You’ve probably heard of Kiwi Crates, the monthly subscription box STEM activity kit for kids. Koala Crate is for slightly younger kids – age 2-4 years old. The Koala Crate boxes are a bit more art, hands on-on and always come with a little book. The Koala Crate tagline is “Play & Learn” vs Kiwi Crate is “Science art and more”. So far they it appears that they’re taking into account your child’s date of birth that you enter on the sign up page and trying to gear the projects age range. But depending on your child, the kits can either be a hit or a miss. So here is my Koala Crate review and the boxes we’ve gotten so far, what I like and what I don’t like.
We started doing Koala Crates from KiwiCo around 2.5 years old. With activities based around that boxes theme. You can also just buy the boxes from their online store, as one offs, but the price is much higher that route. Another thing I didn’t realize at first is that the boxes are different based on the customer. It’s not like all kids are getting a “November box” with the theme of rainbows. Your child might get a music theme and mine might get a doctor set. So that differs from how many other subscription boxes work.
Pros of Koala Crate
- something new to look forward to every month – and a new month’s theme.
- promotes curiosity and learning about new subjects through creative activities. Helping those critical thinking skills and fine motor skills.
- good introduction to games and game play and lots of ideas in the parent guide, and activity cards, and ideas for additional activities.
- great for those days with toddlers that you really need something to mix it up (First thing I do is hide the koala crate box when it arrives, so I can use it when I need it!). And it’s always some quality time spent together!
- affordable – these boxes are pretty affordable for what you get for a monthly subscription service. And KiwiCo is always doing promo codes. It’s not a year-round thing for us. But if you had a second child or a few kids it would add up quickly. These are a great gift to request from grandparents!
- low on waste – I really like that the KiwiCo boxes are cardboard (recyclable or for art projects) and the items in the kits are usually pretty low on waste. Not a ton of plastic, yes a little packaging, but they use a lot of thin wood, paper and cardboard for their projects.
- DIY Projects integration into your activities and play – I really like that most of these themes could totally be created in a DIY fashion. The materials are overly expensive and the ideas aren’t that difficult. So you can reuse the pieces to DIY again. For example, we have used the supplies and the ideas from our color mixing kit over and over again. We have also seen some of the projects from friends in Kiwi and Koala crates that we haven’t gotten yet and DIYed some. So I love that they provide resources and ideas that don’t have to be done or only work with their products. Definitely keeps me interested in continuing the kits.
- Kellan Board Books – some of our crates have come with the small Kellan board book, with a fun story. I really think these stories have helped our little one connect with and anticipate the new box coming with a new short story. More recently, there hasn’t been a book in our crate.
Cons of Koala Crate
- No ability to change crate theme. I would love it if Koala Crate was a bit more like Stitch Fix in that they would send you an email that says your box is about to ship out after the first month and tell you what box it was, and give you the option to instead replace it with 1 or 2 other boxes.
- Too basic of projects sometimes – I have a very inquisitive child, with an attention span that’s sometimes a little over the top for his age. So, some of the projects feel too baby-ish for him. Yet, he is still too young to just hand him the Koala Crate to do solo, and too young for Kiwi Crate without adult help. It would be nice if each crate had both a building and movement component for different kids ages. For example, in the space search kit he enjoyed the art project and me building the space ship. Then it was like ok so I’m putting the stuffed items in and out of the box and?! He still enjoyed the box, but not like the high quality color kit one where there was a building/science and movement component in the game.
Koala Box Themes We’ve Gotten
Space Search Koala Crate
Rating: 3/5 Stars. The Space Search Theme box came with a sensory space box and felt shapes, marbled painted planets sticker painting project, and a “Kellan and the Moon” book. The art project was the most fun. We’ll probably recreate that again with other label stickers. The sensory space box kind of missed the boat for us. So this box kind of felt like it needed another project. I think he would have really enjoyed the space box at a much younger age like around 18 months-2 when he was really into transferring and putting things in and taking things out of boxes. But it also wasn’t that high-quality materials that he wanted to use after the initial project.
Doctor Visit Koala Crate
Rating: 5/5 Stars. The Doctor Visit box included: a doctor bag, stickers to put on the felt bag, stethoscope, otoscope, 2 felt bandages with velcro, and a checkin card with slide out functions, and a “Kellan to the Rescue” book. This box was a hit! It was a different theme, since there wasn’t a lot of typical projects or art in this box, I was surprised at how fun it ended up being. This kit has been great for role playing and empathy building. It’s not part of his pretend play. He has loved giving all his stuffed animals checkups and asking them if they’re ok etc. We also got it right before his 3 year well visit doctor appointment, so it was a timely theme for us.
Color Mixing Koala Crate
Rating: 5/5 Stars. This was our very first Koala crate and it was a huge hit. The Color Mixing theme was by far our favorite and set the bar pretty high! And this was perfect timing for our two year old’s interests and ability. The box included a color mixing kit with plastic beakers, stir stick, and paper dye for some water play; a jingle color dice and felt colored circles for an active game; color memory game cards; and a book. He loved it and still plays with parts of it six months later. We use the beakers and stir stick with food color drops outside in his mud kitchen. Which makes for much easier experimenting for him, since we’re not hovering to make sure water doesn’t go everywhere like inside. This box held his attention for a long time.
Jungle Fun Koala Crate
Rating: 4/5 Stars. Our third kit was a jungle theme. This box included a jungle tree stacking game with hanging felt animals, card matching and a bag with felt stickers to apply, and a Kellan’s Jungle Adventure book. He really enjoyed the active “building” part of making a jungle tree and hanging the animals up. And I liked the supplies were kind of open ended to play with in different ways. Overall, KiwiCo does a great job with these kits. However, all kids are different and in different learning areas at different ages, so some kits will just be more of a hit than others.
Counting & Numbers Crate
Rating 2/5 Stars. Our second kit wasn’t very interesting to him. It came with some puzzle type number cards and a mouse ramp game. First, I think some of the concepts were just too advanced for where he was at. And also the kit had some counting and tracing things that just didn’t interest him.
Overall, I love having Koala Crate as an extra activity option. We probably wouldn’t do these year round, as summer is pretty busy for being outdoors and adventuring. But especially since we’re not doing preschool this fall and winter, I’m excited to be signed up for a few more of these types of activities to mix things up! The single crates are also a good alternative to random toys for gifts. KiwiCo does a good job or offering a wide variety of themes and kits.
KiwiCo Subscription Boxes
KiwiCo offer some of the top kids subscription activity boxes. Their boxes are for “STEM, STEAM, and Science Kits for Kids” age 0 through 16 (or 104 as they say). But their most popular crates are the Kiwi Crate for older kids, ages 5-8 and the Koala Crate: Ages 2-4. They also have a Panda Crate for 0-2 year olds, Tinker Crate for older children, Atlas Crate geography box for 6-11, and a Doodle Crate of art and design for kids age ranges 9-16. Plus the Eureka Crate for ages 14-104 for design and engineering.
Check out my KiwiCo promo codes page for the latest deals on Koala Crates. Their Black Friday sale, is the best time to buy. Note: we did not receive compensation or free boxes for this Koala Crate KiwiCo review. I wanted to share our honest review and opinions of the boxes for toddlers and preschoolers. If you purchase through my link, I will get a small affiliate referral.