Monday, April 30, 2012

Nurture The Kids In Your Life - Kiwi Crate

A sample crate from Kiwi Crate.
Growing up with a first grade teacher for a mom meant a lot of things for me -  weekends spent helping  put up bulletin boards, monthly trips to the educational supply stores in downtown L.A., a great personal collection of scratch n'sniff stickers, an A+ in first grade handwriting and an endless supply of number 2 pencils. But my favorite thing about having an educator for a mom was definitely the crafts - clay dinosaur dioramas, kiln-fired pottery, origami mobiles, homemade Christmas ornaments, construction paper costumes, mop-head horses, laminated story-books..should I keep going? Whether it was materials left over from a class project or the summers we spent as guinea pigs for her newest DIY craft ideas, my childhood was filled with painting, pasting, molding and glue gunning something almost every week. It wasn't a coincidence that the first two businesses I ever started were Jen's Jewelry (6th grade) and Jen's Friendship Bracelets (7th grade)(both of which were marginally successful thanks to several of my great-aunts and a few good friends). 

Window gardening materials from the Gardening crate.

Although I plan on continuing the tradition of crafting with my daughter, squeezing in Internet research for new craft ideas with trips to Michael's or the art supply store has proved really tough for me lately. So when I happened upon Kiwi Crate over the weekend, it was an idea that really appealed to me.  Based in Mountain View, CA, this start-up has a simple mission statement: to develop creative, hands-on activities that busy parents can do with their young children (ages 3-7). Subscribers receive a crate each month filled with materials and inspiration centered around a theme, like space, wind, gardening, colors, and safari. The crate contains everything you need to make several different projects with your child as well as access to additional projects and games with the same theme on their website. 

Sample materials sheet from the Color crate.

All the projects are designed by a creative Design Team, reviewed by an impressive expert advisory board (including several Stanford professors!), and tested by a great test-crew of kids. The cost: only $19.99 a month (includes shipping and you can cancel at any time)! So whether you have children at home or are looking for a great gift idea for the little one in your life, think about a subscription to Kiwicrate. It just might be the best $20 you've spent in awhile. Here's to the start of another great week!

Make-your-own dinosaur feet from the Dinosaur Crate.


Celeste said...

This might be why you've developed the love of art! Great post!

Erin said...

My mom was a teacher, too! So I can definitely relate to going shopping for new supplies for her classroom and always wanting to buy packs of scratch and sniff stickers, and helping her set up her classroom every summer before the kids came back. She taught handicapped and mentally retarded kids for 28 years and then autistic kids her last 10 before she retired.

I love that these Kiwi crates make crafts accessible to parents who might otherwise feel overwhelmed at the task of coming up with things for their kids to do. Plus, there's the added excitement of kids getting fun packages in the mail. I could've used these for my nieces when I was nannying for them! I'm ashamed to admit that more often than my brother and his wife were comfortable with, I let them watch tv or a movie, haha. Had I had a kit like this I might have been more interactive! Oh well, good to know for the future. Those dinosaur feet are adorable.

Anonymous said...

Jen, Thanks so much for the kind words! It's so great to get such positive feedback, especially from someone who grew up in a crafty home, too! We hope you and your daughter enjoy the crates... (and if we were around then, we totally would have bought a Jen's Friendship Bracelet) ;)

Jen (from Kiwi Crate)

tina said...

Oh, love, Jen's Jewelery and Jen's Friendship Bracelet.... I adore kids doing business and being entrepreneurial!

I'm totally jealous of yours and Erin's upbringing. My parents taught me very little that was positive, let alone was crafty or creative.

Kiwi Crate sounds fantastic.... $20 well spend. Your kid will thank you for it. Look how nice you and Erin talk about your creative upbringing...

Theresa / InspirationCOOP said...

Wow! What a great idea for a business. You're right, it's $20 well spent. By the time you research a project, write down a shopping list, and go to Michael's/the art store, more than $20 would have been spent for sure.
My favorite part of this whole post was getting to hear about your mom, her vocation, and the time you spent together crafting. Those are good memories. All children should have those types of memories.

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