Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kiwi Crate Review - October 2014

Kiwi Crate is a subscription box for children ages 4-8. It is filled with materials and instructions needed to do 2-3 projects each month. The projects are always crafts, and are also usually educational in nature. A couple of months ago, I got the free sample project for my 6-year-old son, and he absolutely loved it! So obviously we had to subscribe!

The Subscription Box: Kiwi Crate

The Cost:  Regular monthly subscription is $19.95 per month. 

COUPON:  Use coupon code BDAYSUB to save 30% off your first month!

The Products: Crafts and DIY projects for kids, with supplemental learning kits, booklets, and activities. Crates are filled with materials and inspiration to encourage creativity and curiosity. Projects cover a number of developmental areas through art, science, and imaginative play. 

This month's theme is Wild West!

Since this was the first box of our regular subscription, we received a chart that my son can add stickers to as he accomplishes each month's projects (stickers are included each month). We also received our official Kiwi Crate scissors! Fun!

Also included in each month's crate is a copy of explore! magazine. My son loves this magazine because it is full of activities and stories that are perfect for the beginner reader!

We decided to make the hobby horse first, of course. Each project comes with an instruction manual, and along the bottom of the front cover is a guide for parents. The gauge on the left indicates how messy the project is likely to be, and the hobby horse should not be very messy.  Here's hoping!  The bar in the middle shows how much parent involvement will be required (medium).  The icons on the right show which developmental areas are encouraged in the project - in this case, creating, exploring, and moving / gross motor skills. 

The instruction booklet also indicates what tools or supplies you will need to provide, but these are usually minimal and common, like tape and scissors. In this case, all supplies were provided for us!

After about 20 minutes, our horse ("Ashley") was done!

Isn't she a beauty? In the end, there was almost no mess, just a handful of scraps to recycle. I am not particularly concerned about the parental involvement requirement on these projects because I really enjoy doing them with my son, but I would say that yes, this did require moderate oversight on my part. The double-sided foam stickers were a bit tough for my little guy to peel and arrange. Overall, we had a great time making Ashley the Hobby Horse, and my son totally loves her! I don't think he's ever had a hobby horse!

The second project was creating cattle themed bean bags!

Once again, all materials were included except scissors and tape for an optional final step. Kiwi Crate predicts that this project will be low messiness and will require medium parental involvement. Development areas covered in this project are exploring and moving for both gross and fine motor skills. 

Here's the final product - it's a beanbag game!

Here's a closer look at the beanbags. Technically, they are stuffed with cotton, but they each have a jingle bell attached to one corner to give them a bit of weight for tossing. Once the beanbags are completed, you can open the poster and try to toss the bags into the lasso. My son can't wait for his brother to come home and play!

The beanbag project was also minimal mess. The parental involvement was on the high end of moderate (which, again, is fine with me). I never thought about it before, but all children really should know the basics of sewing, and this project requires lacing the sides of the bags up, which is a great start. I showed my son both lacing methods, which in sewing lingo I believe are called a straight stitch and a whip stitch. So, although more time was required of me as a parent, it was time very well spent. 

He earned his Wild West sticker!

Afterwards, he colored and cut out these paper dolls that were on the back of the theme card, and then we cut off the top of the box, which can also be used as an environment for the paper dolls! I love that so little goes to waste!

I think Kiwi Crate is a wonderful subscription for children if your child is interested in crafts at all, and I really feel that Kiwi Crate delivers on all that it promises.  Additionally, if you have an hour to spend time with your child, $20 is a steal for the amount of quality these projects add to that time. What do you think of Kiwi Crate?

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