KiwiCo vs. Little Passports
Comparing These Two Popular Kids' Subscriptions
With remote learning currently a reality for most families, parents need more help than ever finding fun, educational activities for kids of all ages. Subscription boxes for kids can be a great tool to help make learning fun for the whole family. What kid doesn't love getting surprises in the mail? Bonus points if those surprises keep the kiddos happily occupied with enriching projects that help them develop STEM skills while parents are trying to work from home!
Two of the most popular educational subscription boxes for kids are KiwiCo and Little Passports. What do these monthly subscriptions have in common? They both send fun, educational projects, and they both cater to your child's age and interests. But they differ in pricing and approach. Which kids' subscription is a better fit for you and your little learner? We'll lay out all the details so you can decide for yourself.
KiwiCo vs. Little Passports
When weighing one kid's subscription box against another, there are a number of considerations. What kinds of activities do they send, and are they a good match for your child's learning style? And are these boxes FUN? Plus, of course, what do they cost, and how much of a headache is it to cancel or modify your subscription. Feel free to jump to the specific section(s) that interest you most, or get a quick overview by heading straight to my verdict.
First, here's a quick overview of each box:
- KiwiCo is a STEAM-focused monthly subscription box brand that offers several different monthly boxes featuring activities tailored to specific age groups. Each box contains materials and instructions for projects inspired by a monthly theme, and some of their boxes contain supplemental material for kids and parents.
- Little Passports is a monthly subscription box that also offers boxes aimed at different age groups, featuring activities and reading material focused on either science or world exploration.
Plans & Pricing
KiwiCo Pricing Info
If budget is your top consideration as you decide on the kid's subscription that's right for you, KiwiCo is the more affordable option. Both boxes provide savings to subscribers who sign up for longer-term subscriptions, but even then, each KiwiCo tier is lower-cost than Little Passports' tiers.
Both subscriptions ship to the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) for free and also deliver to select international destinations for varying shipping fees.
KiwiCo and Little Passports both offer several different price points and subscription plans. For the purposes of this review, I'm going to compare the plan options for Koala Crate (KiwiCo's crate for kids ages 2-4) and the roughly-equivalent Early Explorers box from Little Passports, which is aimed at kids age 3-5.
KiwiCo Koala Crate starts at $19.95 for a monthly or 3-month subscription. You can save a few bucks off each crate with a longer subscription. The price-per-box drops to $18.50 for a 6-month subscription and further down to $16.95 per box with a 12-month subscription.
Little Passports Pricing Info
Little Passports Early Explorers has a similar pricing structure where the price-per-box goes down with longer subscriptions. Their monthly subscription is $22.95, which drops down to $21.95 for 6 months and $19.95 for 12 months. That means in a side-by-side comparison, the lowest price you'd pay for Early Explorers is the highest price you'd pay for Koala Crate.
Of course, for some, whether or not the price of either kids' subscription is worth it depends on what's inside! But does Little Passports offer greater value than KiwiCo for the higher price tag? Let's break down what comes in each box.
KiwiCo Box Contents
Let's take a peek inside a popular KiwiCo subscription box. Each Koala Crate box contains the following:
- Materials for 2-3 STEAM-focused projects
- Illustrated Parent Guide
- imagine! Magazine for kids, including extended stories, puzzles, recipes, and more
- Access to additional online content
Little Passports Box Contents
Your first Little Passports Early Explorers box will include the following items:
- An orange suitcase
- Wall-sized world map
- A fun souvenir from your destination (usually a small toy)
- Activity booklet
- Sticker sheets
- Welcome letter from your imaginary pen pals
The contents of subsequent boxes will vary from month-to-month but can include the following:
- Hands-on activities and souvenirs
- Pen-to-paper activity booklets
- Stickers for your map or suitcase
- Trading cards
- Letters from your pen pals
Overall, KiwiCo Koala Crate would appear to be the greater value considering the number of activities per box and the additional content for parents. The hands-on activities also may make it easier to share a box between multiple children who are good at working together on a project. But if you've got a kid who goes nuts for stickers or trading cards, they're going to love receiving Little Passports Early Explorers every month.
