KiwiCo Review: Everything Inside the Crates (Plus, 30% off Coupon Code!)
KiwiCo delivers with the best subscription box for kids.
My kids and I have reviewed a dozen or so STEM subscriptions, and KiwiCo surprised us with their well throughout, highly polished STEM crates.
In this review of KiwiCo, I’ll go over everything KiwiCo has to offer, the pros and cons, and how they compair with other educational subscription services.
I realize this comprehensive guide is on the longer side. Feel free to use the table of contents to jump around to the sections that interest you the most.
Table of Contents
What is KiwiCo
KiwiCo focuses on inspiring kids and building their confidence by teaching them to innovate, and problem-solve.
The best way to learn is through hands-on projects. KiwiCo was created to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity while helping parents bring enriching experiences to their children.
KiwiCo does this by making subscription boxes full of creative ideas and projects for your kids, delivered to your door every month.
KiwiCo started by only offering a few options for kids, but due to the popularity of KiwiCo crates, they have quickly expanded their STEM crates for every age and interest. As of today, KiwiCo has delivered over 25 million education crates.
What is STEM
As an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, stem education is essential as it permeates every aspect of your life.
Unlike traditional education experiences in which subject areas are concentrated on separately, STEM education emphasizes technology and integrates subjects in ways that connect disciplines and relate them to each other.
KiwiCo offers crates in a wide variety of subjects to ensure that you and your kids choose the topic that interests them the most.
What Is in a KiwiCo Box
We’ve subscribed to KiwiCo for a while now, so the crates we have are for the ages of my two oldest, six and nine years old.
Let’s first explore what’s in the Tinker Crate for my nine-year-old.
My son started with the lab booklet showing illustrations and explanations about this crates theme, Spinning Science. The lab booklet will explain how and why each experiment works.
The lab booklet is the overview. It also includes separate step-by-step instructions with illustrations of how to set it up.
The experiment we’re showing is just the major one in this month’s Tinker Crate. You can think of it as the main attraction for this month’s crate. They have many others that are smaller included that are fun as well; they just don’t need an entire crate dedicated to them.
The experiment starts with gathering all the components and putting them together. My nine-year-old son didn’t need much help with this, as the instructions are made for kids his age and are easy to understand.
We put everything together inside but looking back, we should have done it outside or in an area we didn’t mind getting paint on. The color did wash off quickly, but it’s something to think about.
In this one, my son used the box for the housing. KiwiCo also included a template for the box to put the motor in, so you can’t get the placement wrong.
The next step was installing the electrical resistors in the breadboard. This will control how fast the motor spins. The pictures were clear, but they also added some troubleshooting guides if you install them in the wrong spot. You’ll want to look at that section if your motor spins too fast or not at all.
After that was done, my son set up the battery and trimmed the box a little more.
From there, all that was left was to stick the components on the box. Everything was included, sticky tape pads, templates on the cardboard where to put everything. Wiring up the battery to the motor was straightforward because it was all color-coded.
Once it was put together, the spinning science paint experiment began! Paint, and paper that is the correct size are included, so my kids started making spinning art right away.
My six-year-old daughter explored the Kiwi Crate. The Kiwi Crate is for kids 5 to 8, so she is right in the recommended age range.
Like the other box my son put together, this one has a lot of science experiments, but the central theme for this month is the arcade claw.
My daughter needed a little help putting everything together but not as much as you’d think. For the Kiwi Crates, the instruction is even more straightforward for little ones.
Down to the color-coded paper template, they know exactly what parts go where.
A nice touch included was adding stickers to put on the back of the template for the plastic bolts to stick to. This ensured that the bolts wouldn’t slip around when setting the wood plates on top.
After the bolts were placed, my daughter added the rubber bands. The rubber bands make the claw “snap” back in place after pulling the string to open the claw.
Once everything was assembled, she tightened up the bolts with the little wooden wrench. This was a friendly little added tool from KiwiCo that really made her feel like she was putting the claw together from scratch.
After she finished the arcade claw, she tested it out.
I really like the Kiwi Crate. This was a fun toy my daughter put together, perfect for her age. It’s not only about the toy she made; it also builds confidence knowing that she can make something herself that she enjoys.
KiwiCo Crates Explained
KiwiCo has a wide variety of options. Whatever your kids are interested in or want to get more interest in, KiwiCo has it. They have the most options out of any subscription boxes I’ve seen.
Let’s start with the crates and the age range:
Panda Crate (0 to 36 months) Nurture naturally curious and creative babies.
Koala Crate (Ages 3 to 4) Hands-on learning for preschoolers.
