KiwiCo Tadpole Crate Review + Free Box Deal – April 2019


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Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Closed Box Top

Tadpole Crate, previously called “Cricket Crate”, is the toddler subscription box offering from KiwiCo, designed for hands-on learning and fun every month!

KiwiCo offers boxes for different age groups: Tadpole Crate for 0-36-month-olds, Koala Crate for 3-4-year-olds, Kiwi Crate for 5-8-year-olds, Atlas Crate for 6-11-year-olds, Doodle Crate and Tinker Crate for 9-16+-year-olds, and Eureka Crate for ages 14 and up. There really is something for every age with this company.

This review is of the $19.95 a month Tadpole Crate for kids ages 0-36 months.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Opened Box Top

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - All Items Unboxed Top

About Tadpole Crate

The Subscription Box: Tadpole Crate

The Cost: $19.95 a month + free shipping

LIMITED TIME DEAL: Use this link to get your first box FREE! You’ll just pay $4.95 shipping for your first month. This can be applied to the Tadpole Crate, Koala Crate, Kiwi Crate. Atlas Crate, Doodle Crate, or Tinker Crate subscriptions! (Regularly $19.95 a month.)

The Products: 2-3 fun and developmentally appropriate projects, a magazine, online resources and a board book for you and your toddler!

Ships to: US

Tadpole Crate “Forest Friends” April 2019 Review

My family was excited to review this month’s Tadpole Crate! KiwiCo’s teaching methodology perfectly aligns with how my kids learn today. My son is in early pre-school and goes to a school focused on hands-on and project-based learning. His big sister, my 2nd-grader, was happy to assist her little brother with the projects.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Front Top Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Back Top

This month’s theme is “Forest Friends” where kids learn how to take turns and play with others through forest-themed projects that are fun and age-appropriate.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Top 1

Tadpole Crate includes Wonder Magazine which is full of information, tips and fun activities related to the month’s theme.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Top 2 Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Top 3

The magazine highlights the activities and includes information on how to engage your children along with additional learning resources.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Top 4 Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Wonder Magazine Top 5

Wonder Magazine also offers additional activities to try at home. These DIY activities sometimes requiring supplies not included in the box. It’s a great way to continue the fun after the projects are complete.

This month’s Tadpole Crate includes two fun and engaging projects: Forest Play and Forest Friends Game. Forest Play and Forest Friends build developmental skills including turn-taking, counting, memory, pretend play, and communication. Included are detailed instructions and everything needed for both projects.

Project #1: Forest Play

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Materials Top

Here are the materials for the Forest Play project. It includes puppets and felt stickers to create an owl and bear puppet. Also included is a tree trunk, tree board and felt leaves to create a home for the forest puppets.

Let’s get started with Forest Play!

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Instructions

In this activity, you make forest puppets and a tree trunk for creative pretend play. There are two puppets – an owl and a bear who meet up at the big tree in the forest. To encourage the pretend play, you ask: “What are owl and bear going to do today?”.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 1a Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 1b Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 1c

The first step in this project is to create the owl and bear puppets by adding the felt stickers to make the puppets. Easy peasy! Although my son’s owl isn’t perfectly centered, he totally grasped the concept.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 2a Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 2b

The next step is to assemble the handle for the tree trunk. Kids get to practice their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by weaving the felt leaves on the handle and buttoning the handle in place. My son was incredibly frustrated with this step. He’s very independent and didn’t want any help. He had a hard time trying to figure out how to weave the button. After a fallout tantrum, he was eventually able to weave the leaves (with a little forced help from mommy) and he was so proud!

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 3a Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Play Top 3b

In the final step, you make a home for the owl and bear by attaching the tree board to the tree trunk. Next, you slide the puppets on your hand and play pretend! At first, my son didn’t realize that the owl and bear were puppets. When I showed him, he was beyond excited! He was the owl and would ask bear “What’s your name?” and “Would you like to see my toys?”. This may be the most fun he’s had with a KiwiCo box! This play went on for over half an hour.

Let’s move on to Forest Friends Game!

