This summer is all about sparking a sense of wonder and adventure at home!
‘Tis the season for active imaginations and adventure! Just because this summer is shaping up to be a little different doesn’t mean you can’t create ‘whoa, awesome’ moments for your family. At KiwiCo, we believe that these small moments of wonder unlock lifelong curiosity and learning. And that’s why we’re always searching for activities that inspire both excitement and innovation!
To keep your kids saying, “whoa, awesome!” all summer long, we recommend making a bucket list! We collected some of our favorite activities, adventures, and DIYs for kids of all ages to help you get started. Take a look at these activities and create your family’s 2020 Summer Bucket List.
At-Home Adventures & Experiments
Take your family on an imagination vacation with these creative activities and adventures!
When it is too hot to go outside or you want to escape for a little while to an alternate reality – a good book can deliver on all those things. Great reading requires great books! This Summer Reading List compiled by the editors at KiwiCo includes great books for all ages. Our editors review hundreds of books to which we send as part of our Deluxe subscription. (PSA: you can upgrade your subscription – for any line except Maker and Eureka – and get a book delivered every month selected to complement that month’s crate theme!).
Join us at Camp KiwiCo!
We invite you and your kids to join us for a fun-filled enriching summertime experience filled with discovery and delight! Camp KiwiCo offers four different sessions – Koala Camp, Kiwi Camp, Atlas Camp, and Tinker Camp – geared for different age groups. Each session is made up of five days that are jam-packed with free content. Each day of camp comes with a science theme that is explored through videos, printables, experiments, hands-on projects, and creative challenges. Camp KiwiCo is designed so that you can choose your own adventure and timeline. You can follow the schedule we created and do all five days back-to-back or you can spread the fun throughout the summer!
For more ideas for your Whoa Awesome summer or to subscribe to our crates, visit us at KiwiCo.com.
As we know, summer is shaping up to be quite a bit different than we all imagined. When the team at KiwiCo realized that many of the summer plans we had made to fill our kids’ days were cancelled, the team rallied to put together an in-depth at-home summer camp–filled with awesome activities and projects to spark innovation, creativity, and joy.
Welcome to Camp KiwiCo! We invite you and your kids to join us for a fun-filled enriching summer time experience filled with discovery and delight! Camp KiwiCooffers four different sessions – Koala Camp, Kiwi Camp, Atlas Camp, andTinker Camp– geared for a different age group. Each session is made up of five days that are jam-packed with free content. Each day of camp comes with a science theme that is explored through videos, printables, experiments, hands-on projects, and creative challenges. Camp KiwiCo is designed so that you can choose your own adventure and timeline. You can follow the schedule we created and do all five days back-to-back or you can spread the fun throughout the summer!
When you think of an arcade, your first thought is probably of a room with glowing video game screens. But arcades didn’t start out as high-tech amusements. There’s an amazing amount of inventiveness and fun you can create…no computers or even electricity required.
Try your hand at building these DIY arcade games from materials around your house!
Based on the classic arcade game Whac-A-Mole, this Whack-A-Groundhog game involves quickly and repeatedly hitting the heads of groundhogs with a mallet as they pop up from holes. The quarters serve as weights to keep your groundhogs popping up even after you whack ‘em down!
Celebrate July 4th with these awesome summer crafts and activities for the whole family. Brighten your home with red, white, and blue stars and stripes! Create your own games to play outdoors! Get ready to have some serious fun!
Summer traveling may be postponed this year but you can still take your kids on an adventure around the world without leaving home! Our Atlas Crate projects are designed as immersive experiences to help kids learn about other countries and cultures, in a super fun way!
Every month, our team of Atlas Crate editors and product designers researches a different country studying architectural icons, natural wonders, geography, local recipes, and cultural traditions. Then they design each crate to include innovative, hands-on building projects, as well as games and fun facts that connect kids to inspiring new places and people. With crates spanning all seven continents, the result is an awesome adventure that brings kids around the globe!
