Happy 4th Birthday Kiwi Crate!

We can hardly believe it’s been four years since Kiwi Crate launched! We’ve had so many wonderful milestones over the past four years – launching single crates and party favors for sale in our Store, developing new seasonal crates for Holiday celebrations, and perhaps biggest of all, creating three new lines – Koala Crate, Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate – to expand our age range for kids from 3 to 16+ years.

One of our favorite ways to see what our community is creating is by following what you have shared with us across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  We created this fun video to celebrate our 4th birthday! Check out this sample of some of YOUR creations on YouTube in this fun compilation — and keep on sharing with us! #kiwicrate ~ #koalacrate ~ #tinkercrate ~ #doodlecrate

Our team has loved watching your kids build their creative confidence by tackling challenges and exploring new concepts in their crates.  We’ve also been so grateful for your feedback, which always inspires us to strive to improve our product. And most of all, we’ve truly enjoyed thinking up and developing projects and hearing about the time your family shares learning and discovering together.

We’re excited to see what the next year brings!

Doodle Crate Halloween: Reviews are In!

Learning how to make candles is perfect for the artsy kid (and adult). Don’t just take our word for it, here is a snapshot of a recent review from Cami at Tidbits:

“This month’s theme is candle making and they’ve rounded up all the materials you will need, as well as detailed instructions.  At the price of $16.95 – I guarantee it would have cost you more than that to go and buy all these supplies.”

“I particularly enjoyed making it with my daughter – and I’m pretty sure she enjoyed making it with me.”

“And I’d be lying through my teeth if I told you I didn’t enjoy it every bit as much.  She even let me choose my own colors and make my own candle.”

Read the full blog post here.

Check out our full assortment of Limited Edition Holiday Crates as well as other Fan Favorite Doodle Crates for sale individually in our Shop.

5 Ways to Get Organized for Back to School

Whether you’ve been back a few weeks or are getting ready to head back soon,  Back to School can be exciting, challenging and a bit chaotic. Start this school year off right by getting organized early on with these ideas and printables!

1) Plan your day!

Planning out a routine for each day is helpful in getting kids on board and organized early. Have them track the days with their very own mini desk calendar.


Back to School Printables

2) Plan your week!

Having a peek at the week is a great way to get yourself organized week after week. We love showcasing this on our refrigerator!

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3) Save your School Supplies!

Help your kids become organized at school by using printable name labels for their notebooks.

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4) Have a Recipe for Lunchtime Success!

Enjoy this 5-day school lunch plan that you can print easily! It includes a menu, recipes, and a shopping list. Surprise your kids with lunch notes on a banana, a napkin, a photo or a printable card.

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5) Make Way for Masterpieces!

With the start of school comes lots of art, math and science creations. Make way for these masterpieces in your house so you can feature your kids’ work and have it organized before the school work starts trickling home.

art make room

Enjoyed these ideas? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter where you can receive weekly DIY projects, ideas and more tips like this!
What are you favorite tips to get organized? Share with our community on Facebook or Instagram by tagging your tips with #kiwibacktoschool

3 Easy Steps to Make Back to School a Success

Imagine a school year where the family enjoys homework time, mornings are a little less hectic and kids find ways to keep themselves busy – in a good way! Whether your kids are starting preschool or entering middle school, these steps will lead you to success.

What is the key to this success? Kid-Led, Family Approved Goals.

According to research from the Harvard Initiative for Learning & Teaching, goal setting can improve learning and motivation among kids of all ages. The effect of goal setting depends on the kids’ investment or commitment which is why kid-led, family approved goals are key.

Step 1: Decide on a Goal Approach

Guided Goals

Looking to leave the house on time? Looking for a way to improve homework time? You can guide your kids into setting goals that help the family. Start by asking why being on time or doing homework is important. Let your kids figure out what their goal is and resist the temptation of telling them what their goal should be.

Open-Ended Inquiry

Goals can be created without an objective in mind. Kids can really set their own path and it provides you an opportunity to learn more about what matters in the eyes of your kids. Age appropriate questions are critical.

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For ages 3-4: What do you want to learn about? Tell me about your friends.

For ages 4-8: What are looking forward to at school? Tell me what you want to learn more about?

