Category Archives: Kiwi Crate

Lemonade Stand: A Kiwi Crate Review

It’s time to review another Kiwi Crate! Our second box arrived on Saturday and we’ve had lots of fun with this one so far. This month’s learning theme was all about money: currency, counting, addition and subtraction. Best of all, it came with a cash register. The cash register was an instant obsession.

Something that differed from last month was the two activities in this months box were actually two pieces of one larger game, the lemonade stand game. Kiwi Crate sent the assembly for a paper cash register and currency as one activity and bits to put together for a chalkboard advertisement as the other.  There was an additional pamphlet on mini math games to play with the currency and pretend shop items. WE LOVED THIS! Total creativity sparker.

Lemonade Stand Kiwi Crate

Lemonade Stand Kiwi Crate

Assembling the cash register was priority numero uno. Once that was up and running (with a real, working calculator!) we got to playing store right away. I’m happy to say buying and selling toys occupied them for at least an hour and the cash register is durable enough for multiple uses.

I'd like to be paid in tacos, please

will accept American dollars and tacos as forms of payment

“That will be two dollars, please.”

A puzzle piece was given as a

A puzzle piece was given as a “receipt”

While the bartering went on, assembly of the chalkboard fell upon myself and a not so helpful assistant. The only actual assembly for this portion of the project was stringing together felt pieces to make a lemon-shaped eraser for the chalkboard. This would have probably been too advanced for my 5.5-year-old anyway, so I didn’t mind taking care of the quick set-up.

YARN, GIVE ME THAT NEFARIOUS YARN!

YARN, GIVE ME THAT NEFARIOUS YARN!

I need to establish the back-story for this next photo.

My Mother is an elementary school teacher. She’s always looking out for fun and educational activities to send the girls; some things she gives us are games, books, or activities used in her classroom. About a year ago, she granted us her school’s access to an educational learning lab called BrainPop Junior. It’s a website with a series of videos covering all kinds of subjects that my girls love to watch. Lately they’ve been fascinated with social topics that are presented in a child-friendly matter, like divorce, smoking…and drugs. I don’t know why the drugs video has held their interest as much as it has, but on Saturday when my oldest was coloring a picture, out of the blue she asks, “Mommy, can you write “free drugs” for me?”

“ExCUSE you?? Huuuuuh?”

“Did you know that drugs sometimes can make people do things they don’t normally do? Yeah. And if a stranger offers you free drugs, you should always say no.”

This was what her drawing was about. People doing things they don’t normally do, because they took drugs. Bless your heart, sweet little daughter.

So as a Machiavellian parent, I envisioned a scenario placing each daughter out on the street. One with a sign advertising Lemonade, the other with a sign that says Free Drugs! And in my head, what played out was hilarious.

busiest lemonade stand ever

busiest lemonade stand ever

This was definitely a fun box, more fun than last months. I think for the entertainment and educational value Kiwi Crate boxes provide we will keep subscribing. Now if only there were a subscription service that sent out free drugs…


A Kiwi Crate Review – Spheres and Their Peers

I’m constantly seeking new ways to keep my children entertained, especially so now that school is out for the summer. I heard about subscription box company Kiwi Crate from a friend and after they ran a sign-up promo for 30% off finally decided to bite. Readers: Use the referral link at the end of this review and take $10 off your initial subscription, which is a much better deal than the promo currently running.

Every month, Kiwi Crate sends a box with 2-3 activities intended to “inspire creativity and pique curiosity” in children aged 4-8. My kids are both creative AND curious, so some simple, age-appropriate activities like this would be right up their alley.

Kiwi Crate has several different sign-up and add-on options for their activity boxes. This was a little overwhelming when I initially attempted to sign-up.  Too many choices can sometimes be a bad thing. Do I want to save some money by going for the 6 or 12-month subscription plan? I definitely do…but the promo I want to use only worked for the 1-month price. I wasn’t even sure if we were going to like the first box, so I shouldn’t commit myself to a full years worth if it’s not going to work out. I understand they’re trying to sell the more expensive in the long-run monthly subscription, but seeing so many options just made me want to click-away altogether, and that isn’t a good way to drive business! There is also an option to subscribe to a “deluxe” version with a special book that comes with the box for an extra $9 AND a $10 option to add extra materials for a sibling. Both options were interesting, but ay ay ay, my head was swimming with too many choices – because in addition to the Kiwi Crate box, there are MORE boxes geared toward different age cohorts.

My 3-year-old is two weeks away from turning 4 (yippee!) so I decided to order one regular box with the promo code for both children to split. If it goes well, we can continue and upgrade. If it’s a flop then I won’t be out much time or money.

OUR CRATE: 3-D SHAPES

There was some lag time between ordering and receiving our shipment as Kiwi Crate ships out in the middle of each month. Nevertheless, I was excited when I saw our shipment notification!

nice manicure!

nice manicure!

happy pride week, friends!

happy pride week, friends!

3-D shapes – spheres, cubes, pyramids – and tangrams! And bubbles! Neat! I think my girls will be excited about this. Of course, receiving ANY kind of box in the mail with their names on it is cause for celebration and excitement. We broke into the bubbles first and saved the tangrams for another day. One thing at a time, comrades.

PROJECT #1: 3-D Bubble Wands

Making bubble wands was pretty fun. It required a good deal of my involvement. My girls were able to put together a simple triangle and square bubble wand with cut up straw pieces and pipe cleaners. Mom got fancy and made a cube wand.

eye-see-you!

eye-see-you!

Kiwi Crate sent a bubble solution and bubble stabilizer (dish soap and sugar?) which you mixed with 4 cups of water. I quartered the recipe since we didn’t want to make a big ol’ sticky bubble mess. The girls had a good time blowing bubbles and I had some mixture to save for later. Total time occupied: 30 mins.

how's about some bubbly

how’s about some bubbly

PROJECT #2: Tangrams

This project involved dyeing negative-space wax relief wooden blocks to use as tangram shapes. Kiwi Crate sent along 7 small wood blocks, one white crayon, dye tablets in pink and blue, and a packet of sheets of tangram games you could assemble. I thought this was the better of the two activities as it was more hands-on for the kids and it’s something we can keep and enjoy for a while!

kiwicrate5

I was able to work one-on-one with each girl while the other was busy at summer camp, so we dyed half the blocks with the pink dye and the other half blue (pink being the first one chosen, of course). I made an example doodle with the white crayon and each girl put minimal effort into their design. An older child would perhaps be more into this one. I think the most fun part for each of them was shaking the blocks and dyeing the wood!

shake it, don't break it

shake it, don’t break it

After the blocks dried, we were able to put a couple of the example tangrams together from the puzzle sheets that Kiwi Crate sent. I felt this project went well. It took about 20 minutes to put together and it’s something we can save and use later.

trying not to think of 80's rock right now

trying not to think of 80’s rock right now

KIWI CRATE! My overall opinion:

While it was overwhelming at first to select a subscription option, I felt the projects were fun and entertaining for my kids. They certainly were not bored and we each had fun doing the projects together. I think Kiwi Crate has earned a second try, perhaps with the deluxe book option this time because we love to read every night. The projects were definitely something that required mom-involvement. Maybe an 8 year old could tackle these on their own, but my younger ones definitely needed some guidance. The verdict is…I’ll give them another try and if you want to also you can use my referral link and save $10 off a box.  Have fun!

http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=HelenG6