Kiwi Crate is a kids’ craft and activity subscription that comes with everything you need to complete a great project or two, usually a pair of crafts that can be used as toys or playtime props. The box is geared for ages 5-8, and the projects are always age-appropriate, though some require more parental assistance than others.
Kiwi Crate is the most popular craft and activity subscription box for kids!
This month’s theme is Ultraviolet Light! Kiwi Crate includes all necessary supplies for the featured activities, plus explore! magazine.
DEAL: Use this link to save 40% on your first box of Kiwi Crate!(or KiwiCo family subscriptions Tinker Crate, Koala Crate, and Doodle Crate).
All of the craft supplies from the Crate. You really need very little from home to do the crafts. Usually, you only need a pair of scissors (they sent us a Kiwi Crate branded pair in our first box!), but often the pieces are pre-cut, scored, or otherwise prepared for you already. The crate includes self-adhesive items or glue/glue dots if needed for the crafts.
An issue of explore! magazine is included in every Crate. It is full of fun content that brings the project to life.
There is always a comic featuring Steve the Kiwi and his pals, plus lots of historical and scientific information relating to the current theme.
The magazine introduces the concept of fluorescence by noting some cool sea creatures that seem to glow, and it includes extension activities and some simple observational experiments to learn more about the principles underlying the project.
As a means of introducing STEM topics, explore! often teaches kids some of the science at work behind the project. This edition included some art projects using UV light. The sunscreen painting project showed the difference blocking of UV can make to the fading of colors.
Our kids love to go through everything in the booklet first before starting the main project. explore! has read, draw, learn, explore, eat, and make designated activities. There is really a lot to look at and read – a comic, puzzles, and games – and it really extends your young one’s engagement with the Crate. Each expands on the theme of the box, whether through factoids, drawing activities, or recipes, but the variation is helpful for engaging different learning styles and interests.
Every Kiwi Crate comes with a unique Steve sticker (like your merit badge for completing the box). The first box of an annual subscription includes a poster for displaying your earned stickers.
The second booklet that comes in every crate is the actual instruction booklet for the crafts, and often it includes additional activities beyond the extension projects included in explore!
Each Crate usually has three activities – either separate projects or phases of a single, large project. The booklet includes an inventory of all the supplies included in the Crate, plus a messiness and parental involvement rating for each project.
Step-by-step instructions guide you through the project. They are clearly written and very easy to follow, pointing out potential pitfalls so you don’t go astray.
I love the way they find multiple projects to address different facets of the same concept — there is something for everyone!
There are things that even my youngest kid can do without assistance, and the projects are fun enough that my eldest enjoys working through them without any help from me.
My youngest thought the comic and the picture find were really great!
The glow viewer included a jellyfish reel to which we could add UV sensitive marker.
We decorated the existing jellies and added in some creatures of our own!
The reel attaches to an axle, allowing you to scroll an endless loop of jellyfish.
You can view them through a window in the front of the viewer.
The scroll turns using a set of gears operated from the exterior.
Designing a picture reel for the glow viewer.
You could make anything you want, but we stuck with the nautical theme. Cool sub!
The second project was making a UV sensitive bracelet.
Constructing the bracelet was really simple.
The beads were very sensitive to the UV from our little light, changing color in less than a second.
The booklet encouraged us to try some experiments on our own.
The third project was testing whether the beads reacted to different sources of light. We started by testing in sunlight. A couple of our beads were duds! The reactive bead did change in the sunlight.
We tried a flashlight – no change there.
The booklet contained a handy sheet for recording our observations. We were surprised to find that some of our daylight bright lights emitted UV!
This was a fun crate. I really liked the way they took a concept as intangible as Ultra-violet light and made it accessible to kids by evoking sea creatures and sunscreen, and building some simple crafts around it. It is really great for introducing kids to science indirectly at an age when they are perhaps not quite yet interested in learning about it directly.
Kiwi Crate is intended for kids 5-8, but all three of our kids like to get in on the action. It is really engaging and approachable for a wide age range (years 5-8 actually covers a lot of ground, educationally and developmentally) – there is enough information and complexity to immerse older kids, while the light-hearted nature of the box makes it easy to use for Kindergartners, too. Kiwi Crate is great at gently introducing some science, history, and other lessons into the projects, offering both entertainment and educational value.
Visit Kiwi Crate to subscribe or to find out more about this fantastic kids’ craft subscription box!