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 "Nature" 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.
Here's What's Inside
In every Koala Crate box, you'll find step-by-step instructions for each of the three on-theme projects. The instructions are meant for the adult to follow, but there are helpful illustrations that allow the child to follow along, which I noticed my daughter doing more the closer she gets to turning 4 (her birthday is this summer). On the back of the instructions tri-fold there's always an idea for another DIY that you can do with your own materials, plus info for how to find KiwiCo on social media for more fun and inspiration.
Also included in every Koala Crate is a booklet filled with activities. They offer a short story featuring three familiar animal characters, as well as interactive things like mazes, "find the differences" activities, and more.
My daughter and I each drew a flower at the top of these stems. She went first and then I drew mine. I thought hers was really creative, but after watching how I drew my flower she has been practicing a new technique nonstop!
Scavenger Hunt Box
Our first DIY of the month was making this scavenger hunt box. The box itself came already constructed, but they had us add a shoestring handle, a Velcro closure, and decorate the exterior with stickers we could color in using the provided colored pencils.
We could then choose from four options for our backdrop—solid colors, shapes, nature themes, or a blank backdrop that could be colored in if you wish—and then we configured the green foam dividers to lay on top. We had fun with this craft and enjoyed the different parts of the brain used throughout the project...there was a little constructing, a little creativity, and then of course we will have lots of opportunities to scavenge in different styles.
This box was a concept familiar to us—in the early pandemic weeks I repurposed a Melissa and Doug wooden crate by creating 4 compartments and painting them each different colors (red, yellow, green, and brown), and we found items either around the house or in our neighborhood to color match with. Now that I have two children, it works well to have two scavenger hunt boxes!
The second project is centered around nature discovery tools. They provide a simple magnifying glass and a flexible tape measure, and the activity is to create a dispenser of sorts for the tape measure.
For this one, we're to form the box, thread the tape measure through the opening of a a wooden clothespin, and add stoppers so the clothespin stays in place. This took some finesse, but with some guidance and assistance, my daughter was able to be very involved. Next we were to add pink felt stickers to the end of the tape measure to create a tongue, and googly eyes to the box. Finally, we rolled the clothespin to detract the tape measure. The end result was an extremely cute frog tape measure dispenser. With a very crawly, grabby baby in the house it quickly became deconstructed but my toddler has been happy for opportunities to reconstruct it again and again.
While there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the order in which Koala Crates are sent, this box came right after the Bugs-themed one for us, and the ladybug pouch and kaleidoscope make a really cute collection with these new nature tools from this month!
The last project of the month is to learn how to do a nature using the notebook and three plastic plates provided.
There are certain pages in the notebook reserved for nature rubbings. Here you can see my yellow colored pencil shading, and my daughter's purple scribbling. She didn't quite get the hang of holding the colored pencil on a diagonal to let the flower pattern best emerge, but she was satisfied with her result anyway. While this project is a cute idea, I think we'll take it to the next level and do nature rubbings with actual leaves this week.
The rest of the pages are really cute and invite the child to use their new nature tools and record their findings in their notebook. This is just a glimpse at some of the pages inside the booklet. I like that there are prompts throughout but it can also be used as a coloring book. I'm sure we'll also end up using up the rest of our stickers from the Scavenger Hunt Box project in here.
We are a nature-loving family, and so the nature-themed Koala Crate boxes are our favorites. This month was no exception! The projects provided were perfect to complete on a rainy day, and then we took them outside into the yard and beyond when the sun came back out. The activities are perfectly designed for the 2-4 age range, and with minimal adult assistance, my daughter (who is on the older end of that range) was able to complete each without any frustration.
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. Were I to buy these activities individually, that cost would feel like a total steal. Each activity takes about 10 minutes to do together, but then there is a ton of opportunity for play that follows. The value is absolutely there.
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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?