S.T.E.M. Enhancement at Home with Kiwi Crate
A few months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I came across an ad for Kiwi Crates. I don’t remember the exact ad, but it was created well enough that I was intrigued. I clicked to see what it was all about, and ended up ordering a crate. The reviews I could find online were mixed, and most were over a year old, so I wanted to see what it was all about for myself.
Here’s the bottom line: if you want to have great projects that help your child think, explore science, technology, engineering, and math, and you don’t want to have to try to come up with all of the projects on your own. Then these are for you.
What is S.T.E.M.?
S.T.E.M., which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, refers the activities and learning experiences that fall under those categories. Generally speaking, it is used in a school setting, and has risen to popularity in the past few years.
The US has been a strong contender in these areas. But interest has been declining, and our young people aren’t pursuing careers in the STEM fields as they used to. To encourage more young people to get excited about these fields, there has been a big push to get them started sooner. Now, in elementary schools across the country, kids from Kindergarten to 6th grade are doing projects that involve physics, robotics, math, science, and a big variety of engineering topics.
But education doesn’t stop at the school doors. In fact, kids learn a whole lot better when they learn and develop skills at home with their parents. That’s the idea behind Kiwi Crate.
How does Kiwi Crate Work?
The Kiwi Crates are acquired through a subscription service. $20 each month is automatically charged to your card, and at the end of each month you receive a new crate. They’re actually called by different names depending on which crate you get.
Koala Crate – The Koala Crate is designed for younger kids (ages 3-4). It’s based around creativity, art, and using playful imagination.
Kiwi Crate – The Kiwi Crate is for those getting a little older (ages 5-8). Still with a big focus on art, it also incorporates science and engineering.
Doodle Crate – The Doodle Crate is for ages 9 -16. It provides all the materials you need, new art techniques, and instructions for the budding creative mind.
Tinker Crate – The Tinker Crate is also for ages 9-16. It dives deeper into the STEM projects helping those with advanced skills understand even more detailed processes and ideas.
Depending on where your child is academically, and developmentally, you may want to branch out into different crates. You’re not locked into your subscription, and you can switch between crates each month if that’s what you choose to do.
How We have Fared
So far we have receive three crates. The first was the science behind magic, and had a number of simple illusions. Some were based on what you see, others based on science (using static electricity, for example, to lift an object).
The second crate dove into physics, and we put together an arcade claw (like you see in the claw game). Holden loved this one, but since he’s a 4-year old doing a 5-8 year old project he wasn’t exactly careful with it. We fixed the claw with glue, but it was never the same.
The most recent crate was possibly the most fun. It involved about 4 million tiny pieces, and we sat down together for over a half an hour to put together a pinball machine. It lasted a couple of days before Holden decided to take it all apart. Back in the box, it can be extracted at a later date and used again.
The crates do provide some fun entertainment, but the entertainment is relatively short lived. One issue is that the Koala Crate is designed for 3-4 year old, but doesn’t seem to include much other than toys (that you decorate yourself). The Kiwi Crate, which is the more hands on and STEM based stuff, is designed for older kids and just a little outside of Holden’s age level. A Kiwi Crate for younger kids would be better.
Are Kiwi Crates Worth $20/Month?
So are they worth the $20 per month that you would spend on them? Yes and no.
You could put together your own projects, and tackle the same concepts, for much cheaper. But you would have to design all of your own material, come up with your own plan, and hope it all worked out. $20 gets everything done for you.
But I don’t have time for that, and it’s nice to just have it all done for you. Plus, everything comes packaged in a nice box (all the boxes are the same size), so when Holden gets bored, we can take the projects apart, put them back in the box, and put it away for another time. Maybe give it a year and it’s like having a whole new project again!
If you’re looking for something to keep your child occupied, keep their brain stimulated, help them learn new concepts, and experience new things, then the Kiwi Crate would be just what you’re looking for.
One of the only negative reports I could find was that when you do want to cancel your subscription, they are a bit difficult to get a hold of. But again, that review was from over a year ago, so they may have stepped up their customer service. When we received our arcade claw crate there were some small pieces missing. A quick email and they sent the replacements right out.