Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple Winter Crafts {Kiwi Crate}

Everyone at our house is happier when they are creating.

Almost six weeks ago we welcomed a new baby boy into our family. Although we are loving every minute with him, I have much less energy to create fun things for our two other kids (ages 2 and 4) ... which is why I am excited to introduce you to Kiwi Crate

Kiwi Crate is a great resource for busy or tired parents... and even those parents that think they are not creative or crafty. Each crate  is filled with several themed crafts and activities and can either be bought as a monthly or annual subscription or as an a la carte item from Kiwi Crate's online shop.

The themes vary from dinosaurs to gardening and each box is tested by kids! I loved the holiday craft kiwi crate my friend Allie posted about last week, so I was curious to see which crate would arrive at our house.

We received the Antarctic Adventure crate and it was a lovely departure from the crazy Christmas crafting we've been doing since September. 

Here's what our crate included...

  • A penguin bowling sticker craft that was later used to actually play our own bowling game
  • An aurora postcard painting activity using oil pastels and watercolors
  • An "Explore More" booklet with simple and fun extra Antarctica themed activities that we could try (materials weren't included for these activities)
  • A cool fish ice cube tray to use with some "Explore more" activities
  • A special pair of brand new scissors!

Here's what we did...

We created a penguin bowling set. My kids had fun adding stickers to the front of the cardboard penguins to give them faces and outfits. There were six penguins to design, so each of my kids made three. Perfect! 

A black marker was included with the craft to add details like eyes or beaks on the penguin. My son was in love with it and colored a lot of his penguins black. I didn't love it because every time his hand leaned on the penguin while he was coloring, the marker rubbed off onto his hands and smeared all over the front of the penguin. I think I would've used crayons with the stickers instead of a marker. 

After they created penguin bowlers, they stuck legs on the penguins, and bowled! 

We also learned about Aurora Borealis and made our own aurora oil pastel watercolor resist postcards. There were several postcards made from watercolor paper, so both kids had fun working side by side. They drew pictures with oil pastels and then watercolored over them.

My son would've been content to just draw with the oil pastels but we tried to do the watercoloring on one postcard anyway. A basic watercolor set was included with the craft. We swapped out the thin paintbrush for a thicker paintbrush we had lying around. The small one was frustrating to my son because the small brush took a lot longer to paint with. I'm sure some kids would love the thin paintbrush because they could be painting forever though. Every kid is different! 

Here's what I liked...

  • The materials seemed sturdy and well made and I especially loved the oil pastels! I liked that  they were high quality art materials.
  • The crate was compact and yet filled with a lot of great information and craft supplies.
  • The crafts didn't require any preparation ahead of time and I didn't have to do more than skim the craft info booklet to know how to introduce each craft to my kids. I love simple things like this when I am overtired!
  • The info booklets for each craft were easy to read and had some cool facts about Antarctica inside. 
  • Both of my kids were able to do the projects and although there weren't tons of materials, we were actually fine only having one kit for both of them. If you do want to buy a "no fight" crate, you can add extra materials to your crate for just $7.95 more per month. 
  • The crafts and activities weren't overly time consuming. We could fit them in during short chunks of our day when we had nothing to do and we needed something quick and fun to try.   
  • The price. Kiwi Crates are only &19.95/month. Considering how much each of the items included in the crate would've cost individually at a craft store (in addition to the time it would've taken to find them and drive to the craft store), I'd say this price is a great deal... especially for busy or tired parents who want to be crafty and don't have time to collect all the materials for fun crafts like these.

Kiwi Crates could made great gifts for the holidays, so if you're interested in purchasing one for your child or a relative, Kiwi Crate has given me a special deal just for Toddler Approved readers! 
You can take 25% off the FIRST month of Kiwi Crate using the code TA25 at checkout. The code expires Wednesday, December 12th.

Thanks Kiwi Crate for this fun opportunity to create and craft with my kids! 

Have you tried Kiwi Crate? What have you loved?

Disclosure: This is a product review on behalf of Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate has compensated me for this post. All posts reflect my personal opinion and endorsement and are not swayed by compensation and/or free products. Please note that this post reflects my opinion and preferences and you might not share that same opinions. 

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