Over the years, we’ve been delighted to see how Atlas Crate has inspired a community of curious, creative, travelers who love to learn and explore new things!
But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what KiwiCo kids have to say:
“The kids have been impatiently stalking the front porch for our newest Kiwico crate delivery. We signed up for the Atlas crate and it finally arrived today! They spent the last couple hours building a spinning globe, creating an adventure book and learning all about the seven continents. A fun way to travel while being stuck at home. As always we will be looking forward to our next box 🌍✈️”
“Even though our traveling is temporarily paused, (thanks Covid-19,) we can still learn about other places. We love how Atlas Crates ( by @kiwico_inc ) teach geography, culture, regional animal facts, and so much more. This month our crate was all about France. The crafts were fun, but our favorite part was the gougères recipe. It was easy, totally kid friendly, and made delicious cheese and egg puffs.
We might be a little stuck right now, but we felt very French while eating these gougères.If you’re bored, stir-crazy, or are looking for a way to supplement your kid’s learning, Kiwi crates are a great resource.”
“Konnichiwa! This week we are learning about Japan! On Wednesdays, Hunter typically has Go, go geo after school with Miss Barb. He loves this program and has learned about our state, the capital, and taken “trips” around the world.We learned how to say hello to friend in Japanese, “Yaho”, we learned how to say thank you “arigatou” and then we got a little exercise in with some karate moves before decorating a Daruma to play Daruma Otoshi. Next we will make a Koimobori, a flying carp windsock!”
“They loved their #atlascrate from #kiwico we had fun putting this together and learned a lot about the countries around the world! They even learned how to read latitude and longitude!”
Start your at-home adventure with a peek inside some of our Atlas Crates:
Explore Russia: Build a St. Basil’s Cathedral storage box, and play a miniature game of gorodki.
Explore Guatemala: Craft a pair of muñecas quitapenas dolls, inspired by Mayan culture. Construct and play with a wooden top and launcher set. Meet the turtles of Monterrico, and learn all about their turtle hurdles. Build a mini barrilete gigante kite and experience the Guatemalan kite festivals. Then mix some masa harina, and make your own fresh-cooked tortillas.
Explore Canada: Create a snow globe inspired by the Canadian wilderness! Build and play a miniature hockey game, and test your luck with a zooming puck. Experience the caves and critters of Banff National Park. Explore the culture of indigenous Canadians by constructing your own inuksuk.
Explore India:Play Snakes & Ladders, a board game that’s over 2,000 years old. Mix up some homemade henna and try your hand at some mehndi designs. Learn about yoga and then strike your best cobra. Wash it all down with a cool glass of mango lassi you made yourself!
To further spark your kid’s sense of adventure and curiosity, consider a subscription to Atlas Crate. Atlas Crate is designed as an immersive experience to help children grow their understanding of communities and customs around the world.
For more global fun this summer, join our Atlas session at Camp KiwiCo where you will find FREE hands-on activities, videos, printables, and content about different places around the world.
Traveling to other places is one of the best ways for kids to develop an appreciation for other cultures, and to grow their understanding for communities and customs beyond those that they’ve experienced in their daily lives. This summer, big family trips might be postponed, but there are still many ways to share new and different cultural experiences with your kids without getting on a plane.
Even without leaving your own home, you can help your kids engage in immersive, hands-on experiences that creatively connect them with unfamiliar lands and people. Every month, our team of Atlas Crate editors and product designers research different countries around the world; studying fun facts, local games, impressive architecture, natural wonders, food traditions, and stunning places to visit.
To start your virtual trip, you’ll want to first choose a place to visit. Starting with one place will give focus to your research. Our editors choose locations with the intention of traveling on every continent. When you think about which country you’d like to explore, do you have a family member, friend, or former neighbor who lives in a different country? Whichever country you end up selecting, take the time to fully explore it.
We are excited to help you and your kids explore the globe—because taking the time to meet the people and places around us is a beautiful adventure.
