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.
DEAL: Use this link to save 40% on your first month of Koala Crate! (or any of the KiwiCo family subscriptions – use this page to find the best box for your little one!).
This month’s Koala Crate theme is 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.
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.
My son enjoyed all the beautiful illustrations and pictures!
The illustrations are animated and engaging. They relate their games to the theme which makes it very exciting for the kids.
Your kids will definitely 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.
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 have also include symbols denoting the developmental skills practiced in doing the activity, such as fine or gross motor skills, creativity, etc.
Everything this month’s box!
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.
The brochure also comes with a special segment wherein you are provided additional ideas to enjoy your projects more!
Like for this part, they’ll teach you other ways to move your jellyfish.
The back of the booklet encourages us to share our experience with Koala Crate by using #KiwiCo and #KoalaCrate on social media posts.
Mushroom Lantern. For our first project, they provided a dome cap, tube, glow-in-the-dark stickers, pipe cleaner, foam buttons, and paint pen.
This project is expected to be a bit messy, so it is highly recommended to put scrap papers on the activity area. For this instance, we used a huge carton.
To start, squeeze a few drops of paint on the inside of the dome cap.
Using the sponge brush, evenly spread the paint all over the dome cap.
Tip: For a faster and accurate spreading, do it in a circular motion or up and down movement.
Once the paint is already dry, my son poked the dome cap with the pipe cleaner and pulled it through. Then he locked it by poking it to the foam button and twisting the ends together.
He also decorated his lantern by sticking the glow-in-the-dark stickers on the outer part of the dome cap.
The last step is to place the cap over the tube and press it down to fit the foam button into the tube.
To test, you must place the mushroom lantern under the direct sunlight for a few minutes to charge it and then bring it into the dark room and watch it glow!
Our mushroom lantern really did glow! The glow can last up to 10 minutes or longer, depending on the amount of light the stickers had absorbed.
Glowing Firefly. For the second activity, we were provided a glow-in-the-dark sock, fluff, elastic tie, elastic band, wings, and wiggling eyes.
Compared to the first activity, this activity is a lot less messy and much easier to do.
The first step is to stuff the glow-in-the-dark sock with fluff until it looks full and bulgy, then tie the end of the sock using the skinny elastic tie to make the firefly’s body.
Slide the wing under the elastic band and fold one side over and poke it through the slit in the middle to form the first wing, then repeat the procedure to install the other wings.
We added the wiggle eyes for the finishing touch!
It also needs to be placed under the sunlight for a few minutes to be charged. Then, bring it in a dark room and watch it glow!
Jellyfish Game. For this activity, they provided us with a frame, suction cups, jellyfish, fabric strips, cling stickers, string, white foam buttons, beads, wiggle eyes, and glow-in-the-dark stickers.
My son started the project by threading the fabric strip in the small hole from the jellyfish head.
Then, he knotted the string on top of the head and connected it on the frame. Next step is to slide the button halfway down the string and then tie the bead to the end of the string with 2 or 3 knots.
We popped the suction cups into the back of the frame and attached it on our glass window. To make the jellyfish move, all you have to do is pull the strings!
There are a lot of ways to move this very cute jellyfish, you can move it up and down, side to side, or even wiggle.
This one looks like a real jellyfish, wait until you see it glow in the dark!
Like the first two projects, the jellyfish must also be placed first under the sunlight to be charged.
Koala Crate Extension Activities
Another suggested activity from the booklet is the Firefly Jar. For this, you can use items from your home, such as a paintbrush, paint cups or paper plate, clear jar, glow-in-the-dark-paint, and scrap paper. There are also book suggestions in the Koala Library, which includes Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights, The Very Lonely Firefly, and It’s a Firefly Night.
This month’s Koala Crate contains an amazing bunch of projects related to light and colors. It certainly helped my kids to become keen observers, and also helped develop their problem-solving skills. Most of the materials needed for each activity are already provided in the crate, complete with step-by-step instructions in the booklet. My kids enjoyed all the activities, especially the jellyfish game! If you have a pre-schooler, or kids who love to do activities as a past time, this subscription is worth a try!
Have you tried Koala Crate? What did you think of this month’s theme?