“Talk to me about Tinker Crate.” This is undoubtedly what follows when I tell my friends we’re using Tinker Crate as a big part of our science this year. I had some doubts myself before I ordered it, so I thought I would do a Tinker Crate review for the fellow doubters.
My ‘mom-view’ Tinker Crate review
Because we’re moms and we want the best stuff for our kids, but we also want to spend our (husband’s) money wisely, I’ve broken this down into small, bite-sized bits of info for you for easy reading. Also, to clarify, I’m an affiliate for Tinker Crate, but was not compensated with cash or free product to do this review. This is just something that I wanted to share (because, spoiler alert: I think Tinker Crate is awesome!).
- First things first, what comes in the boxes? Every single thing you’ll need to create something pretty cool. (Except something liquid.) Everything from the glue to a random push pin to a package of fiber optic strands. It’s all in there. There’s also a large sheet with the instructions and a Tinker-zine, which is a booklet with a ton of info and other ideas about the month’s topic.
- Can my 8 year old do this? That depends. The recommended ages for this 9-16 and I really think that’s accurate. The crates we’ve done so far are pretty involved. They are perfect for my 11-year-old. They would be great for my 14-year-old’s skill level too, but he’s not been overly enthused about Tinker Crate. But then again, he’s 14 and the exciting-things-list is pretty short. I don’t know your 8-year-old, but if he’s like mine, Tinker Crate might be frustrating for him to do on his own. You might find yourself doing a lot of it, as the parent.
- Is it flexible if I want to cancel or just get a few crates? Yes, totally! That’s the only reason I did it. If I would have had to sign up for a whole year, I wouldn’t have done it. I wanted to pay for it all in full and I wanted to try it out for a short time, to see if we liked it. I did the three-month subscription over the summer. You can do a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription and the subscription cost includes shipping. Or you can search through the shop and grab just one crate that stands out to you. It cost a little more this way though.
It’s really easy to cancel too, if you’d like to. On the website under ‘My Account’ you can manage all that easily. I had to update my debit card number and it was super easy to navigate.
What if my kid isn’t a tinkerer?
Well…I haven’t bought any of them, but there’s other options for monthly crates:
- Koala Crate is for ages 3-4 and includes things to create a project about a subject like snakes, art, or transportation.
- Kiwi Crate is for ages 5-8. It includes instructions and info on creating something about a science topic. Like wind or animals.
- Doodle Create is for ages 9 and up. (I’m thinking about signing up for this one too.) It’s all about art and different, cool techniques you might not do otherwise. Stamp making, leather working and block printing are just a few of the past crates they’ve sent out.
A few other things I like about Tinker Crate
- The directions are so clear and perfect for kids who might not be the most thorough of instruction-readers.
- The project will sometimes require them to use even the box it came in. I really like this.
- There are always a few extra pieces included in the kits.
- Getting happy mail each month is so much fun!
- I get an email when it’s shipped, so I know it’s coming. I also get a heads-up on what kind of project is coming, which helps us get all excited.
- These are projects I would probably never do otherwise. There’s a lot of pieces involved, sometimes pieces that would be try to find. I like convenience. It’s nice.
- It’s quality stuff. It really is. We’ve signed up for other month subscriptions and what we’ve gotten does not fit the bill. But this? This is so worth your $20 or so a month. I had doubts about what we’d get, but this was the biggest surprise for me. Great quality!
So, to summarize, we really like Tinker Crate. A whole lot. Initially, I signed up for the 3-month subscription for the summer months. But I just signed up for another 3-month subscription. I don’t know if I’d do the whole year, just because I wouldn’t want to get behind and have 5 unfinished boxes sitting around. But for us, the 3-month option has been perfect.
I hope you found this review helpful. I was really looking for something like this–short, sweet, and honest–before I signed up and I couldn’t find anything.
What about you? Have you tried Tinker Crate?