Review: Kiwi Crate — Monthly Craft Projects for Kids

by Wendy Copley on April 4, 2012

Kiwi Crate - Ocean

Have I mentioned my Kiwi Crate subscription before? I think I may have once or twice. Kiwi Crate is a subscription-based service that sends a box of craft supplies and instructions for two children’s craft projects to your house every month. I initially joined when it was featured as a deal on Plum District for half-off for three months and I recently renewed my subscription at full-price.

My kids love it and I love it, too.

Kiwi Crate

A lot of the reviews I’ve read have said that the service is great for non-crafty parents who want to do art projects with their kids — which I certainly think is true — but I consider myself to be pretty dang crafty and it works really well for me too. Yes, I could scour the internet for kids craft projects every month (or I could think up some projects myself). And yes, I could go to a couple stores and buy all the supplies for those projects (and I could hope not to forget anything). If I was careful I could probably pay less for the supplies than the $19.95 I spend on our Kiwi Crate. I do all those things sometimes, but it takes a fair amount of work and advanced planning.

The days I really need those carefully planned and prepared projects are the days my kids are bored and at each others’ throats and they are driving me absolutely bonkers. Do I have the time and patience to plan and execute a clever and engaging project on those days? No. No, I do not.

But now that we are getting the Kiwi Crate, I can pull out a box filled with all the supplies for a fun project or two and we can distract ourselves by getting our craft on! It’s fun for them, and it’s fun for their crafty mom, too.

Kiwi Crate

The boxes are themed and come with clear, illustrated instructions. Each project is also rated on a “messiness” and “grownup involvement” scale which is a nice touch.  The kits we’ve received so far have focused on space, the ocean, pirates and wind. Though the projects lean toward the crafty side, there is a bit of a science tilt to them as well. They don’t realize it, but through Kiwi Crate projects my boys have learned about jet propulsion, object density, inertia and the scientific method all while honing their manual dexterity and spacial skills. Shhhhhh! They just think they’re having fun.

Kiwi Crate - Ocean

The boxes are designed for kids aged 3-7, which is the exact age spread of my boys. The activities can be simplified for three-year-old Augie when necessary, but seven-year-old Wyatt can run with them and focus on the areas that most interest him. Though the web site says the boxes are intended for one child, we have always had enough supplies for both kids to complete each project. The projects that don’t have two full sets of supplies lend themselves nicely to sharing. If I had more than two kids I would order the sibling add-on kit to avoid disappointment and squabbles.

Kiwi Crate - Pirate

I’ve been really pleased to see that the kids like to play with their completed projects too. One of the activities in the pirate kit was to decorate a treasure box, hide it and then draw a map to help a friend find it. My kids played hide and seek with that treasure box for an hour! They don’t do anything together for an hour! They have also happily fished for sharks and raced wind power cars side by side. Nice!

IMG_9725

The quality of the supplies in the kits is very good. Each kit has sufficient materials to complete the projects but they throw in a lot of extras too. For example, when a project requires 4 sheets of paper we find 16 sheets in the box. This lets the boys choose the colors or designs they like best, gives them the freedom to experiment without fear of “messing up” and allows them to explore the materials outside of the scope of the project. Each box also has at least one higher ticket item that’s designed to last a while and can be used to create a great art supply box — scissors, tape, paints, pens, oil pastels or nice crayons. My kids love dipping into our pile of leftover materials (pictured below) and mixing them up with our other art supplies to come up with new creations.

Kiwi Crate

So what’s not to like about Kiwi Crate? Nothing. I honestly tried to think of something I didn’t like about this product and I couldn’t come up with anything. I can just about always come up with something bad to say about products I review, but not this time. I really, really love our Kiwi Crate.

EDIT: Sorry — the giveaway for post is now closed!


Disclosure: I’m writing this review because my kids and I all love our Kiwi Crate subscription. I purchased our subscription and have not received any compensation to write this review. I arranged a giveaway with the generous people at Kiwi Crate because I like their product and I thought you would enjoy it too. Since I originally wrote this review, I’ve entered into an affiliate relationship with Kiwi Crate and if you purchase something via my link I receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

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  • M_joiner

    I would love to win a Kiwi Crate!  My boys are 3 & 4 and I am a non-creative mamma!  This would help us with new ideas and projects to have fun together.  I’d love to see a crate about robots.  My boys love robots!