Project #2: Forest Friends Game

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Game Materials Top

Here are the materials for the Forest Friends Game. It includes the tree board and tree trunk from the previous project as well as tokens. With these materials, you can play two games: Lift-a-Leaf and Make-a-Match.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Game Instructions Top

In this activity, children get to play two games: Lift-A-Leaf and Make-A-Match.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Top 1a Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Top 1b

The first step is to set-up the game. The set-up is the same for both games. You shuffle the tokens and place them face-up under each tree leaf. The set-up proved to be a little tricky – I’ll tell you why later.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Top 1b Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Top 2b

In Lift-A-Leaf, children take turns leafing up one leaf at a time and collecting the tokens underneath. Kids get to use their memory and counting skills by trying to remember which leaves still have tokens. The child with the most tokens at the end of the game wins. My daughter is super competitive and usually wins all the boards game. This was no exception!

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Forest Friends Top 3

In Make-A-Match, children take turns leafing two leaves at a time to try to find matches. If the tokens match, the child gets to keep both tokens. And, if the tokes don’t match, they leave both tokens where they are. The child with the most tokens at the end of the game wins. Mommy actually won this round! House rules dictate that the loser sets up the next game. Well, since the tokens are placed faced up, my daughter snuck a peek at the game pieces to give herself an advantage. Little sneaker! A non-player should set the board.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Book Top 1

Tadpole Crate includes a board book every month that goes along with the theme of the box. In “Olive’s Campfire Concert”, Olive the frog sets out on an adventure to find the strange sounds come from the forest.

Tadpole Crate Forest Friends April 2019 - Book Top 2

My son had a great time reading this book. He got very animated saying “Oh no, what’s that sound?” and “Where is it coming from?”. He really enjoys Olive’s stories.

Verdict: This Tadpole Crate by KiwiCo was a lot of fun! The Forest Friends games were fun but the Forest Play activity was by far my son’s favorite activity! Both activities were developmentally appropriate for my 2-year-old son with maybe the exception of buttoning. I don’t remember my daughter learning to button up things at this age. But, it’s a challenge and an opportunity to master another skill. Like other Tadpole Crates, we identified skills that my son has mastered and other skills that he can continue to develop. This is one of the things I love best about these crates – they grow with your child!

Similar to other KiwiCo boxes, I found the materials in the Tadpole Crate to be high quality and sturdy. The project instructions were clear, age-appropriate and easy to follow. Best of all, my son had fun while learning and developing new skills. He really enjoyed the pretend play activity and since the items are durable and reusable, we can continue having fun even after the projects are complete. The cost of this box is only $19.95 and I think it’s well worth the price for enriching, creative and convenient activities for kids.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? From KiwiCo: 

Crates are assigned each month based on availability and your crate history – not all subscribers receive the same theme each month.

LIMITED TIME DEAL: Use this link to get your first box FREE! You’ll just pay $4.95 shipping for your first month. This can be applied to the Tadpole Crate, Koala Crate, Kiwi Crate. Atlas Crate, Doodle Crate, or Tinker Crate subscriptions! (Regularly $19.95 a month.)

Coupon: Get 40% off + free shipping on your first box of any KiwiCo line. No coupon needed—just use this link!

Check out all of our KiwiCo reviews and the best subscription boxes for toddlers!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Shatae Hutchinson

Shatae Hutchinson

Hi, I’m Shatae; pronounced shhh-tay! I work in IT Healthcare, I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we have 2 cool kids. I am obsessed with black culture, lifestyle, travel and art made by and featuring women of color. I also love trendy plus-size fashion and accessories, eclectic and bohemian home décor and all things self-care, mental health and fitness. My favorite box is Izzy & Liv’s Brown Sugar Box; a monthly box offering tees, accessories and lifestyle products designed for black women. I also subscribe to TheSelfCareBox, FabFitFun, CauseBox and Merkaela. Being a wife and full-time working mom, subscription boxes are one of the few things that are just for me! They are fun, convenient, reasonably priced and full of surprises.

Posted in KiwiCo, KiwiCo Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Toddlers, Tadpole Crate Reviews| Tags: tadpole crate | 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. Great review! We LOVE this box. And your daughter is adorable!

    • Ahhhhh, thank you! I love that she is embracing her glasses and loves her braids and beads.

  2. Very excited to be able to try this for my grandson for free! Thanks for the coupon.

    • Yay, Angie! Let me know what you think!

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