When I first heard about Kiwi Crate I was skeptical. I’m just not a craft-kit kind of person. I love crafts but I like to invent my own crafts and nothing steams me up more than seeing something I could have invented myself all wrapped up in a box for sale. I know, it’s stupid but I have a thing about kits. Most of them out there are lame. Cheap wooden parts that you color with crappy marker pens that run out…don’t even get me started. The end result is just trash that you don’t know where to put and by the time you complete a project your kid is soooo attached to it that you’re forced to let it sit on some shelf for half a year mocking you. I’m sorry. I just don’t like the stuff. It’s cheap crap.
Kiwi Crate is different. I clicked around on their website and right away I was impressed with the quality of images, the thought that went into their design and concept. They explain it well and I was sold. It’s a grade A product that even a craft snob like me has give credit to. It’s a really great concept. I’ve had people tell me I ought to do something like this for years and the truth is I never got around to it. I tried to but I just never had all the supplies ready with nice instructions etc etc etc.
Basically, Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription service for kids. Every month your kid will get a small shoe-box sized package in the mail (addressed to them) filled with two or three hands-on craft projects. Sometimes they are science related, sometimes just art, sometimes imaginative play. They are dedicated to sparking childrenís natural creativity and curiosity. Each project is designed by moms, reviewed by child development experts, and, of course, tested by kids. Color me impressed.
As a designer I love the packaging. It’s clean and simple. It’s easy enough for a five-year-old to understand but I found myself hovering with just as much anticipation as Bug as she unwrapped the box. I love the logo. So cute!
It was like Christmas unpacking all the fun stuff.
Bug was jazzed. She even got her own pair of kid-scissors that actually work and don’t hurt her fingers.
As you can see the instructions are super fun and easy to read. They also include little prompts to get your little one’s brain asking questions. This would be excellent for homeschooling.
The first craft was a stained glass frame using contact paper, a cardboard frame and small squares of colored tissue. I didn’t have to do a thing. I just helped her unwrap the packages and sat back and watched. That’s not how the crafts I usually invent work. No, I’m usually up to my elbows in glue helping and she’s either jumping up and down shouting that she wants to do it all by herself or she’s off somewhere else in the house while I micro-manage a project that was supposed to be for kids but ended up being for me.
It really made me happy to see her puttering away so contentedly.
And of course the end result was pretty cute.
But that wasn’t all. There were THREE crafts in this box! Three! Of course we had to do all three of them in one day because we are crazy crafting freaks but I imagine this would be something nice to savor over the months. Perhaps even something to use as bribery when certain children don’t want to get their chores done in a timely manner.
The second craft was a spinning top with interchangeable paper tops. It was a fun little lesson in color and how you can make different shapes spin into a blur of a completely different color.
I’m partial to the rainbow one she made.
The third craft was a little color-dye tote project. Using the leftover tissue squares (which I loved, waste not want not and all that) Bug arranged a cute little heart and then added water with a dropper that was provided.
Bug loved this craft. Water always steps things up a notch or two in the fun category. And it was surprisingly not that messy even though instructions warned that the tissue could potentially stain clothing. We didn’t stain anything. This was the most tame “messy” craft I’ve ever done. Which was great. No mess! No fuss! And when you’re done you just put all the leftover supplies back the box and close it up. Throw it away or keep it around for another day. I love this.
And the tote came out pretty good too! So that’s the story. I think this would be really cool as a gift from a grandparent or even just supplemental educational activities for home. I’m actually probably going to sign up for this myself. It’s twenty dollars a month which is a tad on the expensive side for my budget but I think I can spring for it. The products are quality and I can totally see Bug counting down the days until the next box comes. It’s sweet. Subscriptions can be ordered month-to-month, annual, or gifted to others at www.kiwicrate.com. Also, additional materials can be purchased for siblings. Check it out!