Someone recently introduced me to Kiwi Crate, Inc. (http://www.kiwicrate.com/), which allows you to subscribe to monthly maker kits (called crates) that are categorized by age group. “Cricket Crate” is designed for ages 0-2, “Koala Crate” for ages 3-4, “Kiwi Crate” for ages 5-8, and “Doodle Crate” & “Tinker Crate” for ages 9-16.
In class, we often discuss whether a specific tool or project is age appropriate, so I think that one of the major benefits to this service is that such decisions have already been made. In addition, a new crate is sent every month, allowing the recipient to work with a wide range of maker materials and projects.
If a monthly subscription does not fit your needs, the site also has a store through which single crates (for any age group) can be purchased. With the holiday season quickly approaching, these could make great gifts! Prices are affordable as well. The “Teddy Bear Sewable Circuit” Mini Crate for $9.95 immediately caught my eye seeing as a) it’s adorable and b) we have practiced with soft circuitry in class.
Other single crates include “Rubber Band Flyers,” “Scratch Art Lantern,” and “Secret Agent.” I urge you to take a look through the store site and browse through the many options. As a child myself, I loved going down the arts and craft aisle in stores and getting a craft kit of some kind. It was always fun to open the kits up and explore all of the different materials that were inside. Unfortunately, these kits were mainly limited to jewelry and watercolors. Looking at all of the options that Kiwi Crate, Inc. offers makes me wish that such options were more easily available when I was a child! What are your thoughts? Do you feel that these crates allow children of all ages to access STEAM concepts and ideas (as the website suggests)?