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KiwiCo Tinker Crate Review + Coupon – Wooden Crane

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: Save 40% 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 “Wooden Crane Review


The theme of this month’s Tinker Zine is “Pulley Power” to go with our crane. This zine is full of educational information about cranes and pulleys along with some extension activities such as some crane experiments and challenges. They also have a section with suggested reading materials for further engagement!


Our project instructions come on a separate sheet and they include detailed directions along with colorful illustrations for each step.

Part A: Build the Crane Body


The first step was to build the crane body. I placed the small foam shapes along the slots around the main body pieces.


Then I placed those pieces into the slots on the round wooden base using the wooden pieces to hold everything together by fitting the notches into place.


I poked a hole in the top of my box and then slipped the base on top and slid the round wooden piece over the notch that stuck through the bottom to hold it in place.


Next, I added the two handles to the holes on the body piece, through one of the yellow spools and then secured them with some bolts and screws.

Part B: Add the Crane Arm


It was time to attach the crane arms. I added some foam circles to the bottom hole of the base and to the notches on the wooden arms.


I used more bolts, screws, and spools to attach the arm pieces to the body.


Then I added a wooden M piece to the notches to keep them steady.


I wrapped one of the other M pieces with the shorter cord and then slid the metal end into the hole on the spool and lay it flat so it wouldn’t slip out.

Part C: Add the Hook


Now it was time to add the hook. I placed some screws through the holes in the smaller wooden pieces and then looped the longer cord around the top screw. Then I realized that I was actually missing my hook!


While I’m sure that Tinker Crate would have quickly sent a replacement hook, I had already made it this far, so I decided to instead “tinker” with it and fashion my own hook using a pipe cleaner and a screw-in hook that I had on hand. (If you’d like to see what the project looks like with the hook, here is an example from a previous review). I did still reach out to customer service and will update this review once they send a replacement!


I threaded the wire through the front of the crane and hooked it on the bottom spool. Then I would it up and my crane was ready to use!

Part D: Use Your Crane


I was pretty impressed with myself and my crane operated smoothly by turning the two cranks on the side. The top lowered the crane arm while the bottom dropped or raised my hook.


Next, I prepared the basket by adding the pipe cleaner and hanging it on the hook.


I added my basket to the hook and then tested it out by hanging it over the edge of the table. Then I practiced raising and lowering it.


They included some fun ideas about how we could add height or weight to our crane to play around with it so I decided to add a little toy duck to the basket and then I called my daughter in to “rescue” the duck and get him back to the table. She had fun operating it and figuring out how to get the duck back up. It turned into a fun toy for the kids to play with!

Verdict: This month’s Tinker Crate project was so simply done thanks to the easy to follow instructions and the great forethought in planning out this design! Even though I didn’t have the hook that should have come with it, I was still able to make this project work by improvising a bit. While the build was easy, the tinkering is endless with this one since we can explore so many different concepts like balance and weight. The best part is, this will be some self-driven exploration as my kiddos play with this design. I thought this was another fun and educational box!

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: Save 40% 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!

What do you think of this month’s Tinker Crate?

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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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