Kiwi Crate (Ages 5 to 8) Includes science, art, and engineering activities.
Atlas Crate (Ages 6 to 11) Includes geography and cultural projects.
Yummy Crate (Ages 9 to 14) Unlock the science of cooking.
Doodle Crate (Ages 9 to 16) Includes craft and art projects.
Tinker Crate (Ages 9 to 14) Includes science and engineering projects.
Maker Crate (Ages 14 and up) Includes art & design projects
Eureka Crate (Ages 12 and up) Includes engineering & design projects.
Many of these overlap, but I’m glad they keep the age ranges within a few years per box. I think this shows how much care KiwiCo puts into their crates.
They can keep the age range tight because they are created those projects specifically for those kids.
Let’s explore each crate. Feel free to skip down to the area that is most beneficial for your kids’ ages:
Panda Crate – 0 to 36 Months
The Panda Crate is STEM toys for kids 0 to 36 months. Most STEM and educational subscription boxes don’t offer anything for kids this young, so it’s nice to see the KiwiCo put some care and thought making sure all kids were included. They really have something for everyone.
Panda Crate was inspired by the vision of helping busy parents nurture their naturally curious and creative babies.
Specialists design each crate to help babies learn by doing what they do best: playing.
I have three kids that are still young, and I love watching them figure something out. You can almost see a light bulb go off when your baby finds something new. They get so excited playing and discovering.
When you order the Panda Crate, you’re going to add your baby’s birthday. This way, KiwiCo can send you the right crate for their age. You can also order a subscription as a gift. I think a Panda Crate would make an excellent gift for a baby shower. If you want to add this to your baby registry, you can follow this link.
This crate is delivered every other month. This is slightly different because other crates (for older kids) are offered monthly.
How Is the Panda Crate Put Together?
These KiwiCo Crates aren’t just thrown together with interesting stuff for our little ones. The Panda Crate is grounded in the science of early childhood development.
These are designed by experts at KiwiCo along with experts at Seattle Children’s Hospital, to bring you research-backed techniques to support your child’s healthy development.
I mentioned above that KiwiCo was one of the best subscription boxes for kids. Because of this, they can go through rigorous testing with kids to develop the best STEM boxes.
Koala Crate – Ages 3 to 4
KiwiCo created the Koala Crate to expose preschoolers to new tools, materials, and concepts for hands-on learning and fun.
It can be a little more difficult to put together fun and educational activities in this age range. I’ve probably put together a hundred or so STEM activities for my kids, and I think ages two to four is more challenging than for older kids, like my nine-year-old.
You can download my eBook for free here. My kids and I go over 25 STEM activities with step-by-step instructions.
Koala Crate takes the guesswork out of finding the projects, gathering the material, and ensuring you have all the instructions together. Each month, KiwiCo will send you a new Koala Crate made explicitly for kids two to four years old.
Two to three STEM projects will be included every month.
What Kind of Projects Will Kolala Crate Include?
These are just a few of the games and projects your kids will be doing with a Koala Crate. KiwiCo has many projects, so your kids will never see the same project twice.
This game focuses on math, colors, sorting, and shapes. Your kids will use a fishing pole to catch all sorts of felt sea creatures, from colorful fishes to friendly cute turtles.
They will also practice and improve their colors-matching and sorting by making a colorful turtle.
In this crate, you kids will assemble and decorate a medical kit, complete with a thermometer, stethoscope, and plenty of reusable felt bandages.
With all these medical tools and a handy doctor checklist, it’s a great time to play pretend Doctor. In these games, you can teach your kids empathy through pretend play.
Children this age are so loving and caring. Having them be the Doctor, taking care of a patient, is a sweet and terrific way to spend time with them.
All my kids have love camping. We’ve even set up a tent inside our living room with a tent during the winter, with a fan blowing on it to simulate the wind outside.
In this activity, your kids will build a fire to brighten up your campsite using a tea light (small battery-powered light) and some paper flames. It even comes with a little backpack to put all their camping tools in.
These are just some of the activities they will be doing, but not specifically as KiwiCo always adds new ideals making sure you don’t end up with the same projects twice.
You can see all the projects available for the Koala Crate here.
Kiwi Crate – Ages 5 to 8
The Kiwi Crate was created to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity. All while helping parents provide enriching experiences for their children.
My kids love this crate. We received the first one when we subscribed to KiwiCo a few years ago for my oldest son. He’s nine now, so he learns and does science projects with the Tinker Crate every month.
Out of the dozens of STEM boxes my kids and I have tried, I still always recommend the Kiwi Crate. They have exciting STEM projects, and not just once and a while, they are all fantastic, and my kids love them.
