I Tried KiwiCo—Here's Why It's More Than Just a Craft Box

I was looking for a way to engage my children in educational play and landed on KiwiCo as an affordable option to try.

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Young student learning about robotics

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As a parent of two curious preschoolers and a tween, I was looking for a way to engage my younger ones in meaningful activities. I'm no stranger to subscription boxes, but I was skeptical of the value of the service. After all, I've purchased more craft kits than I can count over the years—and most of the finished projects get lost in the abyss of our house. But KiwiCo caught my eye; it offers an assortment of boxes or "crates" encompassing all of my children’s ages and interests.

Kids' subscription boxes are monthly packages containing curated toys, activities, and/or educational materials. They can be tailored to a range of interests and ages, making them great for providing a unique educational experience for kids. In a moment of inspired curiosity, I took the leap and ordered my first KiwiCo crate to see if it checked the boxes I was looking for in a whole-family activity. Here's what I learned through my experience.

What Is KiwiCo?

KiwiCo is a subscription-based service that provides fun and educational activities for kids (and adults). Each month, the company sends you an age-appropriate project based on your selected theme and age group. 

For example, its Panda Crate caters to infants up to 24 months old, while the Maker Crate offers engineering-themed projects to those ages 12 to 100. Regardless of the crate you choose, the company has one mission for its activities: to foster creativity and problem-solving skills in a way that inspires.

The Website and Signing Up

I found the website fairly inviting, with bright colors, playful images of kids enjoying their creations, and information on options and pricing. You can choose your desired age range to learn more about the types of crates and experiences offered—everything from science and art to cooking and culture. I also found a tab that you can select to get a glimpse inside previous crates. I was immediately drawn to the science and art-themed crates (specifically the Kiwi Crate), as the sample project—which ended up being the same one I received—combined several learning areas into one activity.

To sign up, I simply chose the crate and frequency that worked best for my family and completed the checkout process. 

Each subscription line caters to a specific age range and theme. While you can sync the Panda Crate with your child's birthday so the toys match different milestones, the other crates have to be switched manually from your account. And since the company offers crates for ages 0 to 100, so there's truly something for everyone—even adults on their own with two of the crates.

I found all the available crates under “Subscription Lines" in the top left on the navigation bar on the homepage. I ended up going with the Kiwi Crate: Science, Art & More for my five- and six-year-old boys, but here are all the various crate themes and costs for reference.

  • Panda Crate (0-24 months): Explore and discover starting at $17/month; offers developmental products and toys based on your child’s birthday
  • Koala Crate (2-4 years): Play and learn starting at $18/month; exposes preschoolers to playful hands-on learning
  • Kiwi Crate (5-8 years): Science, art, and more starting at $18/month; STEAM-based projects that enhance creative problem-solving
  • Atlas Crate (6-11 years): Geography and culture starting at $18/month; inspires children to explore the world through stories, activities, and more
  • Yummy Crate (6-14 years): Science of cooking starting at $18/month; rrecipes and culinary-inspired projects to learn the science behind cooking
  • Doodle Crate (9-16 years): Create and craft starting at $18/month; creative projects to help kids express their artistic side
  • Tinker Crate (9-14 years): Science and engineering starting at $18/month; STEM-based projects that help kids learn the basics of engineering
  • Eureka Crate (12-100 years): Engineering and design starting at $27/month; innovative projects designed to spark problem-solving skills
  • Maker Crate (14-100 years): Art and design starting at $27/month; projects that challenge makers to bring ideas to life

Once you’ve selected your crate, KiwiCo will email you updates on your order and shipment and a link to create your account.

As a subscription-based service, you can save money when signing up for multiple months. Prices range from $17 to $33 per crate, depending on the frequency of deliveries and payment. You can pay in monthly installments as each box is shipped or opt for an upfront annual payment (annual plans offer the lowest price per box). For example, the Koala Crate is $24 per box when you pay in monthly installments or $18.50 per box when you pay for 12 months upfront ($222).

