I'm a mom who is pretty much always on a furious hunt for kid craft projects, and I blame the kid.
A set of crafty babysitters helps us every summer. They engage her in the likes of papier mache this and duct tape that.
But now, here we are, with back-to-school staring us in the face. The babysitters are leaving us. The need to make something, anything, from a bit of twine and an old wine cork is not going anywhere.
And I'm not a crafty mom. I don't look at a roll of duct tape and a pen and say, "Yes, let's make roses today!"
Enter my new savior. It's called Kiwi Crate. And yes, I'm about to do some talking about a product. A lovely, lovely amazing product that is going to save my keester in the school year to come.
Let me explain.
If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, I can't begin to imagine what sort of delicious adventures are formulating in my daughter's brain. Her desk is perpetually covered in bits of paper and balls of fuzz, scattered with scissors and glistening with a sheen of dried glue. Add to that a pile of various glitters and you have what some people would call a mess.
She would probably call it a work in progress.
And unlike the disaster that is her bedroom floor, I'm willing to let it slide. Because where I can't draw a straight line with the help of a ruler (OK, maybe I could, but they already MAKE pre-lined paper), I have spawned a budding little artist.
She paints. She draws. She dumps copious amounts of glitter on piles of glue. Then she surreptitiously finds an open wall space -- really, any will do, even if it's in say, the bathroom -- and tapes her creation where I'm sure to find it.
This has created just one problem for us. We are constantly trying to find new projects for her to DO. She creates plenty on her own, but I have mentioned what happens when the glitter gets out of hand ... you'll understand why sometimes she needs a little ... shall we say guidance?
So I was in this state when email about this new subscription service for crafty kids caught my eye. Got the crafty kid. But what the heck is this? So, I asked them to send me a box (yes, since I'm a blogger I got a freebie, I need to put that out right now, but you'll get why I bring this up soon).
And now I know: it might be genius is what it is.
Basically a Kiwi Crate is a craft kit. You get a box filled with all the materials you need for a particular project.
So what, you're saying, you can get that at the store. It's true. And in a lot of cases, it would probably be cheaper.
But there were a few things that really stood out here.
1. My kid loves getting mail. Heck, EVERY KID loves getting mail. It's all well and good if we buy our kids craft kits, but Kiwi Crate is a craft kit PLUS the excitement of getting a package which might just equal kid heaven.
2. The "crates" are quirky. This is not "Make your 52nd lanyard, Kid." My daughter made "stained glass" and "lightning bugs."
3. The "crates" are educational. See above regarding "stained glass" and "lightning bugs" plus the company has an online component to expand on the theme of each crate, sort of like a teacher building a lesson plan around a particular theme.
4. The price is really pretty reasonable. Is Kiwi Crate the cheapest option ever? No. And I will be honest in saying I'm not made of money, and I do like to buy cheap craft kits for her to use. BUT, the monthly fee of $19.95 is competitive when you consider all the materials that come in a box (really, you do get EVERYTHING) and the fact that there are a variety of projects in each. Plus they do offer a sibling bonus -- so you can get more material without paying for a second box (it runs $7.95 per sibling) -- and year subscriptions that are a little cheaper.
So there it is. After our little trial run, I see the purchase of a subscription in our not-so-distant future.
Not sure if this will work for you? Here are some other amazing avenues if you're no Martha Stewart but your kid thinks she (or he) is:
1. Home discount stores. Think Home Goods, TJ Maxx, etc. They sell a lot of those brand name pre-made craft kits for much less than the big stores. I just got a jewelry making kit on Sunday for $10 that was originally $18.
2. Cake TV. My daughter was poking around on Netflix the other day and found this old kids crafty show (to be honest she's obsessed with Cake Boss, and I think she thought this was a spin-off) from before she was born. It's sort of a sitcom meets DIY show, but the characters are all kids, and she's already brimming with ideas after just a few episodes.
How do you keep up with your crafty kid?
Have you "liked" Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?
Disclaimer: I received a free Kiwi Crate upon which I based this review. I was not otherwise compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own.