This is why we’ve subscribed all these years!
If you want to work on these STEM projects with your little ones, you’re in for a treat. These are fun for adults as well.
Depending on the age of your kids, you might have to help them with the instructions.
The instructions are clear, step-by-step, and easy to follow. But a five-year-old might need a little more help than an eight-year-old. This is understandable, but either way, you’ll have to decide on your evolvement and the amount of support you’ll give.
What Kind of Projects Will Kiwi Crate Include?
At this age (4 to 8), these crates will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This means that you’ll have a wide variety of projects delivered to your door every month.
Let’s look at a few so you can get an idea of what to expect.
This is a fun one because they will be able to use it over and over again.
It’s made from precut wood, small bolts and nuts, and rubber bands. Your kids will follow the template overlaid on the wood, along with the easy-to-follow instructions.
You never know. Maybe your kids will pick up their toys after assembling the Arcade Claw!
Fun With Flight
This is a DIY project all about getting up in the air. With this Kiwi Crate, your kids will build a rocket with a foot launcher and a small multi-colored kite.
Like the Arcade Claw, these will be built with the material provided. There are a few small pieces and some precut wood they will have to assemble.
The Science of Trees
This STEM activity is all about capillary action and building a balancing tree game. The flowers are set up in a tray where you’ll add different food coloring in the base. The flowers will wick up the food dye. Making the flower a bright color.
The balancing tree is put together with precut wood. Your kids will have to find the right balance to make the tree stand independently.
Atlas Crate – Ages 6 to 11
Atlas Crate from KiwiCo is a little different from the other crates and STEM boxes. This is a cultural crate full of collectibles and education about other cultures.
Atlas Crate was designed to help your child develop an appreciation for other world cultures.
Through immersive, hands-on STEAM activities, they hope to connect kids creatively and intellectually with communities and customs beyond their own experience.
Your kids will build a spinning globe in this crate to make a paper fish from Japan and a fluffy alpaca from Peru.
They can visit other areas globally with help from their travel buddies, Anya & Milo. Anya the Cricket and Milo the Sandpiper. This little duo decides to embark on a big adventure to see the world. Join them as they journey from country to country, exploring local cultures, foods, traditions, and more.
The collectible part is an adventure book. Each crate features seven Atlas Cards about the countries and areas they will visit. Your kids will add to this book as they receive new crates from kiwiCo Atlas.
Yummy Crate – Ages 9 to 14
This is something new from KiwiCo. I like that they took a STEAM-based approach and unlocked the science of cooking for kids.
If you’re looking to bond with your kids overcooking, then the Yummy Crate is for you!
With this Yummy Crate, you’ll get an easy-to-follow shopping list to take to the market. This list will help customize recipes for dietary preferences, so you can be ready for fun when your crate arrives.
It will be loaded with delicious recipes and enriching STEAM projects for hands-on creativity in and out of the kitchen.
What’s in the Crate?
- Recipe Cards: This will include three delicious family-friendly recipes that teach kitchen skills and explore the science of cooking.
- STEAM Activities: Experiment with a specialty cooking tool, plus two hands-on projects for more creative fun and learning in (and out) of the kitchen
- Yummy Zine magazine: Kid-friendly science, comics, history, and fun facts about food. Your kids will enjoy looking through this and might find something they want to try the next time.
- Shopping List: Easy-to-use grownup guide to customizing your grocery needs for your family’s preferences.
Let’s look at some of the projects you can look forward to!
Tasty and Toasty
With this, you’ll explore the delicious browning power of the Maillard reaction with hearty hamburgers, golden mashed potatoes, and crispy chicken tenders. You’ll discover more STEAM concepts and the interesting history of hamburgers.
Rise and Shine
Learn how leaveners help make food light and airy with stacks of fluffy pancakes, thin-folded pancakes, and sweet strawberry syrup.
Most of the kits will have activities like this. They are mixing the fun of cooking while learning new concepts your kids will have forever.
I did a hands-on review with my daughter of Raddish kids. It’s very similar to the Yummy Crate but with more of a focus on food. You can find that review here.
Doodle Crate – Ages 9 to 16
With the Doodle Crate from KiwiCo, it’s all about getting kids in a creative mindset. This is an excellent crate for kids to express themselves creatively. Dig into fun crafting tools and interesting techniques, and see how materials can transform.
The project provided will kickstart their creativity. It’s a great way to build confidence and a strong sense of self.
KiwiCo will include the materials you need and teach exciting techniques such as solar imaging, embroidery, and woodworking.
Let’s look at some of the projects you can look forward to!
Felt Succulent Garden
Learn felt crafting and clay modeling to create a planter full of succulents.