Visit the Seven Wonders of the World (and More), Virtually
Amazing virtual tours exist for many of the world’s “bucket list” destinations. You can visit Macchu Pichu, take a walking tour of Italy’s iconic sites, marvel at the Taj Mahal, or explore the ancient city Petra, Jordan, all in an afternoon. Try googling “virtual tour” for your chosen destination — you may be amazed at what you can experience without needing to find your passport!
Take a Kid-Friendly Museum Tour
So many amazing institutions, from the Louvre to LACMA, have brought their collections online! On a virtual museum tour, your kids can see paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts in different collections around the world. Here is our list of 15 institutions that offer awesome virtual museum tours that kids will especially love.
Read Books About Other Countries
There are so many wonderful travel books for kids! Depending on your child’s age and interest, you might send them on a voyage via a destination guide or an inspirational travel story, a folktale or a photography book. Plus, there are all kinds of travel-focused activity books that can help keep kids learning. To start, you might check out a few of our favorites, like Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid; and the Lonely Planet Kids Travel Series. For a full list of kid-friendly travel books, check out this list from the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase.
Host a Geography Bee
Inspired by National Geographic’s Geo Bee, create a game that teaches world geography, then invite your friends to compete over a video call! To write the questions, you’ll want to start by selecting three countries to research. Divide the participants into teams, and have each team research five to ten facts about each country. Have one person from each team ask the members of the other teams the questions. [Do people buzz in? Write down their answers?] The team that answers the most questions correctly wins!
Listen to Music from Other Countries
Exploring different types of music can help kids connect with different cultures and help them feel more connected to one another! Putumayo Kids has become a beloved source of international music for children offering a wide selection of world music to families.
Learn a Dance
If listening to all that music makes you want to dance, find a virtual dance studio in the country of your choice. The Alvin Ailey Dance Studio offers online dance classes from Ballet to Afro-Brazilian, Samba and beyond.
Stamp collecting may seem like your grandparent’s hobby, but it’s actually a really cool way to learn about countries around the world (bonus: it could be a great way to connect with a grandparent too!). Since each country will usually have stamps that represent the things that make it special–famous leaders, legendary entertainers, iconic animals, and key historical figures and events– stamp collecting is both interesting and educational. You can find a huge selection of stamps from a variety of countries at Mystic Stamp Company.
Make a Travel Journal
Make a travel journal of places you’ve visited and want to go! Print photos, clip magazine images and fill the journals with vibrant collages of cool international stuff (ticket stubs and travel passes from past trips are fun to include.) For an online version, use Google Earth to draw maps, add your own images and collaborate with others.
Learn a Few Phrases in a New Language
Learning just a few words of a different language can be super-fun. Set a few easy goals (like learning how to introduce yourself to a new friend) for tangible results. You can find many online resources and apps to help you do just that: Duolingo includes bite-sized language lessons that make learning fun!
Connect with Pals Across the Globe
Send letters to pen pals all over the world! If you have family or friends in other countries, start a snail mail pen pal correspondence. But if you don’t, Snail Mail Pen Pals allows you to connect with new friends around the globe. Children International allows people to become pen pals with children living in difficult economic circumstances, and to sponsor them to help pay for education and other necessities.
Cook with Your Kids
To taste a country is to immerse yourself in it. There are so many fantastic cookbooks by expert chefs and home cooks around the globe. The kid-friendly cookbook Cooking Class Global Feast features recipes from different cultures. For more advanced cooks looking for titles about each different kind of cuisines check out Omnivore Books. They’ve got a terrific selection of cookbooks for kids and adults alike.
Subscribe to Atlas Crate
To further spark your kid’s sense of adventure and curiosity, consider a subscription to Atlas Crate. Atlas Crate is designed as an immersive experience to help children grow their understanding of communities and customs around the world. We also value the importance of using STEAM concepts as the building blocks for our crates to encourage hands-on, play-based learning.