For ages 9+: What subjects are you most excited about? Tell me about your favorite activities.

Step 2: SET your goal using Start, Explore and Test! 

SET Model w Words

Start: Ask questions! You can also say “tell me more…” to dig deeper into any answer.

Explore: Together, explore the wide variety of goals that are possible and let it be kid-led!  Some ideas won’t be feasible but let creativity shine in this step.

Test: Decide on your kid-led, family approved goal and test if it works! Sometimes goals need tinkering if they are not specific, meaningful or challenging. Kid-led should help with the meaningful and challenging part.

Step 3: Turn kid-led, family approved goals into DIY projects!

Get Artsy & Creative!

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Transform goals into collages, vision boards or journals. Try this hopes and dreams journal where kids can document what they are excited about and what they want to learn. Have kids create a backpack tag that reminds them of what they want to achieve this year.

Test Your Goals as a Back-to-School Experiment 

Experiment

Take a lesson from the scientific method to test out goals! The purpose/question and the research has already happened in the SET process. Have your kids write out their hypothesis “If I do xyz, then xyz will occur.” Them, they can experiment with the way they are trying to reach their goal and see what’s working and what’s not working.

Helping kids set goals will provide them with valuable lessons while helping the family have a successful back to school experience. We hope that you’ll share your kid-led, family approved goals! 

Enjoyed this blog post? Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter!

Calling all Makers! Make and Create Challenge

 

Join our Make and Create Challenge. It’s simple! Take these 5 household items and transform them into you very own creation! Help kids test their ideas, unleash their creativity and have fun.

The Ingredients: Markers, Rubber Bands, Paper, Pipe Cleaners and Rocks.

 

You are always welcome to use any adhesive you need (think glue, tape or staples).

Showcase your creations on Facebook or Instagram by tagging #KiwiCrateMakeandCreate and check back to see which creations we feature on the blog for more inspiration!

Want to see more about making and creating? Follow Us!

Koala Crate (Ages 3-4) FacebookInstagramPinterest

Kiwi Crate (Ages 4-8) FacebookInstagramPinterest

Tinker Crate (Ages 9-14+) FacebookInstagramYouTube

Doodle Crate (Ages 9-16+) FacebookInstagramYouTube

6 Great Online Resources for Your Maker Kid (including Kiwi Crate!)

Thanks to our friends at Toca Boca for including Kiwi Crate as one of 6 Great Online Resources! Enjoy reading the list and let us know of any other great resources your family uses.

6 Great Online Resources for Maker Kids

By Amanda Bindel, Toca Magazine Writer

The maker movement depends a lot on makers’ generosity with their ideas and skills, and the Internet puts much of those shared resources right at our fingertips. These ideas can be the spark that ignites new ideas and innovative risks, inspiring kids to create. Here are six sites that will inspire kids with project ideas and teach them some of the basic skills that they can build upon.

1. Make: magazine

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  • Make: magazine brought the whole maker movement into the mainstream, and remains the major player. Magazine subscriptions are available in digital formats and print, but the website includes lots of free resources as well.
  • The site caters to all ages of makers, mostly in the world of electronics. Check out the kids section for ideas geared toward younger makers and families.

2. Instructables

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  • Instructables features user-submitted instructions for all kinds of projects classified into categories: technology, workshop, living, food, play and outside.
  • The projects and how-tos are mostly geared toward adults, but kids could help with some of the projects (and certainly enjoy using the creations — like light sabers made from plumbing materials or a quill-dipping pen).

3. DIY

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  • DIY.org offers free video instruction and project challenges for kids to complete. Makers can then share their creations and earn badges for different skills. DIY Camps start at $10 and match kids with a counselor and a small cohort group to work together online honing a specific skill.
  • Skills covered go well beyond the techie or crafty focus of many maker sites. Kids can explore sports like archery and gymnastics; traditional skills like knot-making and leather-working; nature appreciation like ornithology and oceanography; and totally modern tech skills like Minecrafting and meme hacking. Most projects will appeal to tweens and teens.

4. Kiwi Crate

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  • A monthly subscription delivers materials and inspiration for projects for creative and curious kids, right to your door.
  • The website’s DIY section offers ideas organized by theme — nature, recipes, science, etc. — and by material — balloons, clay, glitter, googly eyes and more. Projects are rated for messiness factor, age range and estimated time.