Faux Leather Portfolio
Your kids will design a faux leather portfolio that’s uniquely them. The crate also comes with a sketchbook, ready to fill with all your art and ideas.
This will be a fun project that I’ve done with my kids. It comes with a mold to make custom designs.
Tinker Crate – Ages 9 to 14
The Tinker Crate is another classic kit from KiwiCo and one of my favorites. This is a great approach to learning STEM principles while saving time for busy parents.
Kids can use STEM as a key to creative problem-solving, a foundation for critical thinking, and a pipeline to innovation. (the whole point of our blog).
Tinker Crate encourages hands-on learning for kids between the ages of 9 to 14. With activities designed to help kids discover, explore, and create things in the world around them.
Let’s look at some of the creative projects in Tinker Crate.
Looks fun, doesn’t it! With this, your kids will build and fire a real, functioning trebuchet that launches a ping-pong ball up to 10 feet. Then experiment and explore the physics of slings, levers, and air resistance.
Hydraulics are just plain exciting and are used in a ton of ways. With this kit, you’ll build hydraulics to make the claw move.
Build and play with mechanical motion through robot building and experimentation.
Maker Crate – Ages 14 and up
Maker Crate from KiwiCo is for older kids and kids at heart. Maker Crate is a craft box dedicated to discovering new art and design tools to help turn artistic visions into design realities.
This will teach you lifelong skills to keep making and designing for years. Each craft box comes with hands-on projects and unique designs that are uniquely you — and useful too.
Here are a few of the projects you’ll dive into.
Create a pair of perfect plant hangers for your home. Start by designing a macrame keychain to learn knotting. Then craft two macrame hangers. Finish off by sculpting, decorating, and customizing clay pots for your hangers.
With this, you’ll learn to create textured designs with loops of yarn. You’ll use these new techniques to craft a cozy, colorful pillow.
Eureka Crate – Ages 12 and up
With Eureka Crate from KiwiCo, you’ll explore hands-on lessons in the creative application of the scientific principles behind real-world problems. Eureka Crate inspires innovators to think about the design and engineering behind everyday objects around them.
Some of the projects in the Eureka Crate are pretty involved. If you are looking to get this for a younger kid, it’s a great opportunity to work with them on these innovative engineering projects.
Articulated Desk Lamp
Engineer a cool cantilevered lamp that uses pulleys and springs to make it perfectly adjustable and explore mechanical equilibrium and materials science. It also comes with a LED bulb and three different colored lamp shades.
Electric Pencil Sharpener
This will be fun to keep at your desk; everyone’s going to wonder where you got it from.
Wire up an electromechanical pencil sharpener with automatic pencil detection, and explore electric motors and torque.
Build a real four-string concert ukulele and explore the science of sound waves. Discover the design history of this classic Hawaiian instrument and learn to play some sweet tunes.
How KiwiCo Comes Up With Crate Ideas
KiwiCo has over 1,500 projects to fill its crates with wonderful ideas. That’s a lot of boxes to be jammed packed with hands-on educational projects. How did they come up with all of them?
It’s in big part to the team of designers that KiwiCo has. You can find a list of all of their designers here.
Going through the list, I find that most of them are engineers that were or are also teachers. That’s a great start, but I don’t think that tells the whole story.
KiwiCo, as the lead subscription box maker, goes through hands-on testing of their project with kids. This allows them to see how kids will put the project together and tweak it from there. If a kid is struggling in an area of the instructions, they can clarify it or change it altogether.
For Atlas Crate, KiwiCo can bring in experts from that area. This allows them to get the “feel” of the Atlas Crate right because a native person knows the culture of the area kids will be adventuring into.
Benefits of Stem Subscription Boxes
Do you need a subscription box? This question gets brought up to me because there are many resources included on my site you’re on that have a lot of STEM and STEAM activities for kids.
I gathered materials and found instructions for projects that my kids and I have done. I love doing it, but I know it’s not always practical for every parent to have a lot of supplies around the house and the time to find what their kids will enjoy.
This is what I love about the best subscription boxes for kids. All the materials are included, and experts make well-thought-out lesson plans. Also, think about the waste from buying a ten-pound bag of baking soda, for example.
There is no waste with a subscription. If a project calls for three straws, they will be included. You won’t have to go and buy a large pack of something only to use one or two things.
It might seem like it’s not a big deal, but I’ve had to postpone activities or run back out because I forgot one thing at the store. Other things are just impractical.
I’m never going to gather wood to make a Trebuchet, but that is one of the STEM projects in the Tinker Crate from KiwiCo.
This is some food for thought if you’re on the fence about getting a subscription from KiwiCo or any other subscription box.
