Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kiwi Crate "Farm Fun" Crate Review June 2014

Kiwi Crate is a children's activity kit.  It's actually a lot more than that.  It's a kit sent each month that foster's a child's creativity and imagination.  Projects may include arts and crafts, science activities, imaginative play and more.  Each kit centers around a theme and has 2 to 4 separate activities and crafts to complete.

Having worked in school districts for years as an instructional assistant along with tutoring, home-schooling and taking multitudes of college courses in child development and early education, I am VERY impressed with Kiwi Crate.

This crate was sent to me for review by Kiwi Crate.  The theme of the box I received is Farm Fun.  This box has 3 activities in it, plus extra activities like drawing, reading and some puzzle games.

The age ranges Kiwi Crate suggests that their crates will be appropriate for are 3-8 but I will tell you right now that the age range could probably extend higher depending on the crate (and your child, of course!).
This is a really great kit to work on with your child.  There's a lot 
to learn in each crate and you will be able to guide your child through it.

The Cost: $19.99/month.

What You Get: Every crate includes all the materials and inspiration for projects related to a theme such as music, gardening, dinosaurs or colors. Projects may include arts and crafts, science activities, imaginative play and more. You can sign up for one of our monthly or gift subscriptions or purchase one-off crates individually from our Shop. With activities designed to help kids discover, explore, and create things in the world around them, Kiwi Crate brings hands-on fun right to your door

First of all, I was amazed at how much they manage to pack into this box.  I pulled out activity after activity! 

There is something for every type of learner.  This is very important.  Some kids will love the coloring, cutting and stickering, some will love the reading, and some will love the building and hands-on portions. 
Of course, if you are like me, you'll love it all!  I'm not a kid anymore but I can appreciate a well-thought out project and I couldn't stop myself from sneaking in a little action.  They've really planned these Kiwi Crates well.

This month they've included a kid size pair of scissors with a nice comfy grip.  This is the perfect pair of blunt nose scissors to start working on those scissor motor skills!  Usually around age 5 is when cutting with scissors becomes more accurate.  I say usually because some kids motor skills perfect themselves at different times.

Also included in the crate is a sticker calendar that can be colored in. You receive one sticker per month with each crate which can then be added to the sticker calender.  It has 12 sticker spots for the year.  I would have been one of those kids that desperately needed to fill in those sticker spots.  It allows for a sense of accomplishment and also measures time a little too.

The Farm Fun Crate comes with a thick paper magazine with Read, Draw, Make and Learn sections.  New readers might be frustrated by the sight words but the reading is perfect for an 8 year old.  The drawing section works with shapes.  If you have a child in Kindergarten they might love to show off for you what they've been learning on this page.  Everything in this booklet deal with the farm and growing things.  The back page is another project.  Building your own weathervane!

I'm pretty sure I made one of these in third grade.  The wind never blew hard enough for it to work but I didn't care.  I think this might be a childhood rite of passage.  Every kid should learn about and make a weathervane!

On to the MAIN crafts!  I feel like I've bombarded you with the little things but I seriously love this crate!  I can't help it!  The teacher in me is exclaiming in happiness over the wonderful learning opportunities that can happen with this crate.

There are two main crafts in this box.  One is creating a set of finger animal puppets and the other is building your own mini farm plot and planting some veggies!

Everything you need is included in the project, including the googly eyes and the seeds!  Everything is very nicely packaged to keep things neat and separated.

See!  Felt finger puppets with all the eyes, noses, curly pig tails, etc.  Also included are mini clothespins and a cardboard "stage" to pin your characters on when they aren't on your fingers!  

I know this is for kids but I couldn't resist.  I had to make a chicken.  I'm saving the rest for Jack but I can't say "No" to a good pair of googly eyes!

Make your own Farm!  Included is the "farm" along with baby (so cute!) popsicle sticks to make the surrounding fence with.  You don't even need glue because they've included sticky foam to make your fence boards stick together! Little trays hold the dirt and lots of seeds.  The instructions are clear and are in both pictures and text.

Then because this whole project is about learning how plants grow, there is an observation booklet where your child can draw a picture of what the plant looks like each day.
This project needs oversight but thats good because you can read all the facts on the paperwork while you build this.

VERDICT:  I am floored by the thought that went in to this box.  This is a perfect box of projects and activities for ages 3-8.  These are teaching crates.  Your child will learn so much by completing each included project.  The hands on processes are amazing.  This will fine tune motor skills, teach animal recognition, sight words and bring a legitimate sense of accomplishment when finished.  There is the immediate success of finger puppets and then the long term excitement of seeing plants grow.  Yay, patience!  You might not think that sucking water into a pipette and then squirting it out into a small box of dirt is learning but it absolutely is! That's fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination!  These crafts hit on important developmental stages.

Kiwi Crate is an excellent teaching tool all in the guise of fun activities and projects.  I am very impressed with the quality of all the materials, the well-thought out crafts and the variety of outlets for creativity provided.

If you would like to sign up for Kiwi Crate or order just one box, head to the Kiwi Crate website and take a look at the wonderful projects they have to offer.  Monthly boxes are geared toward both sexes but one-time boxes are a little more focused.  There is a lot to pick from so have fun!

*Affiliate links were used in the crafting of this post :)

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