5. PBS Design Squad Nation

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  • This PBS Kids site includes full episodes of the reality show that has kids completing engineering challenges. Kids can also watch shorter videos highlighting different projects, play games and find how-to instructions. Possibly the coolest feature is the “What can you make?” spinner. Kids select three items they have on hand, spin the wheel, and get suggested projects they can complete using those items.
  • These projects are mostly geared to tweens and teens but are ranked as easy, medium or hard so parents may find some projects that they can do with younger kids. 

6. Maker Camp

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  • Free online camps are sponsored by Maker Media. Themes for summer 2015 include Funkytown (music and instruments), Farmstead (sustainable energy, food, etc.), and Fun and Games (DIY games).
  • Community organizers can also use the resources to host a neighborhood making camp.

Interested in joining Kiwi Crate? Enjoy 30% off your 1st month’s box. Promo code applies to all brands: Kiwi Crate, Koala Crate, Tinker Crate, and Doodle Crate

What’s your favorite online resource? Let us know!

5 Insights into Why the Maker Movement Matters

Our new friends at Toca Boca sat down with experts in the maker movement including the father of the movement, Dale Dougherty, to discover how the movement started, its roots in play and how making makes kids smarter.  In this Toca Magazine article, “A Movement in the Making,” you will find tips for what parents can do, too!

Here are our favorite 5 quotes that inspire us at KiwiCo:

Interested in reading more? Check out the full article here.

To see how Kiwi Crate encourages maker moments through our DIY projects, sign up for our email newsletter today and receive weekly weekend activities!

Interested in joining Kiwi Crate? Enjoy 30% off your 1st month’s box with promo code: TOCA30. Promo code applies to all brands: Kiwi Crate, Koala Crate, Tinker Crate, and Doodle Crate

Kiwi Crate’s New Friends at Toca Magazine

At Kiwi Crate, we’re excited to join forces with Toca Boca as we celebrate the creativity and learning that hands-on experiences can spark in curious kids. This is a topic we feel passionately about at Kiwi Crate, and one that is regularly explored on Toca Magazine.

Over the coming  weeks, we will share some of Toca Magazine’s inspired articles where you can:

  • Learn how making makes kids smarter from the father of the maker movement
  • Explore the inspiration behind DIY as a hands-on play model
  • Discover more online resources for your maker kid

Kiwi Crate and Toca Boca both believe that kids’ creativity is a powerful force, and we want to help parents support their kids as they create, build and explore. Thank you for joining us!

Don’t miss out! Sign up for our newsletter and get these stories delivered to your inbox.

Interested in joining Kiwi Crate? Enjoy 30% off your 1st month’s box with promo code: TOCA30. Promo code applies to all brands: Kiwi Crate, Koala Crate, Tinker Crate, and Doodle Crate

Review: How Kiwi Crate Saved My Summer… And Quite Possibly My Sanity

Introduction, by Kiwi Crate: This article is a guest post by Francesca Banducci of The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Francesca is a believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Francesca lives in beautiful Northern California with her family and is currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine.


We are only a few weeks into summer, not even halfway, and my kids are following our tried and true script.

  • “I’m bored.”
  • “There is NOTHING to do.”
  • “Can I get on the computer and play a game?”

I could say that I sit up at night coming up with fabulous craft ideas for my kids to do so the boredom will end, but I don’t. There just are not enough hours in the day. I want them to have fun craft projects and a memorable summer, but I also work full time and have a laundry list of to do’s that every parent faces.

As a parent, your daily to-do list doesn’t stop just because your kids are out of school. It would be really great if fun activities would arrive like magic without me having to come up with an idea, go to the store to get supplies, and then come up with a new way to use those supplies when my original idea doesn’t work as beautifully as everything I see on Pinterest.

Enter Kiwi Crate.

Kiwi Crate offers subscriptions boxes that arrive at your door each month with everything (seriously, every single thing) you and your kids need for DIY fun. My kids were so excited to open up the box and see what projects were waiting inside.

