Tinker Crate “Buzzing Circuits” Box Review + Coupon – May 2018
Tinker Crate is a subscription box for kids ages 9-14 from the makers of KiwiCo. Like Kiwi Crate, it comes with everything you need to complete projects based around a central theme. Unlike Kiwi Crate, however, these projects are less craftsy and more based on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning and enrichment.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.
About Tinker Crate
The Subscription Box: Tinker Crate
The Cost: $19.95 per month + free shipping
The Products: STEM-based crafts and DIY projects for kids, with supplemental learning kits, booklets, and activities. Projects are designed to enhance children’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills through activities that are exciting and fun!
Ships to: Anywhere in the United States and Canada, including Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and APO addresses. Free within the United States, $6.95 to Canada.
Tinker Crate May 2018 Review
Every box comes with a copy of TinkerZine magazine, which includes articles about that month’s theme, as well as smaller projects and experiments. This month’s theme is “Switched On Alarms!” I do this box with my twelve-year-old son.
Here’s a peek at the table of contents from this month’s TinkerZine, plus a look at some of the pages inside. In addition to the large project that Tinker Crate sends, the magazine has several articles plus smaller projects you and your child can undertake to gain a deeper knowledge of the scientific principles of that month’s topic.
This month’s big project is buzzing circuits! We were kind of mystified by what this meant exactly, until my son was almost finished with the project. But like everything from Tinker Crate, it turned out to be pretty cool.
Here’s a peek inside the instructions this month. They may look a little intimidating, but they are always very clear, complete, and easy-to-follow.
This month Tinker Crate also sent this little card that they usually send when there is a battery pack involved. It has battery instructions and safety information on it.
These were the materials Tinker Crate supplied for the project. With Tinker Crate, sometimes you have to supply a few things, but they are always items you have at home, like scissors or water. This month they included everything we needed for the project. Sometimes Tinker Crate includes some supplies for the smaller projects in TinkerZine, too.
I have to be honest, it is getting more and more difficult to describe my son’s process with these Tinker Crate projects! He is becoming a master of circuitry. His first step was to put foam feet on the underside of the control board.
His next set of steps was basically to assemble and wire the control board. He placed and adhered everything seen here to the board with sticky foam, and installed the wiring for this component. This is the top side, and here you can see the battery, the buzzer, and a clothespin.
Next, he adhered everything to the game board, again with sticky foam, and wired this component as well. This is the underside, complete with sticky foam feet.
His next step was to connect the wiring from the control board to the game board. It looks so complicated!
This is the completed buzzer game! On the game board, you can see the additional steps he took. Namely, he inserted the arch wire and twisted it, and he created a loop around the wire that is connected to the circuit by an alligator clip wire. The object of the game is to pass the loop from one end of the arch wire to the other without touching it. It’s perfect – hard but not impossible.
Here it is in action! So awesome! He didn’t win this round, unfortunately, but you can see when he reaches the end that a little green light comes on. You’re supposed to start over if you make it buzz!
As if the game was not cool enough, he then converted the control board to a trip wire! He disconnected the wiring from the game board and connected the battery and buzzer to the clothespin via two metal plates on each internal surface of the mouth. The string is connected to a plastic tag that sits between the two metal plates. If it is removed, the circuit is completed, and the buzzer sounds. So, he just has to attach the control board to something heavy (with the added elastics) and tie the string so that it stretches across a doorway. Like so:
The Verdict: We love Tinker Crate! This month’s project was so fun! I really appreciate how it gets both boys interested in engineering. The ten-year-old ends up playing with the twelve-year-old’s creations. I actually don’t know how Tinker Crate comes up with such great project ideas month after month. They also send quality materials and provide loads of educational content. It’s a huge value for $20!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, sign up now for the June box.
Coupon – Save 40% off your first month! No coupon required, just use this link
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your Wish List or Subscription List!
What do you think of Tinker Crate?