  • Ginny

    So, I cruised the site and I want them all. Dinosaurs, superheroes, plants, and pirates are all HUGE at our house right now. I would love to begin using Kiwi Crates because my 4 year old LOVES science (wants to be a scientist/firefighter/veterinarian) and art. I never have time to organize crafty stuff to keep at the ready.

  • Kgish116

    I would love to see a crate with pets or trains.  Those are both things that my son loves 🙂 I would like to win because we are on a tight budget and his birthday is coming up and I love it when he gets toys and activities that require him to think and be creative.  Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  • Rhea Lim

    My daughter loves animals right now so any kind of animal, safari, or zoo theme would be a big hit. I want to win a kiwi crate to make crafting easier on this working mama!

  • Sarah Fortin

    Kiwi crate is perfect for my nephew… a rambunctious 7 year old. We go camping a lot, so I think a crate on camping or maybe trees or insects would be really neat. His mom would really appreciate the fact everything is already there to do the project since she is a busy lady and on her own.

  • Hadley Koo

    I heard so much about these crates and love the originality that goes into every single one of them. I’d love to see a crate that allows kids to craft items that create different sounds and sort of mimic instruments. My daughter’s school encourages a lot of creativity and I’d like to keep it up at home through the kiwi crates. 

  • I would love to win a Kiwi Crate because as a mom with a 1 and 7 year old, it’s hard to come up with crafts on the fly for the older child that’s easy to set up before the younger child gets restless and wants attention.  I think I would like to see a zoo themed crate.  Being able to create various animals in their pens (or not) would be a kick.

  • Joaniebritt

    1.  I would like to see a barn animal themed kiwi.  2. I want to win because I am completely not crafty and I think a kiwi kit would lend guidance.  My kids would love it.

  • Tina Pow

    I would love one! I would like the idea of sea creatures!

  • i would like to see a train box.  both my kids LOVE trains.  i would like to win so that i don’t have to spend hours looking for fun projects to do with my kids! this is such a great idea!

  • Julie G

    I would love to win a Kiwi crate because my kids are constantly “bored”.  It would be nice if Kiwi did a crate based on pets and their care.

  • Katie Scheper

    I would love to see a Kiwi Crate about Ancient Egypt…my kids would love it!  And I want to win this because I love encouraging creativity & craftiness with my kids 😉

  • Katie Scheper

    I shared the giveaway (and tagged Wendolonia & Kiwi Crate) on my blog facebook page (the little things)

  • Katie Scheper

    tweeted!  fingers crossed!

  • Rachelle

    Wow, what a great idea. This might be on my grandparent wish list soon. My kids would enjoy a nature/photography box or a storm (tornato, rain, clouds, snow) box. I would love to win so I could try it out.

  • Brightning

    I would like to see a Kiwi Crate with a “flying” theme – folding paper airplanes, making spinners, etc. I would love to win one to give as a gift to my friend who needs some help in the craft inspiration department. I actually think I’ll order this for my own daughter for Christmas.

  • Danae

    I would love to see a crate centered around bugs… my almost 4 year old daughter is obsessed with them at the moment!  I would like to win a Kiwi Crate because the year is almost up for preschool and it would be awesome to have something to grab that I can do with her while her younger brother sleeps that I don’t have to put together and design myself 🙂 The gift of time is always valuable!

  • Danae

    I tweeted about this giveaway too!

  • Val

    I would love to see a crate with fairies -my  daughter is obsessed. I’d like to win a crate for my kids to play with.

  • Femgoose

    I shared the giveaway and post from Kiwi Crate on my Facebook page. For whatever reason it wouldn’t let me tag Kiwi Crate even though I already like them…

  • 1) I think Kiwi Crate should do one about fabric dyeing/stamping, ‘cuz it would be science-y, creative-y, and fun!  2) My two girls (almost 5 & 7 1/2) LOVE creating & I don’t give them enough opportunities to do so.

  • Ok, I just twittered about it, too.  https://twitter.com/#!/MsHuisHerself/status/187714150619815937 Keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂

  • Stacy

    A pottery and sculpture kit would be great, or a simple sewing kit where the crafters make their own stuffed animals. I would love to have a complete kit for a day when I’m at a loss figuring what to do to pass the time or to have on hand for a sleepover or to hand off to a babysitter. So many ideas! So many uses! So cool!

  • Monzie

    Love the Gardening and the Dinosaur crates. Might be fun to have a bird or animal themed one or a leaf one for the fall. They all look like so much fun! 

