KiwiCo Tinker Crate Review & Coupon – PHANTOM PROJECTOR

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Tinker Crate is a subscription box that inspires kids to learn about science, engineering, and technology, all while having lots of fun. Each month, the box explores a field of study within a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) discipline. Kids practice their problem-solving skills and learn how to engage in both structured and open-ended exploration and investigation. Most boxes walk the tinkerers through the construction of fairly complex mechanical devices. 

DEALUse this link to save 30% on your first box of Tinker Crate! (or Kiwi Crate and the KiwiCo family subscriptions Koala Crate, Panda Crate, Atlas CrateDoodle Crate, Maker Crate, and Eureka Crate).

This month, we are building our own PHANTOM PROJECTOR!

Everything arrives together in a single Tinker Crate – the supplies, a fold-out instruction sheet, and the Tinker Zine.

Tinker Zine

The main project is always a great hands-on activity and a great demonstration of the scientific principles featured in the box, but the Tinker Zine is full of well-written, historically, and scientifically accurate background and explanatory materials. This where the lessons really take shape!

Tinker, Create, Innovate

KiwiCo equips the next generation of innovators with the tools and confidence for creative exploration and problem solving.

This month’s Tinker Zine is all about illusions and the amazing amount of inventiveness and fun you can create with it.

There’s an activity about making an impossible candle, which can be used as a magic trick!

The next pages discuss more about the science behind the illusion used in this project.

For the kids to have an idea about this month’s craft/project, the Tinker Zine has lots of articles that will help them fully understand the project. My son enjoyed reading the features!

Here’s another suggested activity, which is about making vanishing pictures! Using the illusion cards, we can make images appear and disappear!

My son made his own illusion cards using provided blank cards and colorful markers.

Here’s a feature about Pepper’s Ghost, an illusion technique that creates transparent ghostly images. It is usually used in theaters and haunted houses since John Pepper popularized it in the 1800s.

n the next page are steps on how to make a pyramid projector to try out the illusion, Pepper’s Ghost!

Tinker Crate Blueprint + Materials

The instructions and other project info are printed on a faux blueprint fold-out sheet.

One side of the sheet has pointers for using your newly-constructed device, plus an inventory of all the supplies provided in the crate.

This sheet also gives you a glimpse of how the end product would look like.

If you are having trouble making the project, you can also visit their website for more detailed video instructions.

Tinker Crate Activities

For this project, the crate provided the following materials: stage pieces, thin and thick sticky foam, AA batteries, battery pack, illusion cards, finger light, clear stickers, plastic rectangle, plastic balls, viewer, wiggle yes, LEDs, skewers, projector box, plastic pyramid, paper circle, and soft and scratchy dots.

The faux blueprint has illustrations of all the materials needed for each portion of the assembly. For more complex builds, this is really handy for getting out just what you need for the current step.

Here are the materials that we needed to make the projector.

The first thing my son did is to assemble the stage.

It’s so much easier because the instruction sheet came with easy-to-follow images.

For the stage, we used the batteries, battery pack, LEDs, stage pieces, and the thin and thick sticky foam.

Also, it has a lot of explanatory notes, and they highlight or bold important and technical areas.

You can also visit the Tinker Crate website for video instructions.

My son assembled the battery pack for our stage.

He connected it to the LEDs and checked if it lights up.

There’s also an important reminder that we should not bend the stage sections as we go on building it.

After completing the stage, it’s time to build the projector! My son prepared the viewer that will go inside the projector first before inserting it on the rectangular window on the side.

He then put the viewer inside the projector box, then stuck it out on the rectangular window on the projector box and secured it from the inside by sticking its flaps in the box.

Then, he slid the stage with the battery pack inside the projector box.

Here are the other materials for the projector. We got several illusion cards, wiggle eyes, paper circle, plastic pyramid, and skewers.

When the projector was done, my son started to make the ghost using the paper circle.

He put the wiggle eyes on the little ghost!

Then, he placed the little ghost inside the projector box.

We also inserted the plastic rectangle in an angled position at the top of the ghost room.

Now, it’s time to try out some of the illusion cards!

My daughter tried peeking inside the cool projector!

Everybody’s amazed at how the projector works, as the images appear and disappear, then reappear!

The LED also lights up on top of the projector box.

Tilting to the other side, the ball just passed through the ghost! Wow!

We also tried using our own illusion cards. Here’s a green dragon made by the kids! The dragon breathed fire! It’s amazing!

Another illusion card is this magic hat. At first, there’s nothing, then an image slowly appeared in the middle! It’s a cute bunny!

Another illusion card features a blank frame, then a painting appeared! It’s like we’re watching a magic show in our very own theater!

It’s really fun and we’re really proud of the final product!

Tinker Crate Extensions

The Zine also provided more ways to tinker via the Tinker Library, where they suggest that we try the app called Augment. There’s also a page where kids can sketch out notes and ideas!

Tinker Crate is a fun activity box for kids, which keeps them crafty and teaches them various scientific principles. There are even supplementary activities and interesting information in the booklet that widen kids’ knowledge about the featured topic. In this box, my kids made their own phantom projector and they were really amazed by the result! Building it was easy because the crate already had everything we need and, aside from the faux blueprint, they even provided video guides.

Have you tried Tinker Crate yet with your kids?

Visit Tinker Crate to subscribe or find out more!


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