Lindsey Eder calls her new business her “COVID passion project.”
Earlier this summer the Sykesville mom of three, a former teacher, started selling “Pre-K boxes,” packages of learning activities and games for young children, at the urging of friends.
“Coronavirus kind of was the catalyst. Preschools are closed, I’m staying home with my family, and everybody else is doing the same. I just started doing more and more learning activities with [my son] and sharing them on Facebook or with friends,” Eder said. “Folks started saying, ‘Lindsey, you gotta sell this.’ ”
Customers, from as far away as Florida and Georgia, have signed on for monthly, three-month and six-month subscriptions, Eder said. They’ll receive boxes full of games each month, with themes like bugs, pool parties and Halloween.
“I realized this really was a need. I think a lot of parents, they sort of struggle,” Eder said. “They don’t have the background in early childhood, they don’t necessarily know what to expect of their young child.”
And while some parents are at home with their children because of the pandemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Eder said this summer felt like a good time to try and take some stress off parents’ plates.
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So far, 16 people have subscribed, Eder said. The boxes include reusable games, rather than worksheets, Eder said. For instance, one box included an activity in which preschoolers could prepare an apple pie using pretend apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
Those interested in subscribing can do so at the My Pre-K Box website, www.myprekbox.com. The boxes cost $37.95 each month, but if customers sign up for a three-month subscription, they pay $33.95 per month, and if they choose a six-month subscription, they pay $30.95 per month. The boxes are shipped for free.
The boxes typically include at least two math activities, at least two early literacy activities, and an arts and crafts activity, Eder said. She designs most of what goes in the boxes herself, she said, but looks for places to source certain items, such as the apple slice toys.
Eder said that her husband had been on a rotating schedule for work as a result of the pandemic, so he’d been home every other week, allowing her time to work on the business, My Pre-K Box, while on childrearing leave to care for her sons.
“That’s kind of been a silver lining for this all because it’s enabled me to have extra time to work on the project when he’s home,” Eder said.
For Eder, the business hearkens back to her roots as a teacher, and capitalizes on her favorite activities to do with her young sons, who are 1, 3 and 5 years old.
“Even since my first son was a baby, I was so excited to do all the fun little cutesy learning things with him,” she said.