collecting the country’s coins from ebay to enhance our learning further and have started a great coin collection. You can select the countries you want and you also have the option to have them all shipped at once for free. This way I could choose the kit I wanted when the time was right. Plus no shipping! I wish they had more countries, so far just 12. I was looking into Little Passports, which has tons of countries, but many reviews- such as yours- do not seems super thrilled. We’re coming to the end of our first 6 months and I’m totally going to go with cultured owl again! Once this is over, I’m hoping they’ve added on more countries, otherwise I think we will try to come up with our own activities, little flags, recipes, etc! 🙂
I just placed an order more than a month ago and I haven’t receive anything yet!
funny… My first impressions was blah. Just by looking thru the pics online. I saw what was going to be in the first box and was not impressed that they didn’t send anything to go with it.
Then I looked onto further months and still blah.
Glad I found this review. I’m on the right track.
I am looking to replace kiwi crate and my son isn’t quite old enough for tinker crate but he seems beyond kiwi crate now.
I did find another travel crate I might get instead. It’s called Kitchen Table Passport. It looks much much better, geared for the whole family.
Do not order from this company. They will keep charging you every year without your authorization!!
I agree – I am not impressed with this subscription and am requesting a refund. In my opinion, the value of the items does not match the high cost.
Jessica, thank you so much for your honest review!
Meg, I really appreciate your mention of Cultured Owl and tips! It looks more like what I’m looking for. Thanks much!
Thank you for your review. It was very helpful in my decision to use this for my kids. I appreciate you taking the time to review and your input! 😊
Thanks for the honest review! You just saved me a lot of money!
we are the same 2nd month in and so disappointed for the price ive cancelled the subscription but left with 2 very disappointed children,
Appreciate your honest review… feeling underwhelmed with this subscription and was wondering if I was in the minority after seeing so many positive Facebook posts. Thank you for being so candid.
Thank you! I was really interested, but I searched for reviews because I suspected what you’ve said here. And I had exactly the same thought about the magical GPS. Not consistent with educating children about all the wonders of the real world out there.
I feel your review is accurate. Seeing that our 5-yr old kid loves history and geography and travelling and getting mail we decided to subscribe. But I felt the same way once the packages started to arrive- like is this it? But he loves checking the mail and he enjoys them for about 30 minutes. So far he has received 3 packages and I may cancel at 6.
Thank you for the honest review. I saw their advertisement and the raving comments on facebook. I also checked their website for what I would actually receive – I thought maybe I was expecting too much – but then, I read your review. Thank you for saving people like me a few $$$!!! I appreciate it. Their concept is good, but rather expensive. I will be making these kits at home. Again, thank you for your honesty – it is a rare quality.
Thanks for the review! I was looking at these for my kids, and I am so glad I found your blog.
Thank you for writing this review. I felt it was fair and enlightening. My kids are grown now but i was considering buying this for a nephew. I think i will keep looking for something more appropriate.
thanks for the review, this was incredibly helpful in deciding weather or not I would do this with my daycare. I have the passport books already I am sure with a little creativity and time on my part I could come up with something similar for us to do. thank you so much have an awesome day.
I realize this is from a couple years ago, but thank you for your honest review. We just received our 2nd month from Little Passports and I don’t think I can cancel it fast enough. My daughters – ages 6 and 9 – are in the target age group but the “kits” keep their attention for 5 minutes at most. They were excited about the little suitcase and passport with the first kit – which still has basically zero activities with it. The 1st country is still Brazil and still contains just a rock and a couple papers. My duaghters were excited about the rock. And the 2nd country was Japan for which we got a couple more papers and a tiny origami project. I cannot believe all the raving reviews on Facebook. We’ve received so many superior kits from other companies – Steve Spangler, Kiwi / Tinker Crates, even Green Kids Crafts (which we didn’t keep for long, but it was still far superior to Little Passports). It’s just refreshing to see an honest review that I completely agree with.
Thank you for sharing an honest review, and for all the commenters who also shared their experiences. I was going to ask my parents to order this for my son’s 6th b-day, but I think I’ll pass now. With shipping to Canada a year works out to nearly CAD $250. Which is an awful lot of money for paper and stickers!
I am glad to read you review and sorry you feel this way but i think it is enough for my 8 year old child emery. she love it when it comes in the mail. After school she see it she opens it right up and gets working.
BEWARE. Was not thrilled but stuck it out for a year. Just got my credit card statement and the subscription was automatically renewed without authorization. The support email to company came back invalid. Charge now disputed.
Thanks for the review, I was thinking this would be a fun thing as a Christmas gift for my little niece and nephew since they love love getting mail and learning new things, I think I will be passing as I was shocked also at the price and will be finding a different idea for them
Customer is terrible. There’s no way to contact them by phone… They do have a phone number but they never answer the calls.. So if you have a question about your subscription you’re just pretty much out of luck because I’ll get back to you whenever they feel like it
Thank you for this review. I think with a bit of planning I could put together a better passport kit than I see explained here.
Although my son enjoys doing the activities and learning about the states, it arrives every OTHER month, not like the once a month it boasts about. I also renewed the subscription because he really enjoyed the information, activities, and learning. Unfortunately, you pay the same cost and do not get restocked on the field journal (which you put all the stickers and notes in) and all the additional starter package activities like the first subscription.
What makes matters worse, you can’t call customer service and it takes them a day to respond. PLUS they very unhelpful and just default your issue to signing up/paying for more. Worst customer service I’ve dealt with! A lot missing and needs to be worked on.
Waste of money for 6 year old. He opened it and was bored within 2 mins. Not enough activities.
Skip it…definitely not worth the money. This company has to look at its policies. Really…no refunds for the cancelled portion of the subscription.
Would love to comment on contents and how my 4 grandkids handled the parcels. But hard to do when they didn’t receive it for the time promised. Was delicious mfoemed there was a delay long after the requested delivery date. Still waiting, one month later! Truly unacceptable. Will seek to get a refund or alert credit card company of this unfulfilled purchase. If they ever get their 6 parcels , one per month for 6 months I will be very interested in the response to it.