For more global fun this summer, join our Atlas session at Camp KiwiCo where you will find FREE hands-on activities, videos, printables, and content about different places around the world.
It’s almost Father’s Day and time to appreciate all the special people who’ve played a fatherly role in our lives. With a little time and effort, you can make Father’s Day more meaningful with awesome homemade gifts and activities. As we know, Father’s Day might look different this year —which is all the more reason to spend some quality time with him. Here is a list of homemade DIYs and activities that are perfect for doing just that. We hope you’ll be inspired by one of these projects— because no matter what you do, creating great memories together will last a lifetime.
DIY Gifts for Dad
Upcycle ordinary materials into extraordinary gifts!
Make this DIY picture frame and fill it with a special photo for Dad to enjoy on his desk. Your kids will enjoy ripping lots of pages out of magazines and then cutting them all into strips. By then end of this project, they will have mastered the joy of rolled paper craft and have something wonderful to show for it.
Make this DIY catapult that doubles as a desk toy. (It’s easy to build from common office supplies!) Now, when Dad takes a break to launch a few pom-poms from his DIY catapult, he will think of you. Or better yet, maybe you can launch some pom-poms, too, and turn it into a contest!
For the dad who loves music, make this cool DIY Guitar using a plastic bottle. In the process of assembling this guitar, you will learn how to tie a series of useful knots. Once you master the knots, the building process only takes 2-3 minutes. Rock on!
For an indoor athletic activity, play a game of balloon tennis! Make simple racquets out of paper plates and craft sticks, blow up some balloons, and get ready for a round of friendly balloon tennis. Let the games begin!
For a super fun gift, create this physics-friendly basketball catapult. Aim, shoot, and score! Engineer an adjustable catapult and challenge your dad to a spirited game of basketball as you both learn about the science of sports.
Spend Father’s Day playing with fire! With the Fire Lab crate you will create a colorful flame lamp and complete seven different combustion experiments that explore the chemistry of oxidation, the flame test, and light energy.
A pack of KiwiCo crates or subscription to one of our lines is a journey of learning and exploration through the summer. We have crates for every age and interest!
Come join us this summer at Camp KiwiCo! We’re creating four different sessions of hands-on activities, videos and content, each geared for different age groups. The camp is brought to you by our awesome creative team who is super excited to bring KiwiCo’s expertise and enthusiasm to your kids!
We know that this summer may look different than expected this year. To bring learning, delight, and fun to kids at home this summer, we’re launching Camp KiwiCo, where our team of experts has developed some amazing content that will teach kids to build, innovate and create cool projects! When it comes to cool projects for your own summer camp, you’re in good hands — every one of our awesome KiwiCo guides has years of experience of designing super-fun engineering, art and science projects under their (tool) belt!
All the content for Camp KiwiCo (DIY activities, videos, and printables) will be FREE and available to anyone, starting June 22, and this content will remain accessible all summer.
Now, it’s time to meet our awesome Camp KiwiCo Guides!
What do you do at KiwiCo? I help design products for all of the KiwiCo Crate lines (and sometimes make videos too!) I’ve been at KiwiCo for quite a while, so I’ve worked on Kiwi Crate, Tinker Crate, Atlas Crate, Eureka Crate, and more. Now, I get to spend time assisting all the other designers across all products!
What did you study? I got a B.S. in Engineering with a specialization in Product Design from Stanford, with a special focus on what’s called “human-centered design.” I studied everything from engineering and sciences to art, design, manufacturing, and business.
Tell us about some of your favorite projects you designed: One of my all-time favorite projects is hydraulic claw. I love how the claw uses water to create mechanical motion. Another of my favorite projects is the trebuchet. (I am a bit of a medieval nerd.)
What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo? I will be hosting a number of videos that explain the science behind some of our cool camp projects. I’ll also be hosting a couple of super-fun STEAM challenges, where campers will create cool stuff like this marble run challenge!
What do you like to do when you aren’t at work? I love rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and trying new foods. In quarantine, I’ve been enjoying spending time with my wife and my dog, taking lots of walks, brushing up on guitar, and playing puzzle games!
