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Doodle Crate (Ages 9-16): Is This The Right KiwiCo Box For My Family?

Brandi Dowell
ByBrandi DowellApr 19, 2021 | 0 comments

Doodle Crate (Ages 9-16): Is This The Right KiwiCo Box For My Family?

Doodle Crate (Ages 9-16)

Is This The Right KiwiCo Box For My Family?

We have knitted, painted, and even papier-mâchéd our way through several Doodle Crate boxes, so I feel like I have a  pretty good idea of what this box has to offer. While my children are much younger than the targeted tween age range of 9-16, there have been several projects that they have been able to enjoy along with me.

KiwiCo has so many different lines to choose from, and as a former elementary art teacher, this box is one that I felt I could give a good critical eye to and I’m happy to share my experience and thoughts with you so you can see whether this box would be a good fit for your family!

COUPON: Save 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Brandi Dowell, Former elementary art teacher, mother of 3 creative kiddos
April 13, 2021| Leave a comment

About Doodle Crate

The Subscription Box: Doodle Crate

The Cost: $19.95 per month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

COUPON: Save 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Instructions and supplies for children aged 9-16 to create one new art project each month.

Ships to: The U.S. for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, and worldwide from $4.95-$6.95.

Interested in the monthly box? Check out our past reviews here.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

  • This box explores a mix of art techniques from painting to knitting to DIY cloth dyeing.
  • This is a great box for beginning artists or as a homeschool supplement for teaching art techniques. They provide everything you need and make it easy to do with detailed instructions
  • While they always provide instructions and general guidelines, they still leave a lot of room for creativity.
  • They provide all of the materials for you with the exception of water and maybe some materials to cover your work surface and sometimes there are even enough for 2 projects.
  • Some projects can be easily adapted for younger children with some heavy-handed assistance from the adult, but older kids should have no problem completing these mostly independently.

The Cons

  • There aren’t a ton of extras in this box as compared to other lines. You basically receive the materials for the project and the instructions. I would love to see some featured artists or bits of art history to really round out the experience.

Is It Worth It?

  • Yes, there are usually enough materials to create two completed projects and they provide everything you need to explore new art techniques!

I’d Recommend This If

  • You want to provide your child with an art lesson, but don’t feel like you have the skills necessary to teach them.
  • You have a creative child who wants to explore different art mediums.
  • You enjoy experimenting with different art techniques or just like getting crafty.

How Does it Work?

Each month you’ll receive a box delivered to your door containing all of the high-quality materials you’ll need for that month’s art project inside (with the exception of water or other household items). Crates are assigned based on your history so that you never receive the same crate twice.

What’s in Each Box?

The materials you will receive each month will depend on the project you receive, but each box will include an instruction booklet full of all the information that you need. Each box also has a page that you can access through your account, which includes a video tutorial and extras related to your projects such as templates or more specific instructions. I have never actually had to refer to the tutorials, but I’m sure for some it would be helpful!

How Will I Know What To Do?

The instructional booklet that comes with your project will contain everything you need to know! They provide a materials list, a list of what you need to get from home (scrap paper, water, scissors), and a brief introduction to the project. They break down the techniques into steps that are easy to follow and include visuals when necessary. They also include some added ideas to really get inspired and take your projects a bit further!

What Do I Need From Home?

Nothing! Well, with the exception of some water, scissors, scrap paper, or a smock depending on the project. Otherwise, everything you need comes inside of your box and is neatly organized for you. The materials are all high-quality and allow you to complete one or sometimes even two projects!

What Types of Art Techniques and Mediums Are There?

The projects really do range and include everything from painting to working with textiles. Just within textile art, we have explored weaving, knitting, cloth dyeing, and macrame. We have painted with watercolors, created a stained glass effect, sculpted with clay, worked with paper mache, and created several functional art pieces.

Textile Art

Now that I am sitting down thinking of past projects, I realize how many projects actually fall under the textile category. It is such a great broad category that allows you to work with so many different mediums and create some truly unique projects. For the Felt Succulent Garden, they provided everything we needed and turned simple felt pieces into artwork! While this felt garden is not one that I created, I was able to Spool Knit an adorable walrus and create a pretty cool Woven Landscape.

Functional Art

It is always fun when our creativity can also be functional and they have included some pretty cool projects that have combined both! I had a great time designing my own Desktop Corkboard and painting the pushpins to use with it, and we also enjoyed painting some different scenes for our Watercolor Calendar. One of the projects I thought was really neat was when my daughter and I worked together to make a macrame keyring and watch with the Macrame Gear box!

Messy Art

I know a lot of people are concerned with the mess that can come from an art-themed box, but honestly, some of the messiest projects were our favorites! The first project we ever did involved making a Paper Mache Mask which is still hanging in my son’s room because it turned out so great! While these didn’t turn out quite as great, the Poured Painting project we did was really cool and explored some fun paint-swirling techniques. The Shibori Messenger Bag project is one that fit into all three categories as it explored the textile art of cloth dyeing to make a functional bag, and it was definitely a bit messy!

Questions You May Have

Can I use this with multiple children?

  • This is a box best suited to one child. Sometimes they may have enough materials for two projects, but in general, these are really meant for one person.

Are the projects messy?

  • Some projects are definitely messier than others, which is typical of most artistic endeavors, but as long as you take the general precautions of wearing old clothing or a smock and covering your work surface, the damage is minimal!

How much knowledge of art do we need?

  • None! This box really approaches it from a more objective standpoint and they break it down step by step and include illustrations to help you along the way. They teach you what you need to know so that you can be successful with each new project!

Will this work if my child is younger than the intended age?

  • Some projects are simple enough for younger children to participate in while others would require a good amount of adult assistance in order for them to complete them. This just depends on your comfort level and how willing to get involved you are!

How much work is in it for me?

  • There is no planning necessary on your part, but some supervision and occasional assistance may be needed. Some projects are tricky to get started with, but usually, those projects include enough materials for two attempts. I find that the first attempt is great for practicing while the second is where you can really get creative since you are more confident!

How long does each box take?

  • The amount of time it takes per box really differs. Some projects may take longer due to the drying time required in-between steps, while others may take longer simply because your child wants to get really creative and take their time with the material. As a general rule, there is probably a good hour of creativity within each box!

Is everything I need in the box?

  • Yes, everything you need (with the exception of a few things from home, like water for the occasional painting activities or scissors) is included in the box.

The Verdict

Doodle Crate is such a great way to express your creativity and experiment with new art mediums and techniques each month. They have a great variety of projects, and I love that their directions make it pretty simple for anyone to complete them. I do wish that they had a bit more emphasis on artists and art history which I feel would make the material just a bit more engaging, but otherwise, all of the essentials are there to make this a great box! This box is age-appropriate for the recommended ages of 9-16, but just as much fun for an adult, and if parents are willing to assist, it can also be fun for younger children younger, too!

If this isn’t the monthly subscription box for you, check out some of the other KiwiCo boxes for different age groups:

COUPON: Save 50% off your first box. No coupon needed - just use this link.

What do you think of Doodle Crate?

Doodle Crate inspires young makers to learn new skills and gain creative confidence. Every month, a new super-fun DIY project that kids will love to design and create.
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!

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!
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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.