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As a homeschool family, I'm always looking for fun things to do on occasion that will allow the boys to learn without having to do traditional paperwork, or sit in front of a computer. For us, the KiwiCo Tinker Crate is a perfect fit. (read more)
WHAT IS KIWICO?
KiwiCo inc. is a company that provides enriching, creative, and convenient STEM projects for kids.
What that means, in a nutshell, is that when you subscribe to a KiwiCo activity box, you'll be getting a box with KiwiCo STEM activities for your child each month that includes everything they need to build a fantastic, age appropriate project.
Let's talk about what's in the box.
KIWICO UNBOXING VIDEO
If you Google "KiwiCo Youtube", you're going to find a lot of people willing to show you their own KiwiCo videos. If they're like me, they're going to show you everything that comes in the KiwiCo kits. Suffice to say, it's EVERYTHING your kids need to make their project, but if there's anything extra you need, (like scissors), it'll be listed.
Mostly though, KiwiCo STEM kits don't require you to supply anything you wouldn't already have at home. (like scissors)
What comes in a Kiwi Crate? Here's my KiwiCo unboxing video, take a look:
As you can see, my KiwiCo science box came with everything except scissors. I literally handed it to my boys on a Friday during normal school work hours and said, "We're doing this instead of regular school work today, have at it."
Other than that, I didn't help at all.
Depending on the age and ability of your kids, you might need to help. Since KiwiCo makes boxes for ages 0-16+, you could be aiding in the project for a few years.
For my kids, I like that they have to work for it, slow down, read the instructions, and rely on themselves to get the job done. It helps them realize they are capable, and it gives me some time to enjoy their ability to learn and accomplish without my actual participation.
Together, they were able to put together the spin art machine in under two hours. They never reached a point where they looked frustrated, and, even though I was standing right there, they never got stumped enough to ask for help.
Also see my Hydraulic Claw review and my Scratch Art Lantern Review.
KIWICO TINKER CRATE REVIEW
If you don't know which crate you need to subscribe to in order to get projects like the KiwiCo spin art machine; our KiwiCo monthly box is the KiwiCo Tinker Crate. It's geared for kids ages 9-16, and focuses on science rather than art.
There is a KiwiCo Doodle Crate geared for the same age range, but while the Tinker Crate is science, the Doodle Crate is art. So if you've got a child who loves to draw, paint, etc, the KiwiCo Doodle Crate might be a perfect fit.
As I said, my kids put it together themselves in a couple of hours. There were roughly 8-12 parts in the box, and the instructions come in a nice, double sided, small poster sized paper.
Everything they need to do is not only written out, but also illustrated, in case your children are more visual learners.
Here are my kids putting their spin art machine together. I have sped it up, so you don't have to watch them for two hours. (there was quite a bit of horsing around)
To give you an idea of age, my oldest is 11 and my youngest is 8, both will have birthdays in the next two months-ish.
KiwiCo DIY is awesome! They were so proud of themselves! I've already had to purchase refills of paint and card stock for the spin art machine.
Pro Tip - Alex Spin Art Refills work great for this machine. It comes with paint and 20 cards, plus some holders, for around $6. The cards are a little small, about 1/4" short on each side, but if you'll get a pack of Loctite Blue Tack, you can stick it down gently before spinning, and it'll work perfectly!
The KiwiCo box actually creates the container for the spin art machine, so you don't have paint flying everywhere when they make their pictures. It's all nicely covered and they even give you stickers to place over the gaps in the box where paint might leak during the spinning process.
Probably the worst part is figuring out where to store the boxes once the kids are done. So far, I'm just letting them play with them until they start ignoring it, then I toss it out.
The upside to this is that keeping these boxes for a long time is an option, because they're not junk. They're really good crafts, high quality, the kind that can withstand a lot of play time!
Here's how to use the Alex Spinner refills with a tiny bit of Loctite poster putty, it's so easy and will keep this toy in play (no pun intended) for a long time!
HOW MUCH IS KIWICO?
How much is Kiwi Crate? This is honestly my favorite part of getting a KiwiCo Tinker Crate! I looked at quite a few places before deciding on KiwiCo, like KiwiCo VS MEL Science, KiwiCo VS Amazon STEM, and KiwiCo VS Little Passports.
We went with KiwiCo because we loved that everything came in the box, it was a very hands on build type of box, and the price was right.
Some of these boxes are incredibly expensive! But not KiwiCo! We pay just $16.45 a month! Be sure you go through Ebates when you order because that will also get you cash back. When I placed my order, I got 7.5% back, which was something like $14.00, not bad! It's like having your own extra KiwiCo coupon.
Depending on whether you do the monthly, three month, six month, or yearly subscription, your price will vary, but it will never be more than $19.95 a month.
And, since KiwiCo does have such a big age range, my kids won't age out of it as quickly as they would with something like Little Passports, which maxes out at age 12.
You can also use a KiwiCo discount code SHARE30 to get 30% off your first month's box! That's definitely a KiwiCo promo code you'll want to apply at checkout.
KiwiCo deals do pop up frequently, so be sure and check the site when you place your order. You can also use your very own KiwiCo referral code once you do place your order. Share it with your friends! If they use your code, they get $10 off their order, and you get $10 toward your order.
Just think, if you have enough friends, you'll be getting free KiwiCo STEM gifts forever! (Well, probably not forever, but still, it's exciting.)
Side note - There is also a KiwiCo specially curated book which we do not subscribe to, mainly because it adds $10 a box.
Once you pick your KiwiCo box subscription (I'll post the different boxes below), you will be prompted to create a password so you can login to KiwiCo whenever you want.
This gives you access to things like your KiwiCo order number and your KiwiCo order status. Of course, whether you order or not, you'll always have access to KiwiCo customer service, the KiwiCo blog, a KiwiCo phone number, and all the KiwiCo reviews and KiwiCo STEM reviews you could ever want. You'll also get KiwiCo free shipping on your subscription boxes, which is great!
One thing you'll never lack for when you sign up with KiwiCo is help! Whatever the issue, they're going to do their very best to ensure you're one happy KiwiCamper. :)
I'll post the different KiwiCo crates below, but remember that there's no commitment. If at any time you decide your child wants to try a different line, you can make the switch, it's easy!
From the KiwiCo Tadpole Crate and the KiwiCo Koala Crate, to the KiwiCo Eureka Crate, they have got your little one covered. It's a monthly box full of fun they're sure to enjoy, no matter how big they get.
Also, these crates make great gifts! You can either send a box subscription, or you can get a KiwiCo gift card that the recipient can use however they want.
I hope you love our KiwiCo box review, and I hope you're still playing with that crate when you're 104, just like it says on the box.
As always, feel free to ask questions, I'm more than happy to help!
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