Inside The Crate: May 2013

Spend time on a playground or in a schoolyard, and you’re sure to find a group of kids playing animal make-believe games. Some kids invent puppy families, while others pretend to be a nest full of baby birds. When kids pretend to be animals, they’re (adorably) mirroring the nurturing they receive from the adults in their lives. This month, we hoped to give kids the opportunity to do just that, while learning all about birds.

Our First Project

You can watch some of our favorite kid testers practice their nurturing in this month’s unveiling video. Harry, Sophie, and Drew visited Emma Prusch Farm Park to learn all about birds first-hand. Seeing a mother hen on her nest and feeding birds right from their hands really seemed to bring this month’s theme home to them. Before long, they had turned into a whole family of caring birds!

This month’s bird costume was a big hit! We wanted kids to be able to really unleash their imaginations on their masks and wings. Even in testing, no two kids’ masks were exactly alike. I loved seeing how unique each one turned out to be.

Our Second Project

For our second project, we knew we wanted kids to be able to create a nest and eggs. But developing the project was a little tricky. What kind of yarn should we use, and what kind of glue? Should kids drape the yarn, or wrap it around the bowl? That’s why kid testing is essential to Kiwi Crate: we don’t consider a project ready until we know just what methods and materials work best.

Meanwhile, for our testers, the messy business of getting it just right was part of the fun…along with the egg racing game they invented. It was so fun, we included instructions in this month’s box!

Speaking of “getting it just right”, I’m not just making a pun when I say we had to break a lot of eggs to create this month’s experiment video: it took nearly two dozen.

As you can see, Nathan had tons of fun getting this one right—including testing how high he could drop the bouncy egg without breaking it. This is an easy experiment to try at home. All you need are vinegar, an egg…and a little patience.

This month’s box also includes plenty of bird facts that children can use in their play. (My kids were especially enchanted by the bowerbird, who collects blue objects from nature to feather his mate’s nest.) I hope you and your child enjoy learning all about birds and bird families this month! We’d love to see your child’s mask and wings—please feel free to share on Facebook!

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