Panda Crate is a 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 well suited 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 "Solve With Me" for ages 18-21 months, costing $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, 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 "Solve With Me" (18-24 months) 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 18-24 months, is titled "Solve With Me." This crate explores identifying shapes, puzzle play, and problem-solving skills.
Panda Crate sends informative cards with details about each product and ideas for how to use them to promote your child'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 Shape Search
Poppy the Panda shows up all over the design aesthetic for Panda Crate! Every month has a Poppy Panda book. This one is about Poppy and her friends finding shapes outside and all around them.
These support shape recognition through tactile play. They're large and quite soft. I think these can be fun for placing on the floor and calling out a shape, seeing if my child can go stand on the right one. My 18-month-old isn't quite ready for that, but probably soon with practice. My 3-year-old thought that game was fun, though. Other suggestions on the activity card were tracing the inside and outside of the shapes with their fingers and having your child find other toys or things around the house that are the same shape.
Throwing bean bags requires your child to move their arm across their body, doing what is called "crossing the midline." This develops body awareness, trunk control, and coordination. My daughter and I had fun tossing these back and forth, but you can also use them to hide and have your child seek, or have them match the bean bags to the shapes.
The info card for this toy says that holding a bead steady in one hand while threading a string through actually builds a connection between the left and right sides of the brain! I thought that was super interesting. I like this beading toy a lot - the "needle" is felt and the tab on the other end that keeps the beads on has a slot to pull the needle through so it all stays together. You could also play some matching games with the beads, as well.
This puzzle is another toy that can be used in various ways. Of course, your child can practice putting the shapes on the matching pegs, but you can also sort them by shape, count as they sort, and practice color recognition.
Verdict: Panda Crate is one of our favorite subscriptions. This box delivers scientifically backed products to help promote my baby's development, of which I'm obviously a big fan. We get lots of play out of the toys in each Panda Crate box. We've subscribed for over a year now, and toys from our Panda Crate subscription have been ones we keep consistently around even when we rotate toys because they are played with often. Also, I am crazy about the design aesthetic! The branding is so cute with Poppy (the little panda bear) on everything. I like that the colors are modern and stylish. Overall, considering the practicality, information cards and magazine, the science-backed curation, the quality, and the design of the items, I'm happy with everything you get for the $39.90 cost.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this is one of the boxes they send during the 18-24 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?