Kiwi Crate is a kids’ craft and activity subscription that comes with everything you need to complete a great project or two, usually a pair of crafts that can be used as toys or playtime props. The box is geared for ages 5-8, and the projects are always age-appropriate, though some require more parental assistance than others.
Kiwi Crate is the most popular craft and activity subscription box for kids!
This month’s theme is MISSION TO MARS!
Everything was neatly packed in the box. Also, Kiwi Crate includes all necessary supplies for the featured activities, plus explore! magazine.
Build a wind-up Mars Rover, then test it on a crater course you make yourself.
An issue of explore magazine is included in every Crate. It is full of fun content that brings the project to life. explore! has read, draw, learn, explore, eat, and make designated activities. There is really a lot to look at and read – a comic, puzzles, and games – and it really extends your young one’s engagement with the Crate. Each expands on the theme of the box, whether through factoids, drawing activities, or recipes, but the variation is helpful for engaging different learning styles and interests.
There is always a comic featuring Steve the Kiwi and his pals.
It’s always a fun read, especially for the kids who are about to delve into the project! Also, there’s an article on the next page about the science of Mars exploration.
This magazine also includes a lot of historical and scientific information relating to the current theme, and it’s better for the kids to read the magazine first.
This part of the booklet features the mission to Mars, and they also included a rover riddle that the kids can answer by determining the letters that correspond to the correct parts to build the rover!
They also featured the different rovers that were used to explore the red planet like the Sojourner that was launched in 1996, Spirit & Opportunity that was launched in 2003, and Curiosity that was launched in 2011.
Here’s another suggested activity, which is to put your rover’s tires to the test. For this, you’ll need the finished rover from the crate, cardboard, masking tape, books, and materials with different textures like a fuzzy towel, soft shirt, or a slippery plastic.
The booklet even introduced a sweet space treat, which is a Waffle Rover! Also, there’s a Kiwi quiz on the next page and instructions on how to send a letter to Steve.
Kiwi Crate Crafts
The second booklet that comes in every crate is the actual instruction booklet for the crafts, and it often includes additional activities beyond the extension projects included in explore! Every Kiwi Crate comes with a unique Steve sticker (like your merit badge for completing the box). The first box of an annual subscription includes a poster for displaying your earned stickers.
The booklet contains a list of all the supplies they provided for the crafts. It also has a rating of messiness and parental involvement for each activity.
Here are all the items for this month’s Mission to Mars project!
The first part of the activity is to make the back axle of the rover.
To make the back axle, we used the following materials from the crate: square-holed wheels, square-holed donuts, tires, square axle, string winder, spiky rings, back axle connectors, axle tubes, and small black rings.
For the next part, we also built the front axle that will make the rover work.
For this one, we used the round-holed wheels, round-hole donuts, round axle, small axle connectors, and small black rings.
My son started by connecting the different components of the back axle.
After ensuring that everything’s in the right place, he also started making the front axle.
He easily completed the axles so he’s moving on to make the rover body!
Also, what we love about the guide is that there are points where we can stop and check the progress of our projects. This ensures that what we are doing is right and there’s no need to start all over when we commit some errors or mistakes.
For the rover body, we used the frame, finished back and front axle, flag base, flag holder, wood triangle, flagpole, threading guide, string spring, clear rings, and from home, a pair of scissors.
My son prepared the completed axles first before building the body.
He aligned the frame and the wood triangle piece.
It’s easy to follow a detailed and illustrated instruction so he’s done with the body in no time. The spring and strings are properly placed on the body, as well as the flag base!
The last part to complete the rover is to add a flag, like the rovers that were sent to Mars!
For this last activity, aside from the completed rover body, we used the blank flags and a flagpole.
My son just needed the tip of the flagpole to draw some designs on the flag.
The texture on the blank flag as they drew on it reminded me of Magic Slate.
As they drew on the blank flags, the images that are coming out are colorful and it’s amazing!
Lastly, my son lined up the flags and attached them to the pole, then inserted it on the flag base on the rover body.
The booklet also included instructions on how to play with the rover. To make everything more fun and interesting, we also made a crater course that will test our rover!
To make the crater course, we used the Mars mat, felt backing pieces, and crater pieces.
This part of the booklet explains how engineering is involved in making the crater course.
When engineers design Mars rovers, they make models of Mars’s bumpy ground and test that their prototypes can drive over them. This helps them make sure the real rovers won’t get stuck. When you tested your rover out on your crates, you were doing something similar!
To make the craters, just stick the layers together and arrange them on the mat however you want.
The guide even provided tips and tricks on how to make the rover go faster!
First, we tested the rover on a flat surface, a.k.a. our tiled floor! Afterward, my kids arranged the Mars mat and on every go, placed the craters on different sides of the mat.
Here’s our completed rover, and it’s ready for its mission!
My sons did a very great job with the flags’ designs, they even go with the space theme!
The rover worked well, and we even tried the other suggested activities, especially the one where we get to test out the tires.
The crater course is awesome! We’re impressed by how the rover passed through the courses without difficulty every time!
This is the closest thing that we can do to “explore” the red planet and it’s a cool experience! My kids learned a lot about the Mars space mission and about engineering a simple machine. The activities are all fun, both on-page and hands-on ones, while the instructions with illustrations are easy to follow. As always, the crate provides all the materials, saving a lot of time for parents! Overall, this month’s space exploration theme is a big hit! My kids’ version of the rover looks really cool and I’m pretty sure they won’t get tired of playing with it anytime soon. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly way of introducing new science concepts to kids, this is it! Kiwi Crate is an ideal subscription for learning and fun at home and you can even give it as a gift!
Did you enjoy this month’s activity? Let us know in the comments!
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