The company also offers a referral program. When you refer a friend, they'll receive $10 off their first box, and you'll get a $10 credit toward your next delivery.

My Experience Receiving KiwiCo

Within minutes of choosing my box and shipping frequency, I completed my first order and was excited to see what was in store. The crate (really just a green cardboard box) arrived in three days, and my boys were thrilled to unbox their project of the month.

Courtesy of Lindsay Modglin.

Inside the box was an arcade-themed project—a DIY claw machine, to be exact—with step-by-step instructions, a magazine of supplemental activities (drawing, coloring, mazes), and all the materials needed to complete the project. The magazine also had tips for using the claw project to create games and activities, which I thought was a great way to extend the value of the project.

Courtesy of Lindsay Modglin.


The packaging was minimal but well thought out. All of the smaller pieces of the project (like the plastic bolts) were separated into a plastic bag, while the larger pieces were safely stored in the box itself.

One of the things I appreciated was the detail and thought that went into the instruction guide. The directions were easy to understand, with pictures and explanations about how each piece worked within the claw machine. Unlike most similar subscriptions, KiwiCo includes examples of how to (and how not to) put the project together, making it easier for kids—and parents—to understand. There was also a link to a video tutorial, which would have been the icing on the cake if it had worked (I tried at least 10 times).

I reached out to customer service via the chatbot in the lower right-hand corner of the homepage to see if they could help with the video tutorial. I was connected to a customer care agent within two minutes. After I sent the representative the tutorial link I was using, she sent me a new link based on my web browser, which worked.

From a durability standpoint, the claw pieces were made of thin wood, while the bolts and nuts were plastic. The quality exceeds other crafts we've purchased in the past. However, an overly rambunctious kid could still easily break the finished product. Other parts included yarn, string, wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners, and stickers—standard craft store supplies.

Courtesy of Lindsay Modglin.

It took us around 45 minutes to put together the claw machine. Overall, I was very impressed with the comprehensive and detailed instruction guide. My boys needed a lot of assistance, but I was surprised at how much they figured out on their own. They certainly didn't need my help once it was time to play. They both had a blast taking turns trying to win prizes from the claw machine. As of now, it hasn't broken or been destroyed and continues to provide entertainment.

Pros & Cons 

I had a good experience with KiwiCo overall, but here are my pros and cons based on what I learned while ordering, receiving, and using its products.


  • Boxes for ages 0 to 100
  • Offers discounts frequently
  • Several categories within each age range
  • Cancel, switch, and pause anytime
  • Order individual crates without subscribing
  • Ships to many international countries


  • Must pay for multiple months upfront to save the most money
  • Not able to pick the project in each crate
  • Projects aren't made to last
  • No discounts for multiple children

Final Thoughts

It's no secret that craft boxes, such as KiwiCo’s, are a great way to inject creativity and learning into playtime. The range of available boxes is one of the best features of KiwiCo. With nine different box types for ages 0 to 100, there's a good chance you'll find something that suits your family. The quality of the projects is above average compared to the run-of-the-mill kit, but it's not something that will withstand regular play. Still, with KiwiCo, you get an insightful and engaging experience beyond just the projects.

I expected a glorified craft box but was pleasantly surprised at the thoughtful instruction and guidance KiwiCo offers. The way the company explains the project, its parts, and how it works is what really sets KiwiCo apart. My boys stayed engaged during the entire activity, and that's saying a lot. They also found fun ways to add their own knick-knacks to the claw machine, which was a great way to practice creative thinking.

I genuinely recommend this box to anyone looking for a way to supplement their child's creativity. While you may find less expensive craft boxes, you won't find one that offers such attention to detail and instruction. I think the price is justifiable—I've spent a lot more for a lot less. Plus, with the ability to switch, pause, and cancel anytime, it's a great way to dip your toe into the subscription box world without making any long-term commitments.

Edited by Ally Hirschlag
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