KiwiCo Atlas Crate Review + Coupon – Ethiopia
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.
FYI! This box is featured in our Returning to Learning back-to-school guide. Take a look at our subscription recommendations to see how they can help make your life easier during this unique school year.
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.
COUPON: Get 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.
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 2021 “Ethiopia” Review
This month we are exploring the country of Ethiopia and this airmail envelope is full of information for us. 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 they are full of information about Ethiopia. They always hit on a lot of landmarks and special features of the country we are visiting.
My son is always on the lookout for what animals they have there. He was happy to have found the photo of the Ethiopian wolf!
They always include some “do” pages and this month we have a recipe for Injera and some instructions for Eskista dancing.
We had some fun testing out these moves! We may just have to look up the dance though because I’m not sure we quite got it down!
Activity #1: Gebeta
The first activity in this box was a game called Gebeta. This is one of our favorite ways to learn about a new country. Being able to partake in one of their pastimes feels like a perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture! This sheet opened up to full instructions with illustrations to go along with them.
They provided a game board and some small cardboard chips for us.
The game board was easy enough to put together. We just removed the adhesive on the foam pieces and then placed them on top. The board actually comes apart for storage.
Next, it was time to add our “seeds.” Each hole got 3 seeds in it. Then we were ready to play.
My son did not last long with this because he didn’t quite get the concept (and he’s 4 so he lacks patience, too!) so we didn’t get through a full game, but it is very similar to Mancala if you have ever played that. You have to work around the board “sowing” your seeds and then capturing them from your opponent as you go. Whoever has the most is the winner. This was a cute idea, but I did find the tiny pieces kind of hard to work with! I wish they had used something a little heavier weight for the “seeds” so it would be easier to pick up and drop.
Activity #2: Woven Basket
The next activity was to make a woven basket such as the Harari people do. While basket weaving seems to be an important part of Ethiopian life, I was a little disappointed in the materials we received to make ours. Ethiopian baskets are usually made of leaves and grasses and are often used as tables to hold their meals in. While I know it would be difficult to send those types of materials, I felt like the yarn they sent was not the best choice.
They provided several pieces of yarn, a wall template, and a felt circle for the bottom. The yarn itself came in four beautiful colors, but it was a softer sort of fuzzy knit that wasn’t the easiest to work with and definitely didn’t have the same clean line look as a traditional Harari basket would. A thinner yarn would probably at least have had the same look to it. Now that my gripes are out of the way, let’s get to the basketweaving!
Okay, one more gripe, but this one was on me — usually we do this box with both my son and my daughter and there is always an activity that is better suited to one of them. This month I was working with my son only, and since he is a bit younger, he really wasn’t too much help, so this basket was essentially made by me. He did help me get started though by pulling the first yarn color through the hole on the wall template.
I then wove my basket by wrapping the yarn around the wall to cover all of the orange spots, skipping over the black areas. This was very simple, but my son just did not have the attention span or focus it took to complete this (he is definitely more of the intellectual type– my daughter would have been able to complete this, no problem!).
When it came time to add the second color, I followed the same steps, even pulling the yarn through the spot already marked on the wall, and this time I covered the black areas. Then I removed the backing from the end of the wall and folded it into a circle using the adhesive to secure it and wrapped the last bit of yarn over the new area. I may not have closed mine up enough because my bowl was a bit of a wonky shape when I was finished.
Then it was time to add the felt bottom by just weaving through the holes and between the layers of yarn on the wall of the basket.
They provided another template and a small foam knob and foam disc for our top and handle.
I followed the directions to add the blue layer and then I closed it up into a cone using the adhesive ends. Then I added the yellow layer.
I added one more yellow layer at the top section and then I added the optional extra blue layer around the bottom before sticking the foam cylinder into the center of the lid and then adding the adhesive circle underneath to hold it in place.
Here is my finished basket. Cute, but the fuzzy yarn wasn’t the best to work with, and it’s super small and not the sturdiest.
While he wasn’t too much help with this one, he was pretty happy with how it turned out and has been using it to store his toys inside.
Verdict: This month’s Atlas Crate box had some great ideas for activities, but the execution left a little bit to be desired. The game was a great idea and I love that the board can be taken apart, but the “seeds” were a little tough to work with inside of those smaller holes on the board. Nonetheless, it was still a cool activity to help us learn about Ethiopian culture. As for the basket, I love the idea of this, but again, the materials were just not the best. While I understand our basket can’t have the same purpose as traditional Harari baskets, the super fuzzy yarn meant it didn’t have the same look as an Ethiopian basket either, so I didn’t find as much value in this particular activity. We still had fun, learned a bit about Ethiopia, and I personally enjoyed how well organized this box is!
To Wrap Up:
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 first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Atlas Crate?