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This month, in our KiwiCo Tinker Crate box, we got a Hydraulic Claw. (read more)
TINKER CRATE HYDRAULIC CLAW REVIEW - UNBOXING
Before I get going, if you'd like to see what's in the Hydraulic Claw box, you can watch the video below. It does come with everything you need other than a glass of water and some scissors.
Most boxes do come complete with everything "not usual" you'll need, but as I've seen with each box we've done in the past, you are going to normally have to supply some general household items. These things would be scissors, scotch tape, water, etc.
If you'd like to see the review of our Spin Art Machine Tinker Box, I have a full post for that unboxing and build as well.
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TINKER CRATE HYDRAULIC CLAW REVIEW - THE BUILD
I do make videos each time my kids build one of the Tinker Crates or Doodle Crates, so if you'd like to watch the Hydraulic Claw build, here it is. These builds typically take an hour, but the Claw took much longer. I'll get more into that in the next section.
Don't worry, I speed up the build and pair it with music. So, this is only about five minutes long.
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TINKER CRATE HYDRAULIC CLAW REVIEW
The Hydraulic Claw was a good Tinker Crate, but I feel like it was more suited toward older children.
With past boxes, my 8 year old was able to help and understand most of what was going on, but with the Claw, he seemed fairly lost most of the time, leaving my 12 year old to handle the work.
It took twice as long as any other build they've done, and I could see the frustration on my son's face as he got further into the build. He did get it completed, but I don't think it was completed as intended, meaning the claw did not function as it was supposed to when we he finished and tried to do the cup challenge.
If you're considering purchasing this Tinker Crate on its own, I would thin it would be perfect for the older age range (12-14) if they'll be building on their own, or younger children with plenty of parental assistance.
That said, it's a great build, and has quite a few different set ups in the instruction book so your child can not only build a claw, but also an elevator, an animatronic, a squirt gun made from a cup and straw, etc.
Imagine turning the Tinker Box into a building with an elevator! Hours of pretend play right there!
There are also some fantastic resources for kids who are interested in animatronics, specifically a couple of books from Disney Imagineers: The Imagineering Field Guide To Disneyland and The Imagineering Field Guide To California Adventure.
While it didn't last as intended in our house, it was a big hit once the kids stopped trying to make it work like the book suggested. It has now become a hydraulic jack for my 8 year old's Hot Wheels collection. So, out of his league or not, he does understand the concept. :)
My 12 year old has had a good grasp of hydraulics for a couple of years now, but I think (after this build) he really understands the need to slow down and pay attention. I have no doubt that most of his issues with the build was simply him thinking he knew what to do, when in fact he needed to be a bit more careful.
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We're in love with Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate, and have no intention of discontinuing either subscription. Even if this build did happen to be more challenging than our previous ones, the kids enjoyed it, and I enjoy giving them work that leans away from all of the traditional paperwork we do as homeschoolers.
I maintain that $16.00 ish a month for something this well thought out is a fantastic value, and, should I ever feel the need, I can easily change boxes. That's one of the biggest benefits (aside from the savings) of getting a yearly subscription.
If you have any question about this build or any of our others, just let me know, I'm happy to help.
If you'd like to check out KiwiCo for yourself, just click any of the text links and it'll take you there.
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