Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tacky Box Review - Teaching Children Kindness

Thank you Tacky Box for the complimentary kit!

There are so many things that we, as parents, have to worry about when it comes to teaching our children and molding them into positive, respectful, kind human beings. We always wonder if what we have taught them will be something they practice when we are not around. Starting early with kindness is of great importance. The earlier our children are taught about kind words vs. tacky, or hurtful, negative words and phrases, the more likely these concepts will be practiced out of habit when we are not around.

One option that parents now have as an interactive, hands on way to teach their children about being kind to others is through the Tacky Box and it’s accompanying book Max’s Magnificent Choice (or Margo's Magnificent choice if you have girls). Tacky Box is tool for parents to help teach their children what is and is not appropriate to say to others and help them demonstrate what would be kind and uplifting. Through the Tacky Box we hope that our children will learn to make the right choices whether or not we are around.

Tacky Box creator Chris Phelps designed this box and wrote the accompanying book with Cindy Kent after her kindergartner made the choice to use a tacky four-letter word. Aside from just talking to her daughter she came up with a creative way to show her daughter what was kind and what was tacky, to help her facilitate the ability to make a good choice in the words she uses in the future.

As you read the book with your child you will go through the story of a monkey named Max who just wants to fit in and be part of the jungle fun. He didn’t intend to be mean to his jungle friends when he had repeated words that he had heard some other people saying. Not really knowing that what he was saying to his jungle friends was tacky and hurtful, he was turned away by them. Then the wise owl has a talk with Max and explains to him that what he was saying to his jungle friends was tacky, hurtful and mean. The owl then gives him a Tacky Box and gives him examples of nice, uplifting things to say to his jungle friends.  Max then starts to make better choices and is rewarded by the owl with a high five. When he returns to his jungle friends with kindness they are happy to welcome him into their fun and games! Being kind has never felt so good!

So what exactly is the Tacky Box? The Tacky Box is a simple wooden box with a little notepad inside. Your child is given the tools to decorate his or her tacky box, you can do this with paint, stickers, crayons, markers, stencils, anything! Whatever best suits your child's creativity.

Squirrel enjoyed painting his! He enjoys painting in general. When he was done painting I offered him stickers and such, but he turned them down.

When your child hears, sees, or says something tacky, hurtful or mean, you can have a talk with them about why that situation or word is tacky and what they can say to replace tacky words. You then have them write the word on a piece of the notepad paper. This paper is then placed in the box. Writing the tacky words and phrases then placing them in the box gives your child the ability to learn through print and action that these types of actions are not acceptable. Locking these words and phrases in the box symbolizes your child’s ability to make the choice in the future to leave those words in the box and chose a more appropriate and friendly course of action, rather than a tacky one.

When Chris first created the Tacky Box for her daughter she had no idea it would work so well for her. Not only did she start noticing her daughter making better choices for herself, but Chris also noticed these better choices displayed in her younger son. The positive choices her daughter was making were rubbing off on her little brother! How great it must have been for them to see this great effect of kindness spreading from one child to another first hand!  

Through their Campaign For Kindness Chris, her family, and their partners are hoping to make this ripple effect spread throughout the nation. Hopefully teaching children to be positive role models for everyone they come in contact with at school, church or on the playground.

Turning children into positive role models while they are at school, church, the park, or anywhere is what helps make the Tacky Box so successful. Happiness and kindness spread through example! We can help spread these things by teaching our children how to treat others with kindness, and by locking away the tacky words and phrases that are best left unsaid.

This project may also help me keep my words in check! I caught myself calling our dog an idiot today, definitely tacky. I immediately thought "well, that should go in the tacky box!".

I'm excited to see how well this helps Squirrel learn what is tacky and what is kind. Hopefully he will be part of the ripple effect and be a great influence on his friends!

Buy It: You can purchase the Tacky Box Kit on their website for either boys or girls for $29.95.

Each kit includes:

  • Hard cover copy of Max's Magnificent Choice (boys) or Margo's Magnificent choice (girls)
  • Authentic Tacky Box, dimensions 5x8 with an image of both Max and Margo
  • Instructions for use
  • Tacky Box notepad with an image of Max and Margo
Connect: Like Tacky Box on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the Tacky Box pictured above to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. 


  1. I Just Found This Adorable He Sure Looked Like He Had Fun Handsome Little Boy!!

  2. how neat! and your little guy looks like he is having so much fun!

  3. What a wonderful way to teach kindness. It looks like your boy certainly had a lot of fun painting his box!