Fun fact: I was the crawdad-fishing king at summer camp growing up! My secret? Gummy bear bait 🙂
What do you do at KiwiCo? I am a product designer for the Kiwi Crate line.
What did you study? I have a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I made a really fun maze that uses water droplets. The maze has a hydrophobic floor (which means it’s “afraid of water”), which allows a water droplet to roll down it like a marble. The walls of the maze are made of felt, which sucks up water droplets like a sponge! When you’re using the maze, the challenge is to tilt it and steer the water droplet to the center, so it doesn’t get sucked into the felt walls.
What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo? I’m hosting the STEAM challenge for Deep-Sea Discovery Day. (We’ll be challenging kids to draw their own deep-sea creature!) For Tinker Camp, I’m also hosting the hydraulics challenge.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? I like to practice mixed martial arts, but since the quarantine started, I’ve been going out for long runs.
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I always loved meeting people and making new friends.
Fun Fact: I can solve a Rubik’s Cube
What do you do at KiwiCo? I’m a product designer for the KiwiCo Store. I get to work on all sorts of new types of crates, some of which are waaay bigger or waaay different from our subscription crates, like the Froggie Dissection Lab (don’t worry, it’s a plush frog — not a real one!) I get to figure out how to make stuff, which has been my favorite thing to do ever since I was kid.
What did you study? I have a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Kansas. Before landing in product design, I bounced around in fine arts, architecture, and robotics clubs!
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I loved working on our Marble Run crate. It took a lot of testing to find the right materials, but I was very happy with how the track pieces turned out. For that crate, I prototyped (tried out) a half-dozen hooks and hangs and knobs, but nothing was working. Then, instead of trying to solve the problem with shape, I tried experimenting with materials. Rubber to the rescue! With the higher friction coefficient (science really is useful, kids!), the pieces were able to fit simply and snugly onto the board.
What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo?I’ll be showing kids how to make things, from automatons to crank-powered, cam-driven machines!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? What I like to do in my free time changes constantly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My only true hobby might be learning new hobbies. During the quarantine, I’ve been having a blast making bad art. It’s also been fun to plan mini-special occasions, like a black tie virtual hangout or a backyard picnic with flowers. Things are special when you make them special!
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? Being bored. All my favorite childhood memories start with boredom and an empty afternoon. From building a fort to painting, making go-karts, exploring the woods, making “movies” or just hanging out, boredom made space for me to get creative.
Fun fact: I lost my glasses in the lake at summer camp… three years in row!
What do you do at KiwiCo? I create projects that go inside the Atlas Crate line — which is all about teaching kids about new countries and cultures. First, I do a ton of research about the country I’m focused on, , and then I create awesome projects about the culture of that country! I love sharing details about what makes each of these amazing destinations special.
What did you study? I studied Visual Studio Art with an emphasis in drawing and painting at UC San Diego. I then started a business making eco-friendly window displays (which are eye-catching sculptures that go around mannequins in clothing stores).
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I have two! One of my favorite projects was creating an air-powered snow globe for a crate about Canada — it shoots mini snowballs into the air when you press down on it! Another project I’m really excited about is the flying Scarlet Macaw I designed for an upcoming crate about Costa Rica. The macaw flaps its wings (though an automaton-like action), and my cat was licking its lips trying to catch it.
What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I am creating a castle fortress for a Kiwi STEAM challenge, a travel journal for the Atlas Camp, and an outdoor fort that will live under the stars for the Tinker Planetarium day!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? I love to be active! I usually go for a run around my neighborhood, but sometimes I’ll find a fun Latin, Caribbean, or Bollywood dance class online to move and groove along with! Since shelter-in-place started, I have been teaching myself how to cook some Japanese and Korean dishes. My favorite has been bibimbap, a beautiful rice bowl from Korea loaded with all sorts of colorful toppings!
