Koala Crate is a monthly subscription box from KiwiCo for preschoolers ages 3 to 4. It is educational and always hands-on. The activities are designed to be developmentally appropriate and enriching while also engaging, fun, and universally appealing.
This month’s Koala Crate theme was Birds! As always, the box comes with all the supplies needed to create two fun, age-appropriate crafts — plus it has a magazine with extra games and activities.
There are two books that will come in your Koala Crate. Imagine! magazine is “a play and learn magazine” made for you and your preschooler to explore together. My son loves it! I like that the instruction booklet is separate from imagine!, so you can preview the activity while your child works on the activities in the booklet.
There’s a fun story to help introduce your child to the theme of the box. The same group of friendly characters is featured each month, and the familiar faces encourage engagement. We get the box for our five year old, but our seven year old usually helps him read through the story, so it’s fun for everyone! The difficulty level of the imagine! activities seems appropriate for the target audience of 3 to 4 year olds.
The booklet contains information relevant to the theme so your child learns a bit about the topic while having fun with the craft and play activities. The information is provided in an age-appropriate format.
The activities are geared to preschool kids. Some help is needed with reading the story and the instructions for each activity, but our five year old can complete the activities mostly unassisted. Our five year old loves doing the puzzles, and he completes Imagine! cover-to-cover. Activities usually include tracing, matching, picture finds, or word recognition games.
The book includes instructions for some extension activities you can do at home with commonplace household items.
The instruction booklet is intended for the adult helper and gives detailed instructions for the activity. This month, the activity was making an awesome bird costume!
The helper booklet gives an overview of all the items in the crate, the 3 primary activities, the messiness level, and any grownup assistance needed. Every activity tells you the required materials, engagement questions to ask your child, step by step instructions, and play ideas. Even though most crafts are self-explanatory, they have helpful illustrations and clear instructions, so it’s hard to go wrong.
The activities all relate to the same central theme, but they each tend to encourage different types of play and help develop different skills.
Bird Wings: This project required attaching fiber paper (think dentist bib material) feathers to a silky cape.
The large buttons made attaching, or moving and reattaching, the feathers doable for little hands. The three colors of feather are slightly different sizes, so they can even be stacked on the same button for a layered effect if desired.
Bird Mask: The second part of the costume project was making a bird mask with swappable beaks.
One of the wonderful things about projects in the KiwiCrate family (Koala, Kiwi, Tinker, and Doodle Crates) is that they are clearly highly tested for workability. When something is prone to failure, they provide an easy work-around. Here, they anticipated that the adhesive on the velcro tabs that hold the beak to the mask would not be as strong as the velcro bond itself, so they provided a package of glue dots to make a better bond.
The feathers attach to a sticky band at the top of the mask that then gets covered with a felt strip — no sticky or pokey ends exposed when the mask is finished!
The velcro lets you change the beak on the mask — kiwi, cardinal, and duck beaks/bills are included. The booklet contains an explanation of the utility of each beak and how the birds use them to eat their preferred foods, so your child can enjoy some ornithologically sound play.
The final craft was a cool sculpting activity where we made our own clay bird.
The air dry clay is super easy to use. If you take too long to shape it, it can be remoistened with a dab of water.
The feathers, eyes, and beak all attached easily in the clay. We used our extra to make some little eggs!
Here are all our finish projects.
The mask was well made for use as a reusable dress up item — the decorations attached firmly on the interior of the mask so it looked polished when finished.
The two costume projects go together in a complete outfit ready for play.
The feather design was a good choice for this kind of outfit. They are flexible and don’t limit the range of movement, and they hold fast without requiring sewing.
This Crate is a good example of how Koala Crate treats a theme. They build multiple activities around it, giving your child lots to do while remaining immersed in the topic. It makes it easy for caregivers to transition the child from one activity to the next without interruption, but it also creates handy break points for spreading the Crate across a few crafting sessions. When you are done crafting, your child has always learned something and has fun stuff to play with.
Koala Crate is great for preschoolers, as it relies heavily on shape, color, and pattern recognition and other pre-reading skills. All of the boxes in the KiwiCo family are excellent parent, babysitter or grandparent activity boxes, perfect for adding some structure and fun to quality time with the kids, without any pre-planning hassle. Our son is 5 now, but he still really enjoys Koala, because he can do the activities himself.
The Description: Koala Crate sparks kids’ natural creativity and curiosity while saving time for busy parents. Every crate includes all the materials and inspiration for projects related to a theme such as colors, transportation or safari. Crates are designed to give preschoolers exposure to new materials and new concepts that encourage hands-on learning and fun. Ages 3 to 4!
The Price: $19.95 per month
The Categories:Baby Subscription Boxes,Kids Craft & Activities Subscription Boxes, Kids Educational & Learning Subscription Boxes, Subscription Boxes for Kids. KiwiCo Family, Subscription Boxes for Little Kids, Subscription Boxes for Preschoolers, Subscription Boxes for Toddlers.
The Reviews: See all our Koala Crate Reviews.