KiwiCo offers a total of 8 different boxes aimed at different age groups, starting with Panda Crate for babies all the way up to Eureka Crate, which is aimed at teens and adults who still love to learn. Each box contains the materials and instructions needed to complete a developmentally appropriate activity plus a magazine. Some boxes also include a parents' guide or access to additional online content. While the crates for younger children are more generalized, there are more interest-based options for children ages 9+, such as the art-based Doodle Crate or the STEM-focused Tinker Crate. But one thing that stands out about KiwiCo is that every crate teaches interdisciplinary skills in a way that caters to your child's specific interests. There's design work involved in the science experiments and engineering in the art projects. A KiwiCo subscription could be a great tool in helping your child gain new skills and appreciation for subjects that they might not realize they're interested in.
Little Passports Activities
Little Passports initially started out as a subscription box focused on travel, geography, and world culture, but have added a few more boxes to their roster focused on exploring the world through science. You can start your child with an Early Explorers box at age 3 and then progress into either one of their Explorer boxes for older kids (choose between the World or USA Editions) or their science program, which includes the Science Junior box for ages 5-8 and Science Expeditions for ages 9+. Each Little Passports subscription sends out an initial starter pack (including their famous blue suitcases for World Edition subscribers) that includes goodies like passports, trading cards, board games, and stickers. Explorer boxes also include correspondence from a fictional pen pal who will guide you through your journey each month. But after the first big package, subsequent deliveries are more limited to activity books and stickers, except for the science boxes which include monthly hands-on activities. This means Little Passports might be better suited for children who love reading.
Skipping & Cancelling
Skipping & Cancelling KiwiCo
If your child starts to outgrow their KiwiCo subscription, they make it easy to switch lines as your child grows. You can simply click the "Switch Line" button under the "Subscriptions" tab on their website. They even offer a "rotating lines" feature where you can alternate between pairs of crates aimed at the same age group such as Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate. You can also skip a month through the "My Account" section of their website, but if you'd like to cancel, you'll need to have a conversation with their customer service team.
Skipping & Cancelling Little Passports
Monthly subscriptions for Little Passports can be canceled at any time. Prepaid subscriptions are non-refundable but can be transferred to another child.
Which kids' subscription is the best fit for your child?
So, as you can see, KiwiCo and Little Passports both offer a lot of great educational content for kids. Both include a mix of hands-on activities and reading material. How will you decide which monthly kids' subscription box is the right one for your family? Let's do some quick comparisons by category to help you make your choice.
- Although the pricing and plan structures for each box vary, KiwiCo was the clear winner in our side-by-side comparison of each brand's toddler box. For a lower price per box, you get more hands-on activities and additional print and online materials for both parents and kids.
- In my opinion, KiwiCo also wins this round with their multi-disciplinary approach to their activities. KiwiCo boxes are a great way to allow your child to explore their passions, such as art or science, while also developing skills in areas that might not naturally interest them. But Little Passports is also a great option for kids with a genuine interest in travel, geography, or world culture.
- Here's where your own knowledge of your child's interest is your best guide to choosing the right subscription box for them. But you can also check out our KiwiCo reviews and Little Passports reviews to see how our reviewers' children enjoyed each box
KiwiCo wins, here again, thanks to their easy processes for skipping months, rotating, and switching lines. If you're unsure which KiwiCo box your kid will prefer, it's easy to try out a few different ones before committing, or rotating between two lines.
Here’s the bottom line. If you’re looking for hands-on STEAM-focused educational activities for your child, KiwiCo is probably the best choice. But if you have a kid who loves to get lost in a book or magazine and loves learning about the world, they're going to love Little Passports, too. Every kid is different, and choosing the best box is ultimately going to come down to knowing your kids' interests and learning style.
Ready to give one of these boxes a try? We have some deals you won't want to miss:
Which kids' subscription is the perfect match for your family? Let us know in the comments!