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KiwiCo Tinker Crate “Fiber Optic Stars” Review

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJan 31, 2023 | 0 comments

Tinker Crate by KiwiCo
4.3 overall rating
12 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Tinker Crate is a subscription box for kids and tweens ages 9-14 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.

This review is of KiwiCo's Tinker Crate (for ages 9-14), which costs $23.95 per month or less depending on your subscription length. 

ACTIVE DEAL: Get 50% off your 1st month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

First Impressions

As I start writing this review, it is mind blowing to me that my kids have gone from receiving Koala Crate to this "big kid" Tinker Crate box in way too short of time. After the boys aged out of Koala Crate, we took a break and tried out a few other kid boxes, but quickly jumped at the opportunity to try out the Tinker Crate box. Featuring a STEM inspired project, Hank couldn't wait to dive in and see just what this "fiber optic stars" theme could contain. Read below to find out what we discovered.

What's Inside This Box


Similar to the layout of the Koala Crate box I am familiar with, this particular box also comes with a magazine. Featuring trivia, stories, experiments, and more learning opportunities, this booklet is packed full of useful info that coordinates perfectly with the theme. Did you know a grouping of stars that's not an official constellation is called an asterism? I sure didn't! So as an adult following along with my child, I learned things too!


The directions for our project came on a separate sheet of paper and included written and illustrated steps broken into different sections. Hank, at 10 years old, found them easy to follow and understand.

Fiber Optic Stars LED Constellation


One of my very favorite parts of the Tinker Crate box is the fact that they include almost all of the necessary supplies. For this particular project, we did need to supply a pair of scissors, but other than that, everything is in the box. All of the materials were made well and worked perfectly. While we do wish the illuminator box was made from something a little more sturdy than cardboard, Hank was excited to create his very own circuit because his dad is an electrician!

First, Hank read through the instructions. While this is always a helpful step, it also gauges how much time we need to set aside to complete the project. Because of glue drying times, Hank worked on this for a couple days before it was finished, though it could have been done sooner if not for basketball season!


After running through the instructions, Hank started his work to hook up the LED bulb and create his circuit. Jumper wires, resistors, and LED are all words my husband talks about quite often, so it was fun to watch Hank work with these supplies all on his own. Following the awesome illustrations, creating the LED light set-up took no time at all and he was ready to move onto the next step.


The next step was one that was a little more tricky than the previous ones. Because he needed to create his illuminator box, it included a lot of folding of the cardboard. The illustrations did a good job of showing how to do this, but it took a little effort to get it to sit just right. Once complete, Hank added the sticky foam and LED assembly with no trouble.


Once the illuminator was complete, he moved on and started to make a constellation. Choosing the "Big Dipper" because it's his fave, he pushed the pushpin into the foam to create the design. Next, he traced out the constellation with the white crayon and fed the optical fiber through the foam sheet. Once all of the fibers were added, he glued them into place and let sit overnight. After the fibers dried, he bundled them up and held them into place with a zip tie. Adding them into the laminator box, we were then ready to check it out in the dark.

Look at how perfect this constellation looks! Hank was so proud of his hard work and is still deciding on which constellation he will create next!

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $23.95

ACTIVE DEAL: Get 50% off your 1st month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Because this was my first experience with Tinker Crate, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. After this kit we can honestly say we were all very pleasantly surprised. The design of the project and magazine was very well put together and thought out, offering a project we otherwise wouldn't have created on our own. As an educator, the more often we can expose our children to STEM activities in fun and engaging ways, the better, and this is an excellent way to do that. My only suggestion would be to include more foam pieces for more constellation fun.

Key Takeaways

This box was well-organized and fun. Hank had a great time learning about constellations and circuits, and has become hooked on this subscription box!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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.

What do you think of Tinker Crate? Click below to write a review!

Starting at $18.50
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Tinker Crate inspires kids to explore and learn about science, engineering, and technology—and have fun doing it. Every month, a new crate to help kids develop a tinkering mindset and creative problem solving skills. Suitable for children ages 9 and up.

Becca Peterson
Becca Peterson

I am a wild and crazy mom of 2 boys and work in the public education system as an Indigenous Support Advocate. I love all things outdoors, beauty, crafts, and food. Living the simple life in the country, we spend a lot of time hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. Oh, and I absolutely adore my high school sweetheart aka my husband of almost 17 years!

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