New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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Totally Together

A Review of Kiwi Crate Art Projects for Kids

March 14, 2012 by · 8 Comments 

 


Spring Break and Summer Vacation are sneaking up on me. We’ve got Spring Break the week leading into Easter, and then have another day off to recover from the holiday. That’s 6 days of me being home with all three kids that I’ve got to figure out how to fill so I’m not subjected to days upon days of Netflixed episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place or (#someonepleasehelpme) Caillou.
[side bar: did you know there was an I Hate Caillou page on Café Mom? Hysterical.]

Anyhow, when BlogHer asked if I’d test out the subscription-based Kiwi Crate art box, I said #yespleaseandthankyou right away.
[another side bar: I had this as a work-from-home business idea back in 2003. I was going to call them Preschool Packets and make up worksheets and art projects and sell them online, and on Ebay. I think I have a domain name or two that I’m still paying for…]

My idea was complete amateur hour compared to the Kiwi Crates. This is a very well designed and executed product. I initially thought the art boxes were kind of pricey at $19.95 each, but once I saw what they entailed, I changed my mind.

The “crate” is a thick cardboard box–the kind a really expensive pair of shoes comes in-and the kind that my kids COVET for all of their collections (more often than not the “collection” is gum wrappers, or Popsicle sticks, or soda can tabs. #Icantevenexplainhowmuchthisannoysme) and the art supplies are wrapped in tissue paper.

The presentation worked on my kids–they were instantly excited and could hardly wait to dig in.

Our box contained three art projects: a stained glass mosaic, a color-your-own spinning top, and a canvas art bag that was colored by wetting tissue paper squares with a water dropper. Totally cool. The box also contained two bluntish Fiskars kid scissors, markers, and 3-D glasses.

We invited our neighbors over, and pulled out some construction paper and stickers to keep the babies busy. I had 2 seven-year-olds, a ten-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 2-year-old all sharing the supplies from this box (along with the aforementioned stickers and paper for the little guys).

The kids worked straight for about an hour, and really enjoyed themselves. The markers were small and were a bit dried out; so I replaced them with our own Crayola washables.

All the kids occupied themselves long enough for my friend Jen and me to make and enjoy two cups of coffee. And gossip conversation.

That is so worth $19.95.

Also, we have enough leftover for a few more collage projects, and the kids are enjoying the canvas art bags (good quality; the baby put in a bunch of pointy rocks and dragged it around outside) and the Fiskars scissors will last a life time.

If I wanted to buy everything at Michael’s and put this together myself I’d spend more than the $20 and would have to prep everything–not something I’m honestly going to do.

I really like this as a gift idea. I’m going to see if I can get the grandparents on board and get an annual subscription for the kids for Christmas this year. I think the kids will get a kick out of opening a new box with a new activity/project each month and the anticipation of awaiting a new arrival. They really like mail as it is.

In the mean time, I’m going to sign up to get us through the summer months. We’re laying low again-I hate paying for lots of activities, and I really like having the kids home with me, even if they argue and bicker more than I’d like them to. (socialization! in action!)

And the projects are cool. My tweenager (#notmymostfavoriteterm) was all into the art supplies, and I can definitely see her and her friends working on these types of art activities together out in the yard.

Before they head off to middle school next year.

Which isn’t okay with me.

I wonder if Kiwi Crate has some sort of time machine project where I can have the kids on “pause” for a while?

day 43–Valentine’s Day prep

February 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

43

Something fishy is going on with the site. I seem to no longer be able to auto-post, so I’m going to post this live on Thursday night. My fingers are crossed that it works! I keep losing posts which is highly annoying.  I think I might need to update my wordpress, which I’ve been putting off. I get it that most people who are “real” bloggers like wordpress way more than blogger, but I much prefer blogger. I can understand it!

Today:

get ready for Valentine’s Day. It’s this Sunday. Get cards, toys, chocolate, and whatever you need to get for the kids and anyone else.

Convince your husband to not buy over-priced flowers. It’s much more romantic to get flowers for $1.99 from Trader Joe’s for no reason at all.

daily 7

mop, vacuum, and gear up for a long weekend

if you’re in the snow, stay warm and cozy! The news makes it seem absolutely nutty.

yesterday: reclaim the master bedroom

day 40–Tuesday, Feb 9th

February 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

40

Well, I did pretty well yesterday with my weekend recovery, although as I type, I’ve got the remnants of three loads of folded laundry on the couch staring at me.

This is a busy week with school board meetings, softball practice, the 100th day of school, a spring concert, Valentine’s Day parties, and 2 girl scout meetings. I needed Monday to be low-key in order to gear up for the next few days!

Today:

run errands

PROM kitchen cabinets—go super quickly, don’t obsess

Daily 7

3D Heart Craft

–cut hearts out of colored construction paper

–pick two hearts of the same size

–find the half-way point of the fold in the middle

–starting at the top, cut one heart down the middle of the fold to the halfway point

–cut the other heart to the middle point starting from the bottom

–slide the hearts together using the cut slits

–decorate with stickers, markers, glitter, etc.

–punch hold and hang with thread

yesterday: monday weekend recovery (super bowl recovery!)

days 30 & 31–get ready for Valentine’s Day

January 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

30 & 31

It’s the weekend! You made it through another week—congratulations! Do you have big plans, or are you laying low for the next few days? My goal is to get to the store for ingredients for some new slow cooker recipes. I’ve got a slew I’m dying to check out. Other than that, we’re laying pretty low.

But! We’re going to make some Valentine’s Day decorations, because the day will be here before you (I) know it. We (I) should probably get the cards for school out of the way, too.

Simple Craft Ideas for Valentine’s Day

–snowflake hearts

–red, purple, and pink paper chains

–heart mosaics

–heart mobiles

–hearts linked together (like paper dolls)

–bouquet of heart flowers

–magazine collage/decopage in heart shape


This Weekend:

family fun

daily 7

clean out the family car/vehicle

yesterday: friday fun day; breast self-exam

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