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 GLOWING NATURE! 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. The style of the magazine makes it very appealing for pre-readers, too.
In addition to the main projects, there are several games and activities in imagine! magazine.
Koala Crate Crafts
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.
Koala Crate builds multiple activities around the theme, 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.
Mushroom Lantern. For this craft we built a mushroom lantern with glowing spots! This activity is a little bit messy because of the paint involved so it’s a great way to learn how to work patiently and carefully.
We had so much fun painting and putting stickers on the mushroom.
This mushroom lamp turned out cute – you just charge it up in the sunlight for a bit to get the stickers to glow.
My son’s quite happy with how his mushroom lamp has turned out!
Glowing Firefly. The next craft was a firefly sock puppet activity – we stuffed an included sock, tied it up, and attached the wings and eyes. It’s really simple but very cute at the same time!
The firefly’s body glows and he turns into a puppet too – the hair tie that’s used to make the head is perfect for slipping a wrist into!
Jellyfish game. The jellyfish was pretty easy assembly – my toddler enjoyed stringing the laces through and decorating the jelly with eyes and more glowing stickers, and then I assembled it for the window. My son was so excited to set up the game and we took turns playing afterwards.
It’s a fun game where you can learn about different sea creatures, as well as colors and motion!
After you’re done with the activities in the box the magazine has even more extension activities to take the theme further. There’s an activity to make a firefly jar this month as well as suggested readings aligned with the theme. This month, the list includes Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights by W.H. Beck, The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle, and It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree.
This month Koala Crate had an engaging theme with just the right amount of activities to keep us engaged and moving around on a snowy day. This box is great for keeping us away from the tv, as well as making sure we can keep thinking about everything we learned after we finished the crafts. My son is still playing with all the toys he made from this box too – it really encourages imaginative play!
Have you tried Koala Crate? What did you think of this month’s theme?