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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Introducing kids to steam education with KiwiCo

Have you been worried about how to entertain your kids as they get older?

Confession time, I've always loved learning through play and I could happily set up small world or sensory play invitations for the girls all day long, but I'm well aware as they get older these types of activities will no longer cut it, and that's terrified me. I can do young kids, but I've always worried how I'd keep older kids entertained {other than craft and iPads}. But a year or so ago I discovered steam education and it's like a lightbulb went on in my head and I've been patiently waiting for bub's interests to catch up so I could unleash all the steam ideas!

If you've never heard the term steam before, it's an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. Steam education refers to fun learning activities based around these subjects that provoke inquiry, problem solving, collaboration and experimenting. Steam learning is process based learning that involves critical thinking to reach a solution. I've been slowly incorporating it into activities now bub is 5 by doing more experiments like the skittles rainbow and making volcanoes. We're only really at the start of our steam journey and I can see her interest in science and engineering in particular is growing as is her constant thirst for knowledge, so when KiwiCo contacted me to trial their steam subscriptions boxes it was right up our alley.

KiwiCo is a US based educational subscription box company that specialise in steam education for children 0-16 years. KiwiCo make science, technology, engineering, art and maths educational activities accessible, engaging and fun to inspire the next generation of scientists, artists, makers and creators. KiwiCo was created to celebrate kids' natural creativity and curiosity, while helping parents who want to bring enriching experiences to their children. They've recently introduced shipping to Australia and bub was lucky to be one of the first Australian kids to trial their boxes.

The crates are available for different age brackets and include age appropriate steam activities. We were sent a koala crate, kiwi crate and a tinker crate. With her 5th birthday this week, I wasn't entirely sure whether the koala or kiwi crate would be most age appropriate, so it was good to be able to trial both. The koala crate was definitely a big hit and we did those activities straight away. She's also really excited to make everything in the kiwi box though. Having seen both, I would recommend if your child is already in school go the kiwi crate, but if they're still in kindergarten or younger stick to the koala crate. Both require some adult assistance still. The tinker crate is obviously way out of her age range, but it was great to see exactly what's included and I was seriously impressed. In fact I'm sure it would take me a while to construct the hydraulic arm that was included in that box {a high school student could probably still do it quicker than me, because my brain is a little rusty thanks to kids!}.

The koala crate was our favourite because it included musical instruments, but I was really impressed that all the crates include a detailed {both pictures and written} instruction booklet, activity booklet and all the items needed for each activity. I love that the boxes provide hands on learning opportunities where kids can build their own items {with a little help}. It was so much fun watching bub's sense of accomplishment as she turned a few loose pieces into a fully working xylophone. I can't wait to finish building our arcade game from the kiwi crate.

Disclosure - I was sent some KiwiCo crates to trial and review. I did not receive payment for this review and all opinions expressed are based on our experience building and playing with the contents of the boxes.

*Some affiliate links have been used within this post. They do not affect the price you pay, but if you decide to purchase I may earn a small commission {to fund my toy addiction}.

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