We received a Doodle Crate and a Tinker Crate. These crates are created for tweens and teens up to 16 years old. This is a real life-saver for parents with older kids who want to be creative and build fun things, but don’t want to fail making yet another popsicle stick picture frame with stickers.

Our entire family was delighted with the detailed plans for building our own catapult, as well as the fun instructional video that we watched on the Kiwi Crate website. Catapult making is serious business and requires true dedication. Thankfully the Tinker Crate had everything we needed to complete this innovative and unique project.

This is a great subscription box for engineering-minded kids who are excited to build and learn. It’s also great for kids (or parents!) who like shooting things across the room. Summer should be fun – but there is no reason why you cannot add a little science and math in the mix too.

To further the fun factor, Kiwi Crate also sent along a Doodle Crate DIY project too. All three of my kids enjoyed getting in on the create-your-own stamp action.

Like Tinker Crate, Doodle Crate came with everything we needed to make our stamps, including a special cutting tool just right for kid-sized hands. Not only did we pass a whole afternoon without me hearing the dreaded “I’m bored,” all three of my kids sat at the table and worked on their projects together for hours. It was summer bliss.

Here’s to summer fun and creativity! Check out all the options Kiwi Crate has for kids of all ages and bring DIY fun to your doorstep this summer.

Use the coupon code THEKIWI30 to save 30% off of your first months crate + free shipping. This discount applies to all of Kiwi Crate brands: Kiwi Crate, Koala Crate, Tinker Crate, and Doodle Crate. This code is available for 1st time customers only.

Make it a Summer of Discovery!

Can you believe that summer is right around the corner?? (Or maybe it’s already here for you!)

For kids, at this point, it’s pretty much unbounded joy — celebrating the fun and freedom of the season ahead.  For parents, it’s a bit more of a mixed bag.  There are lots of things I’m really looking forward to: the long days, beautiful summer evenings, and not-so-early-crazed-and-rushed mornings. Plus, looking ahead at three months of summer feels so full of possibility and promise! But it’s a little terrifying too: “HOW are we going to fill all those days? HOW much screen time is okay??”  And when the inevitable happens (“I’m BORED!!!”), how do we respond?

We’ve done our fair share of raising / entertaining the 12-and-under set here at Kiwi Crate (there are 30+ of them between us all), and we wanted to share a few of our favorite screen-free summer activities with you, to help you and your kiddos make it a Summer of Discovery this year.

1. Milk Rainbows

Part of the fun of summer showers is that there are always rainbows afterward –  but who wants to wait that long to see one?

The wait is over when you make milk rainbows at home with your kids.

2. Plantable Paper

As the weather gets warm and you find yourself in the garden, why not get your kids involved too?

Making plantable paper is easy and fun, with the bonus reward to come in a few weeks when the flowers germinate!

3. Banana Ice Cream

As the weather heats up, if your kids are anything like mine, there is a near certainty that they will ask for ice cream. My response? If you can make it, you can have it!

Here is an easy DIY ice cream that is sure to satiate your children’s desire for the icy treat with only one ingredient and without the excess sugar in pre-packaged brands.

4. Eggheads

Looking to make breakfast a bit more interesting?

Next time you are whipping up eggs for the family, save the shells and create a friendly-faced garden with your kiddos!

5. Marshmallow Sculptures 

Sitting by the campfire and making s’mores with the family is one of the great summer pastimes– how to keep your kids from eating the entire bag of left-over marshmallows gets a bit more sticky…

For this one time, encourage your kids to play with their food and create the masterpieces built from your camping leftovers!

6. Dancing Staples

If you have ever gone camping with your kids, you know how curious they are about how a compass works and where exactly magnetic North is.

Let them explore how magnetic fields work with this simple experiment!

7. Balloon Powered Lego Car

Rather than piling into the car for a trip on the open road this summer, why not let your tykes take to the raceway in your home by building a balloon powered lego car!

Use your imagination and create a racecourse with the furniture in your home!

8. A Kiwi Crate subscription

Get all the materials and inspiration you need for a summer of discovery delivered right to your door from KiwiCo.  We’ll deliver a crate to your child each month, filled with projects to spark their creativity, enable hands-on learning… and lots of fun!

For more DIY ideas, visit: https://www.kiwico.com/diy/