Two years after the pandemic took root in the U.S., children are still struggling to fully blossom in our new “normal.” While in-person teaching has returned in many parts of the country, that doesn’t diminish the effect of the last two years on our kids.
Whether learning in-person or remotely, young ones are still working through the mental and emotional toll of their lives being flipped upside down. It isn’t a unique problem; it’s affecting virtually every child in the country—including Kristen Bell’s.
So, when the Woman in the House… and The Good Place actress found a solution to this schooling dilemma in KiwiCo, she fell in love. Most importantly, her kids did, too.
What Is KiwiCo?
KiwiCo was created by parents for parents. Founder, CEO, and mom of three, Sandra Oh Lin wanted to “celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity” while also helping parents who struggled to create engaging, educational activities for their kids.
Thus, KiwiCo was born. KiwiCo is a subscription service that sends activity boxes to your child, grandchild, nephew, or niece every one to two months. Each box has a project specifically designed for the child’s age and interests.
A team of engineers, educators, and artists spend over 1,000 hours developing each KiwiCo crate, all of which are then tested by a panel of children. (KiwiCo calls its youth panel its “toughest critics,” and they’re not wrong.)
Indeed, the activity boxes are so much fun that kids don’t even realize how much they’re learning. No KiwiCo crate leaves the research stage without a resounding “WOAH, awesome!” from its young judges. Kristen Bell’s kids give KiwiCo their stamp of approval, too.
“Parenting Hack, Sincerely”
Bell’s family was first introduced to KiwiCo after the company sponsored Armchair Experts, a podcast produced by Bell’s husband and fellow actor, Dax Shepard. Around 2018, KiwiCo sent the Bells a crate for their kids to try.
“That was before all of the Zoom learning started,” Bell explains. “So, what I’ve struggled with with online learning for my kids is there’s much less tactile development for them. My kids are five and seven; they’re at the age where they really need to be hands-on. They don’t want to look at a screen all day. Enter KiwiCo.”
“We make these every single month,” Bell continues, presenting a KiwiCo box to the camera. “A box like this comes in the mail. My kids get genuinely excited.” She turns to her kids off-screen, “do you guys like KiwiCo boxes?”
“Yes, we do!” Her kiddos reply excitedly. “We love KiwiCo boxes! Buy me more tomorrow!”
Ah, kids—Kristen Bell’s life has never seemed more relatable than in that demanding moment.
Fun For The Whole Family
“What comes in each crate is the directions on how to build,” Bell says, unfolding an instruction pamphlet. “There’s pictorial representation, so the kids can do it themselves. Or, if they’re not capable or if you want to do it with them, which I always do, we do it together.”
In addition to instructions and materials needed to complete each project, KiwiCo crates come with supplemental magazines and online resources. The crate Bell presented on her IG, the Tinker Crate, comes with Tinker Zine, which includes additional science experiments and activities.
Each KiwiCo crate is designed for a specific age range—the Tinker Crate is 9 to 14. Panda Crates are for 0-24 months to promote bonding, curiosity, and discovery. Koala (2-4) and Kiwi (5-8) crates help kids explore, learn, and develop motor and problem-solving skills.
The Atlas (6-11), Yummy (6-14), Doodle (9-16), and Tinker (9-14) branch off into specific fields of interest. The Atlas Crate explores geography and culture, while the Yummy Crate focuses on the science of cooking. As the name suggests, the Doodle Crate dives into visual art, and the Tinker Crate focuses on science and engineering.
“My Kids Are In Love”
Since receiving their first KiwiCo crate several years ago, Bell and her family have tried many KiwiCo projects. “You can build crazy things,” Bell says emphatically. “Like, you can build headphones. We have built an arcade claw; they’ve learned about the science of trees. It’s all hands-on. And afterward, you build something like this. Check this out.”
Bell sets a wind-up robot on the table and lets it take a few steps in front of her. “Are you kidding me? His name is Fred McFredders. My kids are in love with him. We took him on a walk around our neighborhood.”
Bell’s kids could even incorporate Mr. McFredders into their new “normal.” “Look what they made him,” Bell says, placing a miniature mask over the robot’s face with a hair tie and piece of cloth. “Stay safe, Fred. Stay safe.”
Not only did her kids get to enjoy the excitement of building an actual robot, but they also found a way to use that project to process the confusing, chaotic reality that is life with COVID. Moreover, they’re laying a priceless foundation for future STEAM learning before they’ve even hit middle school.
Gift The Child In Your Life With KiwiCo Today
Bell started her Instagram video by calling KiwiCo the “best Christmas present to get for a kid this year,” but let’s be honest. Kids are willing (and eager) to accept gifts at any time of year—especially one as engaging, exciting, and fun as KiwiCo.
And luckily, setting up a KiwiCo subscription is a breeze. Enter the child’s name, select the appropriate age range, and KiwiCo will find the perfect crate. Then, you can choose your subscription length.
You can either pay as you go with a monthly subscription or pre-order up to a year’s worth of crates. The more crates you buy at a time, the more you save. And if Bell’s kids are any indication, your child will want more KiwiCo crates—not less.
You can also opt to send KiwiCo crates as a baby shower gift. Alternatively, you can choose a KiwiCo gift card to give our giftee the freedom to choose their own crate. If you are an expecting parent (or excited family member), you can order KiwiCo crates at any point in the pregnancy. KiwiCo won’t ship the child’s first crate until the month of its due date.
COVID’s roots might have stretched deep into our daily lives, but that shouldn’t stop the young ones in your life from flourishing. You can enjoy KiwiCo knowing that it’s acting as an invaluable resource of learning, exploration, and fun for your child. And the kids? Well, they’re just as happy to focus on the fun part.