Harlow went to a very progressive school in the city and their philosophy is to let the kids explore and create without a ton of teacher direction. Let’s just say, the art Harlow brought back from school was pretty abstract. Lots of scribbles, random brush strokes and found materials glued on larger pieces of paper.

This summer, Harlow is going to a camp where the teachers are obviously much more involved in the art work. She brings home a paper plate that looks exactly like a zebra or a construction paper pirate hat with no misplaced parts or scribbles outside the lines, and I pretty much know she had minimal involvement in the creation of these crafts.

Which is fine, because I feel no guilt whatsoever in throwing them out.

Beyond drawing, I haven’t done many crafts with Harlow at home because I thought she was still a little young. When Kiwi Crate contacted me to test out their Koala Crates with Harlow, I thought they were confused.

“You mean Mazzy?”

Mazzy and I had done a Snowman-themed Kiwi Crate last winter and I thought she would love their “Let’s Bake” Craft.

But no, they meant Harlow. While Kiwi Crates’ signature line is designed for kids 4-8 years-old, the Koala Crates are specifically designed for preschoolers.


Kiwi Crate aims to make it super convenient for busy parents to give their kids opportunities to explore, build and create by offering a subscription service that delivers age-appropriate hands-on projects to your door every month. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend my quality time doing the project than coming up with the project (and sourcing the materials), so this seems like a pretty good deal.

We got the Cityscapes Crate which includes all the materials and tools to create wooden city-themed blocks, a decorative bag for the blocks and painted skyline postcards.



Harlow was thrilled when I told her we were crafting together. She pulled out the “destructions” and looked them over so carefully, I was half expecting her to tell me what to do.



We made the blocks first which consisted of peeling off stickers and placing them on each side of a plain wooden cube.



It’s a simple task but it required great concentration from Harlow who wanted to get each one exactly straight. The task used up a good chunk of time too because there were 48 stickers to cover 12 different blocks.


The end result was pretty satisfying with a well-designed set of blocks that easily could have been purchased at a high end kid’s store. Meaning— I have no desire to toss it!


Harlow spent a bit of time playing with the blocks before we moved onto the next part of the project, which is another great thing about Kiwi Crate— most of their crafts are designed with future use in mind.


Next up was the sticker stencils which we used to decorate a cotton drawstring bag for the blocks. Harlow stuck the sticker stencils on the bag and then painted blue sparkly paint with a sponge applicator on top.



As much fun as Harlow was having (and she was clearly loving every moment), I think I had even more fun watching her experiment with new materials and seeing how focused she was on distributing the paint. Her mouth was pursed tightly in her “I’m concentrating” face.



I assure you, even though Harlow looks OH SO SERIOUS, she was loving every second of this.

After the bag was done, we moved onto the skyline painted postcards. In this instance, Harlow used the reverse of the stencil, which was placing the shapes on the paper wherever she pleased, painting over the entire thing and then peeling off the stickers once it dried.


I love how each activity was super simple but taught Harlow something completely new about positive and negative space.


The three crafts together took us about an hour and Harlow didn’t bore once. I actually think she would have continued playing and crafting but I told her we needed the projects to dry.


She was so excited to be making crafts at home and particular about executing correctly, it made me think— perhaps Harlow really did make the paper plate zebra?

Maybe I should pull it out of the trash.

Today, I am giving away a 6 month subscription to Kiwi Crate!

To enter, visit the Kiwi Crate site and tell me which project would most appeal to your child in the comments below.

You must be a Mommy Shorts Facebook Fan or subscriber to enter. You can use your winning subscription for Koala Crate (3-4 years old), Kiwi Crate (4-8 years-old), Tinker Crate (9-14+) or Doodle Crate (9-16+).


For first time users, get an exclusive 30% off discount on your subscription using code SHORTS30. The discount will work on Koala, Kiwi, Tinker, and Doodle crates. Valid through 12/31/2015.

Shop Kiwi Crate here!


winner update:

And the winner is…. Michelle, whose daughter (aka destruction queen) would probably have the most fun with the castles & catapults kit – congrats! Please contact to claim your prize!


This post was sponsored by Kiwi Crate, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Plus, if Harlow doesn’t like something, you’d know it!