  • Ashleigh Bulliner

    Something to do with calendars or telling time would be good.  I really want to try them out – just got laid off from my job though so I hate to spend the money.  Ashleigh B

  • Csnutt

    I am woefully non-crafty, but have lots of ideas for themes! Rainbows, flowers, mermaids, kaleidoscopes, stars and volcanoes. Why do I want to win?! Dd I mention I’m not very crafty? I kind of panic in craft stores when I have to purchase the supplies – it always seems expensive, overwhelming and I always forget something essential. Or I get the less expensive version of something and discover WHY it’s so cheap. I’ve noticed that the better quality versions of art supplies get used, and the cheaper/common gather dust- I’m glad they have chosen good quality ‘ingredients’ -that can make or break an activity in our house.

  • pandora665

    That looks amazing.  Ever since my 2nd child came, my creativity has taken a nose-dive.  I’d love a box like this to get me back to helping the big girl explore her world!  I’d love to see a zoo animal crate – she’s obsessed with giraffes at the moment.

  • Online313

    I love these! My four year-old wants to be a meteorologist/storm chaser, so a crate featuring tornadoes/weather would be awesome! (I saw the wind one, that’s pretty cool too!) I would love to win a Kiwi crate because my son is just not into crafts, but I think getting his own package, with all this neat stuff, might get him interested. Thanks!

  • Evinmilite

    The Kiwi crates look awesome!
    I think a geography crate would be fun, educational, maps info on different cultures around the world.
    I would love to try kiwi crates for my creative son but also because I am expecting another little one and could use the extra help to have all the materials easily available to create with my son while still caring for the baby!

  • Melissa Renfrey

    I would love to win a Kiwi crate! I think kids need time to express themselves through craft projects but it is difficult to find the time to come up with ideas, get to the store to buy supplies and make the projects on a regular basis. This kit sounds perfect! I’m sure my 6yo son would love it!! Thanks for offering this awesome giveaway!! 😀  

  • Brenda Park

    I’ve had my eye on Kiwi Crate for months, but haven’t been able to muster up the funds.  We would love to see an origami themed crate – my three boys are ALL into origami.  This is a fabulous idea!  Fingers crossed that we win.  We love your site too – thanks for all the healthy bento style lunch ideas.  You’ve inspired many a lunches in our household!  🙂

  • Jen

    Thanks for the suggestion! Looks like just the thing my kids and I need!

  • Shannon Smith

    My kidlets would ADORE these Kiwi Crates! I think Robots, Dolls or Animal crates would be great!!

  • Ok Wendy, you’ve done convinced me that we NEED Kiwi Crate at our house! I would love to see them do a sewing/fiber arts intro crate and I want to win because although I’m the Maker Mama, I’m actually really lazy about coming up with crafts for the kids–it would be awesome to have someone do all the idea/supply-gathering work for me!

  • Gwen

    I would like to see one about rainbows, but really all these ideas sound great!  This box would be great for me for exactly the reasons Wendy describes! I like being crafty, but not running around town and not buying a ton of stuff, I would rather have less leftovers. 

  • I think a circuitry kit would be cool, or a cooking kit.  I’d like to win one because they are awesome xD

  • Kmaxine

    I love this idea! my son would do crafts all day and I can ever think of new things to do! it would be great for them to have a crate about traveling! thanks for the contest!!

  • WhitneyPeters

    Oh these are fantastic! Since I’m a book blogger, I’d say author/illustrator themed kiwi crates would be cool like with a book and then supplies to create either the art style or themes from the book! I want to win one because my 3 girls are project junkies!! And, who doesnt love a hand delivered bit of fun that you don’t have to do the prep work for? I hope I didn’t enter too late!!!

  • Bruinbr

    My daughter loves animals, so anything having to do with animals or their habitats would be great! Thanks for the giveaway! We will have to check kiwi crate out!

  • Sara Daniel

    My daughter is loving sea creatures right now, so a crate with that theme would be cool.  I love to do crafts with her, but my 1 year-old is teething and I don’t have much energy to get the supplies together for new ideas.  We seem to always fall back on playdoh, stickers, collages, paint/markers/chalk.  Thanks!

  • Renee

    These look so cool! Princesses, weather, and space are a big draw for us right now. I work from home and would love the kids to be able to create instead of sit in front of the TV!

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