Panda Crate is a new, bi-monthly subscription from KiwiCo for ages 0-24 months. They are curated based on the science of early development and are made practical, helpful, and convenient for parents. In fact, they actually consulted researchers at Seattle Children's hospital to make sure everything is suited well for each stage of your child's brain development.
In addition to this newborn subscription, KiwiCo offers other boxes for different age groups:
- Panda Crate for 0-24-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 and Maker Crate for ages 14 and up.
This is a review of Panda Crate's third box ("Chat With Me" for ages 7-12 months) which costs $39.90 + free shipping.
About Panda Crate
The Subscription: Panda Crate by KiwiCo
The Cost: 1 crate every 2 months costs $19.95/month (with free shipping) which adds up to $39.90/crate. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Up to six learning toys and books, specifically designed for your child’s age and stage. The line is split into five separate age bands: Birth-2 months, 3-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-18 months, & 19-24 months.
Ships to: The U.S. for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, worldwide from $4.95-$6.95.
Good to Know: You can switch to any of KiwiCo's other subscriptions at any time to suit your child's age and developmental interests.
Panda Crate "Chat With Me" (7-12 months) July 2020 Review
Each box comes with a Wonder by Panda Crate magazine, with information about the stage of development your baby is in and lots of tips and FAQs for parents. This Panda Crate, for ages 7-12 months, is titled "Chat With Me." The magazine this month emphasizes the importance of talking to and babbling back to your baby, and how they understand a lot of words even if they don't say them (or any) yet.
The back of the theme page shows every item in the box with a brief description on the right.
Panda Crate sends informative cards with details about each product and ideas for how to use them to promote your baby's development.
Every crate will also include "beyond the crate" activity cards with details of your baby's brain development, activities you can do with them to promote growth, and the science behind them.
Poppy's Friendship Band
Poppy the Panda shows up all over the design aesthetic for Panda Crate! Every month has a Poppy Panda book. This one is about counting, animals, and animal sounds.
The concept of stacking and balancing animals is a little beyond my 9-month-old at this point in time, but she loves knocking them over when I stack them for her, and clacking them together to make noise. I like these wooden animals - they're cute and open-ended and sturdy.
Oh, dear. This poor, squished truck. Honestly, it looks better in this photo than it did when I pulled it out of the box after I bent and floofed it (if that's not a word, it is now). I really wish it looked as crisp and neat as the photo, which it might if there were any kind of cardboard or plastic panels inside to help give it structure, but there's not. My baby doesn't seem to really care, though, and maybe with a little time and maybe some steam or something I can get it shaped a little better. The fabric part Velcros on and off of the wooden base so maybe I can even find a way to iron it or something. Bottom line, though, is that it has wheels and a string to pull it, and that seems to be all my 9-month-old (or even my 2-year-old) cares about.
This soft, fabric cow makes a mooing noise when you tip it over. It's cute and soft and my daughter loves shaking it and playing with the rope arms and tail.
This little barn toy helps build "directional vocabulary" if you talk about how you move the flaps up and down or open to the side or slide to see the animals behind them! My daughter has loved opening and closing the flaps (especially because they are wood and they clack when you close them). This has been a good car toy, too.
Verdict: Panda Crate is one of my new favorite subscriptions! The goal of the box is to deliver scientifically-backed products to help promote my baby's development, which I'm obviously a big fan of. This box, Chat With Me, is aimed at the 7-12 month age range and the development level they talk about in the Wonder mag seems right where my almost 10-month-old is with language comprehension and speech development. We always get a lot of play out of the toys in each Panda Crate box. I'm also crazy about the design aesthetic! The branding is so cute with the little panda on everything, and the colors are modern and stylish. It makes me excited to see more from future boxes. Overall, considering the practicality, the information cards and magazine, the science-backed curation, the quality, and great design of the items, I'm happy with everything you get for the $39.90 per crate cost.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this is one of the two boxes they send during the 7-12 month age window. Panda Crate is more of a "line" of boxes from KiwiCo than a typical subscription model with different themes each month. When you sign up, you input your baby's age or your due date and they'll send you the appropriate box for your child's age and development at the right time. (Good to know: you can pick what month you want your first box to arrive. By default, it will arrive the month of your due date.)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Panda Crate?