If you’d like to take a look at other subscriptions and see some hands-on reviews, I did with my kids. Take a look at our article on the best subscription boxes for kids here.
KiwiCo Atlas vs. Little Passports
You can find our review of Little Passports here, plus a coupon code. I want to highlight some of the differences because the two have a lot of overlapping material.
KiwiCo Atlas has more projects for kids interested in other countries and cultures. In contrast, little Passports focus more on the cultural side of adventuring worldwide. They include more stories, discovering items, and interesting information about countries.
Both also have pin pals that write letters to your kids, but Little Passports takes a step further by including a book along with a suitcase to keep track of everywhere you’ve been, along with some small suvoirers.
Overall I think kids will be happy with KiwiCo Atlas or Little Passports.
KiwiCo vs. Mel Science
These are the two most popular science kits, and they both have a lot to offer, with many different options for kids.
You can find our hands-on review of Mel Science here.
Mel Science is more “hardcore” science for kids. If you have an older kid (10 to 16) interested in chemistry, they will get a lot out of Mel Science chemistry.
They have other subscription boxes but primarily focus on STEM, chemistry, and physics. They don’t offer anything like the Atlas or Doodle Crate KiwiCo has.
Best KiwiCo Toys
KiwiCo is known for their STEM subscriptions, but they also have a wide variety of educational toys. These can be purchased individually, so this is a great idea if you’re just looking for a quick gift.
Here are a few KiwiCo toys that stand out to me:
- Levitating lantern: I like this one because it combines physics and engineering. The lantern floats in the air and gives the illusion of nothing holding it up. I think kids 6 to 12 will get a real kick out of this.
- Colorful Chemistry: This is a chemistry experiment I’ve done with my kids that’s awesome. We mixed colors and made them react with baking soda and vinegar. I recommend doing this outside on a big baking sheet. Kids as young as four will love it.
- Bubble Machine: Your kids can build a bubble machine themselves. This might be one of the funniest toys from KiwiCo, as they can use it repeatedly. Kids as young as six can build it, but everyone in your house can enjoy the toy.
How Much Does KiwiCo Cost
Due to KiwiCo offering so many crates, you’re going to see a range of different prices. Boxes that are a little more expensive have more materials included with more engineering details that the creators had to include.
These prices are for the 12-month subscription. You can purchase these crates individually or 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month. Prices will vary depending on the length of your subscription. The best bang for your buck will be the 12-month subscription.
KiwiCo’s prices are in line with other subscription offerings. We’ve had subscriptions from all the major companies, and KiwiCo is around the same or less.
All subscriptions include free shipping to anywhere in the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Military (APO, FPO, DPO) addresses. They do ship internally as well.
Panda Crate (0 to 36 months) : $15.95
Koala Crate (Ages 3 to 4): $17.50
Kiwi Crate (Ages 5 to 8): $17.50
Atlas Crate (Ages 6 to 11): $17.50
Yummy Crate (Ages 9 to 14) $17.50
Doodle Crate (Ages 9 to 16) $17.50
Tinker Crate (Ages 9 to 14) $17.50
Maker Crate (Ages 14 and up) $17.50
Eureka Crate (Ages 12 and up) $25.95
KiwiCo Coupon Code
KiwiCo has deals occasionally, but they consistently keep this coupon code for %30 off. Use coupon code SHARE30 at checkout.
KiwiCo has been consistent at making the best subscriptions for kids. With over 1,500 projects, you’ll always find something new in your KiwiCo Crate.
With competitive rates, my family has been happy to subscribe and gift crates to friends for years.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Is KiwiCo Monthly?
It will depend on the crate your choose, and you should look at my section above, “How Much Does KiwiCo Cost,” for a detailed breakdown. Generally, this is KiwiCo’s monthly cost:
- 1 Month $24.95 + free shipping
- 3 Months $64.95 + free shipping
- 6 Months $119.95 + free shipping
- 12 Months $214.95 + free shipping
Can You Buy a Single KiwiCo Crate?
Yes, you can purchase one crate at a time. When you’re in check out, click the option for a 1-month subscription. This is an option for every KiwiCo crate.
Can Adults Use KiwiCo?
Are Kiwi Subscriptions Worth It?
In this review of KiwiCo, I’ve covered everything my family likes as well as compared to other subscription boxes. I can honestly say the crates are worth it for the projects alone.
KiwiCo has put a lot of care and attention into everything I’ve seen and been subscribed to for years; we plan on continuing our subscription.
If you’d like to learn more about KiwiCo or get your subscription started, you can follow this link and use coupon code SHARE30 for %30 off.