Koala Crate is the toddler subscription box offering from KiwiCo, featuring 2-3 fun DIY projects designed for hands-on learning and fun every month! KiwiCo offers boxes for different age groups and this is a review of the $19.95 a month Koala Crate, for Pre-K kids ages 2-4.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Opening The Box
Last month's camping-themed Koala Crate was easily an all-time favorite for my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter and me (see it here). I loved that the DIYs weren't messy, the creative play that the items welcomed, and that when we were done playing with it, it could all be packed into the backpack that came inside the box. This "Bugs" box is a close second! It checks off two of those same boxes again: there's no mess with this theme, and like last month, one of the DIYs is a storage pouch. Let's take a look.
PS—see what Shatae and her family thought of this "Bugs" box in 2019 here!
Here's What's Inside
This booklet is always included in Koala Crate and shows step-by-step instructions for how to do each of the three projects. The how-to is obviously meant for adults to read, but they also include images, so as always I was able to include Lorelai in the instruction-reading process so she had some sense of how that works and could loosely follow along. On top of the how-to-make instructions, they also always give a couple of suggestions for play. I think this touch is a good example of what sets KiwiCo apart from other subscription boxes for kids.
Another booklet we can count on receiving in each box is the "Imagine!" magazine. It includes a short story featuring three familiar characters: a koala, a parrot, and an alligator. After the story there are some small activities, sprinkled with fun facts on the theme. This month my daughter is learning about bugs in preschool, so she has bugs on the mind anyway and was really happy to do some crafts on that theme!
First up is this wearable DIY: bug wings! I like that the bug we're creating wings for is vague and undefined, as it leaves more opportunity for imaginations to come in. The felt wings come already affixed with a Velcro closure at the neckline and the task is to apply the sticky felt shapes in any design your child chooses. What kid doesn't love stickers? With it comes a headband and a pipe cleaner to add some of the dots to for antennae.
This instantly became an incredibly beloved costume by this little one! We've been having a great time with it, and I'm so enthusiastic about how it can go right in our dress-up box when not in use. It can be tricky to figure out how or where to store the projects that are build in kids' subscription boxes, so I'm extra fond of ones that file under existing categories in our home.
Next we have our line-up of materials needed to create a ladybug pouch. Similar to the wings, the felt pouch is pre-cut and sewn, and our task is to decorate it with felt stickers, lace a string with aglets through the holes, add the foam stopper on, and tie the laces in a knot.
The decorating went quickly, and the lacing felt age-appropriate for my daughter. I know that lacing toys are made for much younger children, but they're typically a wooden (or otherwise firm) item with holes; a soft pouch felt like the next level up. With patience she did it capably, and I helped with the knot. The included mushroom kaleidoscope—so cute!—fits comfortably in the pouch with room for more little trinkets to join it.
Bug Matching Game
I am always amazed at how well children tend to do at critical thinking games like matching. This particular game comes with 10 different types of bugs that can alternately be used as a bug identification activity. There's a nice mix of some bugs that were familiar to Lorelai and some that were new. While this game doesn't have a DIY aspect, it's a great activity that's nice and small so it is easy to store. It could be stored in the ladybug pouch, but I'll likely keep it in a zipper pouch so that the ladybug can be used for nature hunts and other play.
As always, I am incredibly impressed by this edition of Koala Crate. The activities are well-thought-out and appropriate for the 2-4 age range, with a little bit of adult guidance and help. The materials are quality. The supporting materials are thorough and thoughtful. And, like I said above, I really appreciate that each of the activities included this month are easy to store in our home. Wins all around!
Value - Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $19.95 a month + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
Value Breakdown: Koala Crate costs $19.95 per month, meaning each of the three projects and activities breaks down to $6.65. I would happily pay this price or more for each of these items a la carte. While the activities generally don't take more than 10 minutes each to complete, they lend themselves to tons of ideas for play after they've been finished.
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Other Things You Should Know
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? From KiwiCo:
Crates are assigned each month based on availability and your crate history – not all subscribers receive the same theme each month
What do you think of this month's Koala Crate?