As we head into the cold winter months, I’ve been thinking of different activities that my 2.5 year old toddler can do indoors without either of us going absolutely crazy or the TV being on all day. I wanted a good mix of fun artsy activities, as well as other ones that would promote learning skills. When I heard about the KiwiCo Crate subscription, I was so excited to try this out with my toddler, and see if it was what I was looking for (minus all the brainpower and planning on my part). So I got on, and ordered my little one’s first KiwiCo Crate – the Koala Crate. There are different Crates depending on the age and the interests of your child and they also come in monthly themes. We cover this a bit more later.
The Koala Crate theme for this month was “Ocean Games.” We received two activities: one that focused on critical thinking, and the other a cute little art project. We also received an instruction booklet, and two books because we added on the Deluxe subscription option for the month. My little guy’s favorite item was the “Ocean Sort” activity, and I’ll tell you why here in a bit…
KiwiCo Crate is a monthly subscription service geared towards kids of all ages. Literally, ages 0-100. This subscription delivers hands-on STEAM projects/toys every month to engage your child’s creativity and curiosity.
First of all, what does STEAM stand for? STEAM is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.” It’s a well rounded approach to learning that is widely used in school systems today. The KiwiCo Crate subscription provides opportunities for you and your child to bond in a structured way, and help them grow their critical thinking skills.
There are various Crates and subjects to choose from depending on your child’s age and interests. In each Crate, you can expect to see 1-2 larger projects or 2-3 smaller projects. You can also add on the Deluxe subscription to your child’s Crate for an extra $10.95 per month. This will give them 1-2 curated books that go with the theme of their Crate. We did this addition in our test Crate, and received 2 on theme books.
When you sign up for a KiwiCo subscription, you’ll be required to enter your child’s birthdate and a few questions about their interests. From this information, KiwiCo will then recommend the Crate that best suits your child based on their age range.
When I went through the process of signing up my 2.5 year old boy, it was recommended to me to start with the Koala Crate (specifically for ages 2-4). The Koala Crate we received this month was themed “Ocean Games,” and all the activities were very in-line with the theme. Let’s check out what we got…
First of all, every crate comes with a booklet describing the Crate’s theme and the activities inside. This booklet will cover all the activities your child may be interested in exploring at their age, and give you ideas on how to reinforce these new skills they’re developing. You’ll also receive a set of instructions on the activities that come in the box for “the Grownup Assistant.”
This activity brought the “A” in “STEAM.” Arts. It was a very cute and simple activity to do with my 2.5 year old. In the crate we got the turtle and fish frames, and paper squares. On the back of the frames, there was already adhesive, so all we had to do was stick the random colors of squares on the back to make the mosaic. My little guy had a great time naming the colors, this art project was not too difficult for him to understand, and he LOVED the end result. He’s been carrying these little mosaics around for days. This simple art activity helps inspire creativity, fine motor skills and discovery.
The other activity that came in this month’s Koala Crate was the “Ocean Sort.” This came with an ocean pouch, a fishing pole with velcro on the end, felt sea creatures, and sorting cards for different games. My little guy LOVED this activity. He has pulled it out multiple times since first opening it to play with. The main activity to do with these items is to fish for sea creatures. This helps with gross motor skills. You can also help your child to sort the sea creatures by color, size or creature. The sorting cards help with this, and this will help develop discovery and exploration skills in your child.
Because we decided to upgrade to the Deluxe subscription for the month, we received 2 books in the Ocean Crate. These are both from the KiwiCo Koala Library, and are easy reads. The “I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean” book was a little goofy, in my opinion, but my little guy really likes the pictures. “Kellan’s Search for Shells” was also a cute book about helping a friend out. It was fun to receive, but I don’t think we will do this add-on in the future. They weren’t my favorite books, and I don’t want to have too many lying around.
There were a couple of things that we REALLY liked about the Koala Crate from KiwiCo. It was so fun to get the ocean themed crate. My little guy has been really interested in different types of animals, so he was particularly excited about this. We also really liked the activities that came, and (this is a big one!) the BONDING time that my little one and I had while completing the activities together. We made some good memories, and it was a lot of fun!
I also really appreciated the activity booklet and instructions, and the fact that KiwiCo focuses on the learning style of STEAM.
I did find myself wondering if this age range was too broad for what we received in the Koala Crate (2-4 year olds). I couldn’t imagine a 4 year old being as interested in the activities, but I could be wrong! For my 2.5 year old, some of the different activity ideas were a bit challenging, so we stuck to the basics. We had a great time though and were able to adapt to his age easily.
I also felt that the cost of $41.77 was maybe a bit high for what we received. It was a bit more basic than I anticipated compared to the price. We did do the Deluxe subscription add-on for an extra $10.95, and I don’t think we will be doing that again. The books we received were fun, and very on theme, but the writing style wasn’t my favorite, and they were a little….weird? I don’t want a lot of books we don’t love lying around, so I felt that this add-on is unnecessary for us.
To sign up for a KiwiCo subscription for your child is simple! You’ll head to their website, and get started. From there you’ll be asked to answer a few basic questions about your child, such as birth date and interests. This is so KiwiCo can recommend the best Crate for your child based on their age. Once you’ve chosen a subscription type, you’ll check out, and anxiously wait for your child’s first crate to arrive!
KiwiCo has multiple types of subscription options, and you can even purchase 1 crate just to try it out. They also have a Deluxe add-on that will give your child a few themed books in their Crate every month. Subscriptions will auto-renew, unless you choose a one-time non auto-renewing subscription.
With the weather turning, and the freezing cold days coming, we will be spending a lot more time indoors. This can be aggravating for both me and my toddler, so to get ahead of it I thought being prepared with fun and educational activities would give us both something to look forward to. That’s where KiwiCo Crate came in. It seemed like a good idea to have a monthly subscription that would create an environment of bonding and learning for both my child and I to look forward to.
Overall, I would say that by gauging my toddler’s reaction to the activities and his attention span, he would give this month’s KiwiCo Koala Crate two BIG thumbs up! We both had a great time exploring the activities and reading our new books together. He’s been talking about the books for days, and keeps going back to the fishing activity. As a mom, I would also give it two thumbs up! I felt that my toddler was very engaged, that he practiced important skills and that this is a great subscription box for kids of all ages!