REVIEW: KiwiCo STEM Crates Educational Subscription Boxes

We were very kindly sent four Kiwi Crates to review; one for each of the children. The Kiwi Crates are designed for ages 0+ and I’ve not come across subscription boxes for such specific age ranges before, so I was really excited to see what was inside!

Tadpole Crate – Music Maker Set – 0+

Inside the box you get: a wooden dinosaur shaker, a triangular dinosaur shaker, wooden castanets with a lion on them, a wooden Guiro drum, a book called ‘Olive’s Seaside Band’, a booklet and a ‘how to’ sheet. Just from opening the box and having a quick look, it is clear to see the high quality of the contents of the box. The instruments are so well made, with great attention to detail, and we love having a book included as children are never too young to look at books. The booklet included is a comprehensive guide on how to make the most of your music maker; it covers helping your child to discover new sounds, how music helps your little one grow, why rhyming is an important skill, along with other activities to try at home. The activity sheet shows you the developmental skills that the set helps with, in this set it is: cognitive development, sensory play, gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Such a fantastic crate for babies, and you can add the instruments to their toy collection so they can get them out to play with whenever they want.

Tadpole Crate – Mouse Run – 18 Months+

 

Inside the box you get: a wooden ramp with a felt piece attached underneath, one large felt piece with puzzle notches in the ends, three small felt puzzle style pieces which are decorated with felt grass, a wooden ball with a mouse face on, a book called ‘Olive Wants to Slide’, a booklet and an activity sheet. As this crate is aimed at slightly older children, they have an activity that they can do/make.. The pieces of path all need to be joined together, starting with the ramp and ending with the home for the mouse. Your child will work out that after playing with it for a while that they can make more than one path with the pieces. Just as the previous box, the parts are all of excellent quality, with a real eye for detail. The enclosed booklet covers the ‘Developmental Focus Area’, ‘Your Growing Child’, ‘Literacy and Language’ and ‘Beyond the Crate’. The activity sheet gives you the developmental skills the activity focuses on, which in this crate is: early science skills, cause and effect and observation. The difference between this crate and the one for 0+ is so well thought out, toddlers love being able to do things themselves so it is great for them to work this out for themselves.

Kiwi Crate – Arcade – 5+

In the box you get: lots of different pieces to make an arcade grabber game, including wooden pieces, screws, nuts and bolts, string, rubber bands and yarn for making the pom-pom toys you catch with the claw. The activity is to make an arcade style grabbing claw and pom-pom prizes for it to pick up. The booklet first shows you how the claw works before moving on to the instructions which show you how to make it; the instructions are very well described and illustrated, as the number of parts included could look a little daunting for a younger child, but my mini reviewer is only just 6 and she was able to follow the instructions with a little help from an adult. The finished claw is very sturdy and easy to use, the pom-poms were also fun to make and inside the included magazine you can expand on this activity by using your Kiwi crate to make a box for the game. In the Explore magazine there is a cartoon, story, drawing and several pages of arcade related activities, which gives plenty to keep your child entertained for weeks.

Atlas Crate – World – 6+

Inside the box you get: a large world map, globe halves, felt stickers, wood pieces, activity sheets inside an envelope and instructions. First of all you make a spinning globe by following the instructions; my mini reviewer is 7 and he was able to do this without any help from me. The end result is a brilliant mini spinning globe on a wooden stand, and just like the parts in the other boxes, it is really sturdy and made from high quality parts. The Great Big World Map Challenge sheet shows your child how to use your map to find things and teaches basic map skills by showing them how to use longitude and latitude to locate places. The Adventure Book is a collection of cards which contain activities, world facts and even a recipe and are held together with silver rings so you can add to them with further boxes. My mini reviewer loved the combination of making something and learning something at the same time, as this box has great educational value.

Summary:

From the selection of boxes we were sent, the consistency in the quality of all the contents and projects was outstanding. Each box has been so well thought through and so perfectly matched to the ages and abilities that the crates are aimed at. The accompanying booklets in the crates for babies and toddlers are aimed at parents and give ideas and suggestions on helping further development, whereas the booklets and magazines in the crates for older children are very much written with the child in mind. The projects have a huge focus on education and STEM/STEAM learning and are innovative and inspiring. The projects are definitely things you will keep and use again and everything you need is included in the box which means you can get stuck in straight away rather than spending time searching for things. Children will learn so much from each crate, and they would also be great for home educators.

 

The Kiwi Co Crates come in many different ranges Tadpole (0-2), Koala (3-4), Kiwi (5-8), Atlas (6-11), Doodle (14+), Tinker (9-16), Eureka (14-104). The crates can be purchased on a monthly, 3 monthly, 6 monthly or 12 monthly subscription, most crates are around £15.78 a month but this does depend on which crate and the length of the subscription. You can change the type of box you receive at any time and the boxes are shipped monthly. Head over to KiwiCo to see what crate suits your child. KiwiCo have kindly offered Parents in Touch followers an offer of a free one month subscription (excluding p&p) – Sign up for your free month here.

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