today was particularly harsh, as i had a lot of cleaning and organizing to do in the morning and we didn't make it to the playground before cora's naptime. bella had a tough morning, too, and spent a lot of time in her room. so nap time came and that meant bella became bored.
i'm not going to argue that "we need to let our kids be bored! boredom inspires creativity!" sure. sure. it does. it also inspires, "i'm hungry. i'm hungry. i'mhungryi'mhungryi'mhungryI'MHUNGRY!!!!!!". and with her room preoccupied by a sleeping cora leaving her no where else to go, i start getting a little blurry-visioned and crazy.
about a week ago, our latest kiwi crate arrived and i hid it, for just this moment.
haven't heard of kiwi crates? you should check them out.
basically, they are boxes that contain everything you need for a fun craft or science experiment, including easy to follow, step by step instructions that even a non reader can follow. most boxes have two complete hands-on activities, along with a magazine called "explore!" that includes games and drawing pages and instructions for another activity.
this time, our box was all about summer camping! the two activities were "my glowing campfire" and "my sunprint backpack".
this box was special in that it came with an extra "travel journal" and a snack bag of dried fruits. not only did this crate satisfy the "i'm bored" but also the "i'm hungry!".
each crate has a little instruction book and on the front of each book, they tell you how messy it will be, how much parental involvement is required and what skills you will explore.
today, we did the "my glowing campfire" craft. it included everything we would need to make a glowing campfire, including a "tea light candle" that is battery operated, for safe indoor campfires!
bella "read" the directions and was telling me what she was supposed to do, before i could even get through the first step. with each step, i would show her a little bit and then she would do the rest all by herself.
while she required a little help in some areas, for the most part, i had 20 minutes of free time. i did a craft that i had been trying to accomplish all nap time, right next to her. so we worked together on different things. that is what i call a win-win.
bella loved this craft and when she was done, we talked all about campfires and roasting marshmallows. she "roasted" her marshmallows for another 20 minutes until she decided she wanted to eat her snack and write in her travel journal.
crates are monthly subscriptions, and have 4 different options-monthly ($19.95), 3-months ($19.95/month, paid upfront), 6 month ($18.50/month, paid upfront) or 12 months ($16.95/month, paid upfront). we do the monthly so that we can cancel at any time, which is especially helpful with our lifestyle. we have been getting crates for about a year and haven't canceled yet, but when we move, we will be in a state of homelessness for a few weeks to a month, so that will come in handy.
when i first heard of kiwi crate, my intial thought was, "for $20 a month, i could do this myself!" and yes, yes you can do this yourself. you can scour pinterest or rack your brain for a fun craft, you can buy the supplies that your craft hoarding hasn't supplied you with already and get it all together and then try to teach your kid how to make said craft.
but these crates take all of the hard work out of it. you literally open the box and everything is there, and ready to go. the mess is controlled, because everything is organized and you have just the amount of things you need. there is little waste, because things are precut and preformed, specifically for your project. it's like an ikea craft! it is also great for a wide variety of age ranges, because of the simplicity of the craft but also the.....well...craftiness of it!
there is also an option for a sibling add-on. for $9.95 extra, you get everything you need, plus the additional amount to make a duplicate craft, for siblings. cora isn't ready for this yet, but when she is, we will most certainly be doing this.
i would say kiwi crates are perfect for about 3 and up, and while their website states ages 3-8 as being the ideal range, i think even older kids would enjoy many of the crafts and projects.
i have a personal referral link and if you use it, you save $10 and so do i!
you can also save 10% off of any order right now from their shop-individual crafts, individual boxes or party favors, by using the code FOURTH.