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KiwiCo Tinker Crate Review + Coupon – Animation Machine


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.

Open Box

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.)

All Items

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 “Animation Machine Review


Our Tinker Zine was all about Animation Science this month with plenty of educational information on moving pictures, the beta effect, and some details about the science behind our project for this month. They also include some great further reading suggestions for us.


The directions for our project come on a separate sheet with illustrated steps broken into different sections. They always include helpful troubleshooting information as well.

Part A: Build the Crank


Our first step was to build the crank. They provided a mix of sturdy wooden pieces and plastic parts for us to assemble as well as some foam adhesive pieces, clips, and brad fasteners.


I added the wheel mount to the shorter stand piece and then used a mix of bolts and posts to attach the peg wheel and crank wheel.

Part B: Build the Stand


Then I added some foam pieces to the various stand pieces and to the slider and put it all together.


The stand was now ready for the next step.

Part C: Add the Screen


They provided a frame and a screen for us.


I added the frame and the screen to the stand using brad fasteners to hold them in place.

Part D: View an Animation


They provided three double-sided animation cards for us to test out.


I added a card between the screen and the back of the frame and then I added a clip to hold it closed. Then it was time to turn the crank and test it out!

It looked so cool when I turned the crank! So simple, but it really brought the shark to life. (Please excuse the noisy kiddos in the background!)

Horse Card in Frame

I added the horse card and tested that one out as well.

This time I experimented with cranking it slowly and quickly to test out what different speeds looked like

Moire Cards Activity


They also provided a set of Moire Cards for us to test out with the screen.


I took the screen out of the frame to try this out. First I tried the alphabet which changed colors when I moved it.


The card with circles on it was really cool. At first, it looked like a bullseye, but then shifting the cards created a whole new effect. This activity was meant to encourage us to come up with our own crazy patterns to test out!


Verdict: This month’s Tinker Crate project provided such a cool look into the world of animation and how it actually works. It’s one of those things that seems like magic and this machine helped us created some of that magic all on our own, which was really neat. My kids thought the finished project was super cool and I’m sure there are a lot of ways to expand on this idea in a creative way. As for the project itself, assembly was super easy, and until we really dive in and start getting creative, there isn’t too much to it. This is a great project for someone who likes to start with an idea and really expand on it and make it their own! I love that it’s educational and well organized with easy-to-follow directions.

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 Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids, Subscription Boxes for Tweens| Tags: tinker crate | 1 comment

Comment (1)

  1. That project is super cool, love it!

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