This post is brought to you by Kiwi Crate.
I first heard about Kiwi Crate a year ago, but I didn’t actually try one till this week. I wasn’t sure what to expect (would my kids care? would they be too old for it?) but Oscar, Betty & June spent the afternoon with the box of activities and LOVED it. (As a sidenote, the funniest part was when Betty accidentally made a puppet that looks like an evil dictator. See below).
The 411 on Kiwi Crate is that it’s an award-winning, monthly subscription service for kids. Each crate includes 2-3 hands-on projects — they cover things like art, science, games, and imaginative play. There’s a new theme each month, and the box also includes Kiwi Crate’s explore! magazine, which features bonus activities and kid-friendly recipes.
One thing I appreciate is that the activities are legit — before they send out anything, Kiwi Crate tests the projects with a crew of kids to make sure everything is developmentally appropriate, enriching, engaging, fun, and universally appealing. To get an idea of what they offer, you can see their most popular crates here. And best of all, if you’d like to try it, you can save 25% on your first month subscription with code DM25.
My main takeaways are 1) This is genius for tiny apartment dwellers. 2) This is genius for any parent who isn’t artsy/craftsy. 3) This is genius for parents who feel like their schedule is too full to run extra errands (that’s me.). 4) It’s also hugely appealing to me because there is nothing to store or use up when you’re done. It’s exactly what you need for the projects. Nothing more, nothing less.
I wrote up some notes about our experience with Kiwi Crate below in case you’re curious about how your own kids might react, or how different aged kids might respond. I hope it’s helpful!
It’s just flat out fun to be a kid and get a package in the mail. It’s hard to beat that feeling. So right off the bat, knowing the box was just for them, they were super excited.
The activities were spot on as far as kid-appeal goes. All 3 were into it. Oscar and Betty are 9 and 8, and they didn’t need much from me to get started. We unpacked the box, located instructions for the first activity — finger puppets — and they got to work.
There were drawings of puppet examples that the kids could follow, but the instructions also encouraged them to make up their own puppets, and my kids were all over that. Pig noses and cow noses were swapped. Random tails were used as feet. They had a great time.
At one point Betty said, “Look mom, I made a man with a mustache.” I glanced up with a “That’s awesome” ready on my lips, but before I opened my mouth, I got a good look at it and starting laughing because it looked just like a certain evil dictator! Of course, Betty is just starting 3rd grade and has never heard of him before so it was totally random. But isn’t the resemblance uncanny? Hah!
June, who is 4, could “help”, but couldn’t do this activity on her own. So she would get assistance taking the paper of the sticky backs of the felt parts and was still totally involved. If she were my only child, this would also have been a lovely activity to do side-by-side together.
The kids finished the puppets and started playing with them, and I started putting the box away, thinking I’d save the second craft for another day. But they wanted more, so we dove in to craft number two — which was a mini garden.
They loved this project even more than the puppets! The coolest part was the soil pellets. As they used the dropper to add water to the pellets, the soil would magically grow! The kids couldn’t get enough of it.
Once the soil was ready, the kids planted wheat grass seeds and radish seeds, then June watered the soil some more, while Oscar and Betty built little fences around the gardens.
This second craft was definitely more complex than the first, and once the soil was in place and watering was done, June wandered off. But building the fences was satisfying to the older kids.
When both the crafts were complete, Oscar and Betty sat down with the activity books and went through some of the puzzles and games.
I have to say, I’m impressed! In addition to the two main crafts, the activity book is full of other ideas — there are even instructions for turning the box that everything came in into a project. I felt like we could have spaced out the activities and had enough to keep the kids busy over several days.
I mentioned this above, but the thing I liked best was that the box came with everything we needed. Nothing more, nothing less. I love that! We enjoy crafts around here, but having to buy (and store!) a box of 300 craft sticks or googly eyes when we only need a few can be a pain in the neck. It was wonderful to use up everything in the box and have nothing we needed to store. I immediately thought of my friends who live in small city apartments and thought how ideal this service would be for them!
A little more info: Plans start at just $16.95/month and they offer free shipping on ALL subscriptions! If you have more than one child that would be interested, they have a sibling add-on option for $9.99/month. And if there’s a project or craft material that you especially like, you can also shop for individual arts & crafts and party favors on the website.
Want to give Kiwi Crate a try with your kids? Join their Time Traveler Series to fall back in time! Save 25% on your first month subscription with code DM25. (A little note: Promotional code excludes sibling add-ons.)
Now I’m curious. Do you craft with your kids, or do you find this sort of thing hard to do as a parent? Have you ever tried Kiwi Crate? I think getting a box like this each month would be fantastic —especially for rainy days. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.