The Mayapple School’s Lending Library of Activity Kits – Sign up now for a Summer subscription

Photo above: working with the compound words (Literacy Kit #2); matching butterfly wings (Butterflies and Other Insects Theme Kit); creating Egg Drop Challenge vessels (Science Experiments Kit 1)

Why Activity Kits?

  • You love exploring novel materials and activities with your child, but staying at home makes that a lot more difficult.
  • It’s just not sustainable to constantly buy new items for your child. You don’t want your house to fill up with yet more STUFF and your child just doesn’t need to own everything in the world.
  • When your children can’t settle into an activity, it makes being at home so much more difficult than it needs to be. AND you still need to work, from home.

So… it’s time to sign up for a summer activity kit subscription

  • We’ve pulled together fun activities that are ready to go, so that you can spend more time doing with your child and less time preparing
  • For five or six weeks, you get a new kit each week. New materials help hold your child’s interest and give your entire family something to look forward to.
  • Each kit is chock-full of materials. (example of kit) Your child gets to enjoy it for a short time, and then you get to return it all. The materials are quarantined for 3 days, and then sent out again to another family.

What‘s the cost?

The cost of a six week summer subscription is $180. That boils down to $30 each week. You can add on a literacy kit subscription and extra materials for siblings, too. Five week subscriptions are $150.

Reduced cost kits are available based on financial need. Fill out the application to apply.

Photos: watching the mouse to see if it is programmed correctly (Science Experiments Kit 1); experimenting with making objects fly in the wind tube (Science Experiments Kit 3)

What’s in each kit? Is it worth it?

Is having something new for your children to do (that won’t ultimately end up as your responsibility to keep out of the landfill, but will instead get used again and again) worth $30 per week? It depends on what that “something new” is. And in this case, it’s tons of amazingness, no matter what kit you get. Your children will get the chance to use much more than $180 worth of materials over the six weeks. For example, the Water Theme Kit contains Build a Waterway Set, 2 shovels, Buddha board, 4 maze cards and expo marker, 4 mindfulness cards, 6 pattern block cards and 66 pattern blocks, Bubble machine and bottle of bubbles, musical instruments, Water balloons with nozzle, and Fish Stix Board Game. The total cost of these materials if you were to buy them outright is $148, PLUS the kit also includes 9 books. The material cost of the kits vary, but each has several activities, and each theme kit also contains books.

Here is a list of the kits you could receive:

  • Art Kit 1 (rubber band printing, paper roll hairstyles, foam painting, credit card art, banner decorations, makedo screws and cardboard construction)
  • Art Kit 2 (tissue paper color painting, marble painting, fly swatter painting, bead tree, water color drop animals, digital photography)
  • Art Kit 3 (Bath time shape art, Andy Goldsworthy inspired Seashell art, stenciling with paint, pressing plants, hole punch decorated paper lunch bags, toy truck track painting)
  • Art Kit 4 (Nature kaleidoscopes, hide and seek bracelets, crayon resist watercolor bookmarks, yarn mandala ornaments, washi tape dinosaurs, suminagashi)
  • Puzzle Kit 1 – assorted floor and jigsaw puzzles, games, and books
  • Puzzle Kit 2 – assorted floor and jigsaw puzzles, games, and books
  • Science Experiments Kit 1 (Code & Go Mouse, Magnetic Wands (magnet/non magnetic experiment), Psyllium husk powder slime, Egg drop challenge)
  • Science Experiments Kit 2 (Magnetic Marble Run, Snap Circuits Jr., Baking Soda Volcanoes, Float and sink experiment)
  • Science Experiments Kit 3 * OVERSIZED KIT* (Wind Tube experiments, balloon boarding, Speedy Science with ramps)
  • Fort Magic
  • Light Table Kit
  • The Human Body Theme Kit
  • Letters of the Alphabet Theme Kit
  • Building and Construction Theme Kit
  • Transportation Theme Kit
  • Birds Theme Kit
  • Animal Signs Theme Kit
  • Butterflies and Other Insects Theme Kit
  • Water Theme Kit
  • Shapes Theme Kit
  • Measurement and Math Skills Kit
  • Numbers 1 – 10 Theme Kit
Photo: Using Fort Magic to create structures from their imaginations

What about the literacy kits?

All literacy kits require some investment from a parent learning how to use the materials and do the activities with your child. Each kit has one or more videos created by The Mayapple School educators to help you with this process. There are two types of kits:

Learning to Read Kits – These kits each contain a few Kindergarten-level activities that help children learn to read and write, or practice skills they already know. Examples of activities are Elkonin boxes, rhyming word puzzles, digraph beginning sounds word sort, and syllabication. Don’t be scared if you don’t know what an Elkonin box is or the definition of a digraph. If you know how to read, you can use these kits with your child, with a little help from You Tube.

“Yellow Letters” literacy kit – learning the letters C,F,H,O

Rainbow Letter Kits: We’ve divided the 26 letters of the alphabet into six groups, one for each color of the rainbow. The red letters contain the most commonly used letters, and the purple letters the least common. The goal of each kit is to learn or practice the form of the letters in the kit and their associated sounds. The activities in each kit are:

If you choose to receive a literacy kit, you will get one to borrow once every two weeks in addition to a core activity kit listed above.

Light table kit with light table, translucent pattern pegs and peg boards, animal x ray matching activity, color mixing sheets, fraction squares and circles, and build a letter set
Building and construction kit


Kits are best for children ages 3 – 8.

If your child was a Mayapple School Student during the 2019/2020 school year and you’ve received the kits before, please note that if you subscribe for the summer, it is possible that you would receive some repeat kits that you got during the school year. You do not have to be previously affiliated with The Mayapple School in order to participate in the lending program.


Contact-less pick up and drop off is at The Mayapple School at 404 Mt. Tabor Rd. Blacksburg VA.

Contact-less Pick Up and Drop Off at the Pavilion


Pick up your kit between 11 am and 4 pm Mondays or Thursdays from June 15 – July 23. Drop off your last kit one week later, on July 27th or 30th.

All subscriptions are for five or six weeks. If you cannot take advantage of every weekly kit, consider organizing with a friend to share your subscription.

The Mayapple School does not have an ultrasonic bath or other means to clean paper, cardboard, and other items that should not get wet. We rely on your timely return of kits so that we can quarantine each returned kit for 3 days before sending it out to a new family.

Can’t wait? You can fill out this form to sign up for the summer subscription.

Questions first? E-mail Melissa West at