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If you are a homeschooling parent, you have probably seen the ads for KiwiCo on Facebook or just while on the Internet. Maybe you’ve been curious about exactly what they offer and what exactly is in the boxes they send out every month.
What is KiwiCo? KiwiCo is a monthly subscription box company that delivers a “crate” to your child containing art or science projects. There are 8 different lines focusing on different age groups, STEM, art, or geography. You can subscribe for a month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. There is also an online store where you can shop for specific projects.
KiwiCo is currently running a promotion for 15% off at the online store or $15 off a subscription. It is valid until Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.
We sometimes do not have time to do a box when it is delivered but Kiwi Crates are great to store away for a rainy day or a time like now when we are encouraged (or ordered depending on your location, state, or country) to stay at home.
A few days ago, two of my children did the Arcade box from the Kiwi Crate line, which has STEAM projects for ages 5-8. My kids have done this box before, but they did not seem to mind doing it again.
The Arcade box contains the pieces to assemble a claw, two pom-pom creatures, and two fun books: one assembly instruction manual and one activity magazine. The assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow, though for this age group, they will still need help with some of the more difficult assembly.
As an example, my kids were able to start doing this box by themselves, but ended up having to stop near the beginning because they could not tie a double knot. Once I was able to sit down with them and help them, they were able to finish the project easily.
The boxes are really sturdy and great to use for storage even after projects are finished. We use them to store the project (complete if possible; taken apart to fit if needed). We also use them to store LEGO, the kids like to use them to store their treasures, and we have even used a few of the boxes for school projects (like a diorama).
Here are pictures of the two books that came in the Arcade box. The explore! magazine has fun ideas for other projects or easy games that kids can play.
The instructions are very clear; this is a good thing for a mom who is sometimes a bit foggy after her morning coffee has worn off! Step 3 is where my kids got stuck, on tying the double knot.
These are some of the pieces that came in the box. They are always neatly packaged and easy to find.
Since I had two of my kids sharing this box, I had them take turns with the assembly.
There was a small wrench included to tighten the nuts on the claw, but it was easier just to use our fingers. I did have to help with this part also. Once the claw was assembled, the handle was next.
There was a handle assembly guide that made it easy to make sure we had everything in the right place. Next, we made the pom-pom creatures.
This was my favorite part of the Arcade box! The pom-pom creatures were so easy to make that I was even able to make an extra one from a pipe cleaner and yarn that I had in our craft supplies.
My tips for making the pom-pom creatures: make sure you wind the yarn loosely around the yarn guide and make sure you wind the pipe cleaner tightly around the skein of yarn. If the pipe cleaner is wound too loose, you will end up with strings of yarn all over your house!
You can see in this video how the claw works. It is good at picking up the pom-pom creatures and anything else that is lightweight, but I would not try to pick up anything too heavy with it. Also, if you let your kids play hard with it, it will break. In fact, an hour after my kids finished making the claw, one of the teeth broke. We think we will be able to tape it back on, but it definitely won’t work the same.
Pros: My kids didn’t mind making this twice, it’s fun to make, it’s fun to play with, and the pom-pom creatures are cute!
Cons: Likely to break if you’re not careful with it, the pom-pom creatures can fall apart easily.
I had forgotten how much my kids enjoy their Kiwi and Tinker crates. I am planning on buying more of these once our current stash runs out!