Friday, January 18, 2013

Putting Kiwi Crate To The Test: A Family Review

Have you heard about Kiwi Crate?  It's a delivered-to-your-door subscription service of crafty project packages for kids.  Designed by actual moms & reviewed by experts.  I thought the concept was cool and was curious about it, so when we got a chance to try a sample box I couldn't wait to try it out.  With three kids, ages 3, 7 & 10, how would they respond?  And would this be better than something I could put together myself?

Fun and engaging projects for kids ages 3-7. Delivered monthly.  <Join Kiwi Crate today!>

As you can gather from this blog, I'm of the "crafty mom persuasion".  I make a lot of stuff for my kids, but don't craft a lot WITH them.  Being a homeschooling family I already have a lot of organizing & prep on my plate everyday.  And whenever I spend extra time dreaming up arts & crafts activities, gathering supplies and instructing the kids, they do the bare minimum for about 2 minutes and run off saying "I'm done!".  Leaving a mess behind for me.  Ugh.  Enter Kiwi Crate.

This was the Antartica-themed set we received:
Delightful kids' crafts delivered right to your door.  Shop Kiwi Crate! ››
I was amazed at just how much stuff was really in there - several coordinated projects: penguin bowling, aurora postcards, penguin ice experiments, and all the supplies & simple instructions to make them.  You can have the kids crafting seconds after opening the box. No prep required!

The craft materials themselves really sold me too.  They were all high quality supplies - Fiskars scissors, washable markers, artist grade oil pastels, watercolors - the good stuff. And they can be used over and over so there's a lot more life in them even when all the projects are done.

The projects themselves?  Cute, fun and educational.  The best part was how genuinely engaged the kids were with the activities, unlike arts & crafts we've done in the past.  My 3yr old didn't get frustrated and my 10yr old didn't get bored.  They really spent time on them, instead of their usual two quick scribbles and "I'm done".

It's a really rare thing to have all 3 kids sitting and working together - without squabbling - and then happily playing after, but they did.  Here's our penguin bowling in action:

They spent a few hours creating and trying out what they made.  Moments after I took this picture they actually broke into song while they worked.  For real.  I had to get it on video because I couldn't believe these were MY kids.  It was like something out of a movie!

And the projects weren't one-time wonders either.  They could play with the projects after they made them and there were additional suggestions for using them, like making the penguin bowling pins into puppets on sticks or as a stacking game.  There was even a special website included in each box that has even more project ideas, videos, online games and book suggestions to coordinate with each theme.

They also offer things like sibling add-ons, gift options, limited seasonal crates and party favor sets.  Right now there's a cute Valentine card single box available:

I'm a pretty thrifty crafter, but for all the projects, educational info and materials, plus the time to put it all together, it would be tough to top this on your own.   I immediately signed up for a monthly subscription and our second box has just arrived to our shared delight.  Added bonus, you can always pause a monthly subscription, so if you'll be out of town or super busy you can put things on hold and resume when ready.  So our family consensus was, whether you're crafty or not, if you've got kids, Kiwi Crate makes terrific fun you can have together:)

I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received a free sample box to review.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 


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