Atlas Crate is a subscription box for kids from parent company KiwiCo. This box is designed to spark the curiosity and sense of adventure in children ages 6-11 and help them become citizens of the world. Each month Atlas Crate will deliver materials and instructions to provide hands-on experiences to help kids develop their sense of cultural awareness.
KiwiCo offers boxes for different age groups:
- Panda Crate for 0-24-month-olds,
- Koala Crate for 2-4-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,
- Eureka Crate and Maker Crate for ages 14 and up.
There really is something for every age with this company!
This review is of the $19.95/month Atlas Crate box, for 6-11-year-olds.
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 Atlas Crate
The Subscription Box: Atlas Crate
The Cost: $19.95 per month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Crafts and DIY projects for kids, with supplemental learning kits, booklets, and activities. Crates are filled with materials and inspiration to encourage creativity and curiosity about the world.
Ships to: The U.S. for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, and worldwide from $4.95-$6.95
Atlas Crate February 2020 "Guatemala" Review
The country we explored this month was Guatemala and we received this envelope full of exciting information. I love the greeting in another language and the detail of the string closure on the back; it makes it just a smidge more exciting being able to physically open this! On the bottom of the envelope, there is a list of what is included in our crate and a fun Atlas Quest to complete using our newfound knowledge after exploring this month's country.
In our first box, which was based on the world, we received an Adventure Book that contained cards for each of the continents and we are able to add to it each month as we receive cards for each of the new countries. They also provide a sticker for us to add to it as well which is a fun way to track our travels! Everything in this box is incredibly organized and nicely packaged making it easy to locate it all.
The cards for our adventure book are bright, vibrant, and full of tons of information about Guatemala on either side. The kids enjoyed talking about the volcanoes found there and especially learning about the turtles of Monterrico!
While most of the pages contain information for us to read, there are always a few "do" pages that provide instructions on activities related to the country. This month they provided a recipe for making our own tortillas and also making a mini Barriletes Gigante which is a beautiful kite that you might see flown in the kite festival they hold in November. This one looks like a fun project to save for a rainy day!
Activity #1: Spinning Top
Our first activity was to make our own Spinning Top and a launcher to go with it. They gave some fun facts about how tops and other games are played in Guatemala.
Our booklet showed some beautiful hand-carved and painted wooden tops from the Totonicapan region. Inside were several directions that were clear, detailed, and broken down into sections to make it easy to follow along with.
Our top was very easy to put together and made of nice quality wood. We slid a foam sticky ring over the hole at the top and then slid the wooden stick through the center and pushed them together to secure the pieces.
The kids had some fun testing it out for us! Then it was time to start on the launcher.
First, we folded up this little cardboard piece at the creases to curve it.
Then we added it to the end of one of these wooden pieces.
Then my son peeled the backing off of these two thick pieces of foam and we layered them on top of each other and lined them up along the arm of the wooden piece.
We added the third wooden piece to the middle and then capped it with the other wooden arm. Then we used the small O-rings and put them around the tabs that were poking out of the sides to hold everything secure.
Then we folded up this purple piece and used more sticky strips to secure the sides.
Next, we tied the string around this wooden bar.
Then we stuck the top handle through the hole in the cardboard section of our wooden arm and threaded the string through the center hole. My daughter then twisted the top of our top so that the string would wind around it. We set the entire thing on top of the purple base, fitting it into the holes, and we were ready to launch!
We simply had to pull the string straight out and our top would drop to the table and begin spinning. It took a few tries, but my daughter got really good at it and had the top spinning for quite a long time!
My son had a bit of trouble getting it right, as did I! It's a bit more complicated than it looks, but still a fun project!
Activity #2: Muenecas Quitapenas
Our next project was to make our own Munecas Quitapenas, which are traditional Mayan worry dolls. I actually have a set of worry dolls that my dad brought me back from one of his work trips when I was younger and the kids recently discovered them and were fascinated by them. My set is much smaller than these two dolls, but the concept is the same - you tell your worries to the doll and then place it under your pillow and the worry doll will take away your troubles while you sleep. It's a sweet concept and a great coping mechanism for anxious kids!
Our worry dolls are much larger than the traditional dolls and made of nice sturdy wood. They included two little pipe cleaners which we inserted through the hole in the center of the body for our arms.
I handled the wrapping of our dolls and started by wrapping the top and the arms and then the legs. When they were finished I tucked the ends of the yarn through the other layers and then tied the loose ends of each color together. I do wish they had included just one more set of yarn because I did run out of the colors I wanted and had to redo the second doll's pants.
Our dolls' arms even move since they are made with pipe cleaners!
Next, the kids got to work coloring in the little fabric skirt and shirt with the markers they provided. They included a great example of a pattern in our booklet.
Then it was time to get them dressed using the rubber bands to hold their clothing in place. These little sticky felt pieces folded up to form a little hat for our dolls.
Here they are all finished. The kids used the markers to add little faces to them too.
They immediately wanted to play with their dolls!
Verdict: We had a lot of fun learning about Guatemala with this month's Atlas Crate box! The kids and I love learning about games and pastimes from other countries, and I think it's a unique and interesting way to motivate kids to explore other cultures. The wooden top was nice and making a launcher for it ensured that we had even more entertainment and a hands-on activity. The worry dolls were a great craft and another unique aspect of Guatemalan culture that appeals to kids. Everything is well organized with a lot of educational information and it always provides a great introduction to a new culture for $19.95 + free shipping!
To Wrap Up:
Crates are assigned each month based on availability and your crate history - not all subscribers receive the same theme each month.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Atlas Crate?