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KiwiCo Tinker Crate Review + Coupon – Laser Lantern

Tinker Crate is a subscription box for kids and tweens ages 9-16+ created by kids subscription box company KiwiCo. Each monthly Tinker Crate contains all the materials and instructions needed to create innovative, hands-on STEM projects, as well as a “Tinker Zine” full of educational information and additional activities.

KiwiCo offers boxes for different age groups: 

There really is something for every age with this company!

This review is of KiwiCo’s Tinker Crate (for ages 9-16+), which costs $19.95 per month.

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

COUPON: Get 50% off your 1st month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Innovative hands-on STEM projects for kids, plus the materials and detailed instructions your child needs to complete them. You’ll also get a “Tinker Zine” full of educational information and additional activities.

Ships to: The U.S. for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, worldwide from $4.95-$6.95

KiwiCo Tinker Crate “Laser Lantern Review


The theme of this month’s Tinker Zine is “Laser Power” to go with our laser lantern. This zine is full of educational information about laser technology along with a few fun ways to experiment with lasers. There are also some suggested reading materials at the back for some extension ideas!


Our instructions come on a separate sheet and they include detailed directions along with color pictures for each step. They even included a helpful troubleshooting section for us.

Part A: Assemble the Switches


The first step was to fold the various tabs around the circuit base at the creases.


Then I added the black sticky foam rectangle which would form our on and off circuits.


They included two LED lights and 2 phototransistors, along with a circuit holder. I added the LED light to one side and the phototransistor to the other.


Then I used more sticky foam to hold the lights in and to stick the whole unit into the circuit holder.


Then I prepared the off circuit holder by adding a photoresistor to the center of it before folding it up and using a small gray square to hold it in place.


Then I stuck that whole unit into our circuit base using the white sticky foam they provided.

Part B: Wire the Circuit


Now it was time to wire it up. First I added the small blue wire to connect the legs of the on circuit. Then I added the small transistor to the wire harness.


I added the small LED from the yellow wire to the hole in the center of our circuit base and then finished connecting the wires.

Part C: Construct the Lantern


With the circuit base complete, it was now time to form the lantern by simply unfolding the lantern.


Then I slid the whole unit inside and connected the 9-volt battery they included to the end of our wire harness.


I folded up all the tabs on both ends as they instructed and our lantern was complete and ready to go!

Part D: How to Use


To operate our lantern they provided a small laser pointer for us to use. The left hole turns our unit on while the right turns it off.


It turned on fairly easily once you aimed the laser just so and I didn’t have to be as close as I was in the photos! Turning it off usually took a few different points of the laser for some reason, but it still worked!

The kids thought it was really cool and had some fun playing with the laser pointer (under heavy supervision), too! For some further activities, our Tinker Zine included an experiment with gelatin and our laser pointer as well as an idea for creating a mirror maze with our lantern! We didn’t have any hand mirrors or gelatin handy, so we weren’t able to test these out just yet.

Verdict: This month’s Tinker Crate was pretty exciting due to the inclusion of a laser pointer, which I am assuming most people don’t have in their homes? Although I could be totally wrong and maybe we were the only ones who don’t have one on hand! The fact that we were able to build a functional item like a lantern with a very unique and fun way to operate it was really cool and different. While I think the concept is cool, I really wish they had included the mirrors for us to complete the mirror maze project or just one more thing to keep the project going for a little longer. The lantern was fairly easy to build and it didn’t take long at all, so this didn’t provide the same level of engagement that other boxes have since there wasn’t much to tinker with once we were done! Overall, it was still a great project with organized materials and a fun subject matter.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? It is possible you might get this crate, but it is not a guarantee. From KiwiCo:

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

COUPON: Get 50% off your 1st month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Check out all of our Tinker Crate reviews and the best subscription boxes for kids!

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

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in KiwiCo Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids, Subscription Boxes for Tweens, Tinker Crate Reviews| Tags: tinker crate | 0 comments

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