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 REPTILES! 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.
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, creativity, etc.
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.
Stuffed Snake Friend. The first activity we tried is making a stuffed snake. I let my son put the fillers inside the puppet and he loved it!
Once the toy is stuffed, it’s now time to place the party horn on the mouth of the snake to serve as its tongue. This activity teaches the kids about colors and shapes, plus encourages them to be creative. I also let my son decide where he wants to put the hexagonal shapes that will serve as the scales of the snake.
Here’s how the snake unfurls its tongue. Good job!
Color-changing Chameleon. For this activity, my daughter was in charge. She inserted the party horn on the chameleon’s mouth as indicated and then added some designs to it!
The bug stands that come in the kit were easy to assemble. We placed them on the table, and tried to knock each one down by blowing the party horn. It’s so fun!
If you take a closer look at the chameleon, you’ll see that its colors do change, just like the real thing!
Turtle Box. The third reptile featured in this crate is a turtle! We received a box that we decorated with a felt turtle, hexagon stickers, wiggle eyes, and sticky dots.
Again, I let my son lead the way and create his own pattern on the lid of the box using the hexagonal stickers.
On the underside of the turtle, we attached a sticky dot on its head and on each foot…
…so that we can fold the turtle and let it hide in its shell. This is too cute!
The finished product! It can be used for storing small toys, crayons, and even treats!
My son can’t get enough of the stuffed snake that he’s wearing it while trying out the activities on the magazine.
Koala Crate Extension Activities
In addition to extension activities using common household supplies, there are also suggestions for further reading on the subject. This month’s recommended books are A Color of His Own by Leo Lionini, Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite by Nick Bromley and Nicola O’Byrne, and Turtle Splash!: Countdown To The Pond by Cathryn Farewell.
Koala Crate is our go-to subscription for fun hands-on activities! This month’s box is all about reptiles, so aside from helping develop the kids’ creative skills, it also taught them science lessons and interesting trivia. If you have a pre-schooler, this subscription would be a great after school or weekend activity. Actually, all of the boxes in the KiwiCo family are excellent parent, babysitter, or grandparent activity boxes. They make for a great family bonding time and there’s no pre-planning hassle. Our 3 year old was just in love with all the activities from this box – and a month later he’s still playing with them all!
Have you tried Koala Crate? What did you think of this month’s theme?