Koala Crate is a monthly subscription box from KiwiCo for preschoolers ages 3 to 5. It is educational and always hands-on. The activities are designed to be developmentally appropriate and enriching while also keeping it engaging, fun, and universally-appealing.
This month’s Koala Crate theme was BUGS! As always, the box comes with all the supplies needed to create a trio of 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 the magazine, so you can preview the activity while your child works on the activities in the booklet.
Imagine! magazine 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 and always feels like a game, not schoolwork.
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A fun story introduces your child to the theme of the box. The same group of friendly characters is featured each month, and the familiar faces encourage engagement.
Your kids will always learn a little bit about the top beyond the projects, as imagine! provides some background – at least enough to provide some context and tie the cartoon in with the projects.
In addition to the main projects, there are several games and activities in imagine! magazine.
Activities usually include tracing, matching, picture finds, or word recognition games. The book also includes instructions for some extension activities you can do at home with commonplace household items, plus some suggestions for further reading.
In addition to extension activities using common household supplies, there are also suggestions for further reading on the subject. The style of the magazine makes it very appealing for pre-readers, too.
The instruction booklet is intended for the adult helper and gives detailed instructions for the activity.
It lists all the supplies, the 3 primary activities, the messiness level, and any grownup assistance needed. They’ve recently added some additional symbols denoting the developmental skills practiced in doing the activity, such as fine or gross motor skills.
Every activity tells you the required materials, engagement questions to ask your child, step by step instructions, and play ideas. Though most crafts are self-explanatory, they have helpful illustrations and clear instructions, so it’s hard to go wrong.
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 breakpoints 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.
All the materials you’ll need to make this month’s activities! The activities in a box usually all relate to the same central theme, but they each tend to encourage different types of play and help develop different skills.
This bug matching game is really cool, it’s the ideal game to test and further improve your kid’s memory. It is a very flexible game, too — if your child is too young for the Memory-style game play, you can use the cards as prompts for questions, such as specie or color identification.
A second activity involved viewing the world through a bugs-eye kaleidoscope. It is shaped like a cute mushroom, and materials were provided for making an adorable pouch for it!
My son had fun attaching the shapes to create a ladybug design on our pouch!
This bug eye viewer allows us to see how bugs view things from their perspective. My son loves it!
Meanwhile, here’s our finished bug cape and headband! All of the felt pieces are pre-cut and self-adhesive, but you can trim them into whatever shapes you desire. We took this project as an opportunity to explore the concept of symmetry!
Paired with some antennae, this makes a complete costume for buzzing around in. Isn’t it adorable?
Koala Crate has provided another awesome activity for my kids. This subscription is great for preschoolers, as it relies heavily on shape, color, 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 3 year old son sometimes asks for help figuring out what to do, but he can actually do most of the activities without any assistance. Our other son is 6 now and has transitioned to the older boxes, but he really still enjoys the activities in Koala Crate and can’t resist jumping in to help!
Have you tried Koala Crate? What did you think of this month’s theme?