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I loved going to surf camp when I was 10 and 11 years old. We would spend all day at the beach, surfing for most of the day, but we’d also take breaks to play games like “Capture the Chicken”… a version of Capture the Flag where you have to steal a big rubber chicken!
Fun fact: I can jump really high—over my own head!
What do you do at KiwiCo? I am a photographer and videographer at KiwiCo. I take photos that go in the building instructions for our crates. I love that I get to work on every single crate that comes out!
What did you study? I graduated from the University of Georgia where I studied Visual and Broadcast Journalism. (I’ve been shooting photos and videos since I was eight years old.)
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I recently made a stop-motion video for our Monster Mix-and-Match Art Pack, which is a new project in our store! I shot the whole thing in my bedroom, using rolls of colored paper as the backdrop!
What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I’m teaching a class about how to make stop-motion movies!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? When I’m not at work, I love to spend time outdoors hiking or biking! During quarantine, I have been learning fun dances, trying to keep my house plants alive, and watching sunsets!
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? During the summers when I was a kid, I went to Girl Scout camp and art camps.
Fun fact: I got my first camera when I was in third grade!
What do you do at KiwiCo: I am KiwiCo Product Designer, and I work mainly on the Atlas Crate line and new products that are exclusively available in our Store. I spend my days engineering cool toys, experimenting with fun (and sometimes messy) reactions, and brainstorming our next awesome idea.
What did you study? I studied Product Design at Stanford University. I’ve always loved crafts, problem solving, and making things with my hands, so the PD major seemed like a great fit for me.
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: One of my favorite projects, Monster Mix-and-Match, just launched. It’s creative, travel-friendly, and super cute.
What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I’m a host for one of the STEAM Challenges called The Science of Sports!
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I’m a seasoned summer sports camp veteran. One of my favorite memories is how fun it was to learn archery. Holding a bow and arrow is a lot trickier than it looks!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? After work or on the weekends I like to paint, make jewelry, and work with clay. I also love to cook and have been experimenting with a cool water cooking technique called sous vide.
Fun Fact: I taught synchronized swimming as a camp counselor in Japan!
What do you do at KiwiCo: I am the founder and CEO of KiwiCo.
What did you study? I have a degree in chemical engineering from Case Western University. After graduating, I worked as an engineer at Procter & Gamble and a few technology startups and then went back to business school. Along the way I learned a lot about understanding customers, designing new products, and just solving problems! But I have to say some of my best training for KiwiCo was from my mom — who was an amazing, Macgyver-like maker herself, and inspired that same spirit in me.
What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I will be supporting my kids, who are leading sessions for Koala Camp and Atlas Camp!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? We’ve been having a lot of fun cooking with friends on FaceTime. (We pick a recipe and cook at the same time. So far, we’ve cooked everything from soft pretzels to scratch-made boba.) We’ve also been going on a lot of biking adventures.
What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I have such fond memories of summer camp. I just loved spending time with friends old and new, making stuff (like forming miniature animals from clay that we collected along the creek), trying new activities (archery was surprisingly fun!), and exploring nature… while dodging poison ivy.
To join us, simply visit Camp KiwiCo. If you would like to add more to your camper’s day, you can order the specific KiwiCo crate that we’ve handpicked from our store to go with that day’s theme.
It’s hard to believe that June is upon us already — and with it, a season of summer celebrations from graduations to Father’s Day to birthdays. While summer festivities normally consist of gatherings and family events, as with everything these past few months, our commemorations will look different than years past. But these are still special milestones to recognize, and with some creativity and planning, you can pull off a celebration to remember.
The most important aspect to throwing a meaningful celebration is to make it specific to the person you are celebrating. If they have a special interest, passion, or personality quirk, include it in the merriment!
Discover what life is like for majestic wild animals with these awesome live camera feeds!
Interested in learning more about awesome animals all around the world? Check out Atlas Crate (ages 6-11), our monthly geography box that gives kids hands-on experiences with unfamiliar lands, people, and animals!