diagnosis: cabin fever, cure: crate of craps

30 January 2015

How many times can I type about cabin fever/cancer before it starts to become a recurrent theme here at the Camp? Five posts ago? I know. Well, it's bad. I've mentioned before that Sebastian especially needs to get outside or he starts to go a little crazy (like most 3-year-old boys, I'd imagine) and projects his crazy onto everyone else and by 10:12 in the am ... welcome to the nuthouse. So! When Kiwi Crate, an award winning monthly subscription service chalk full of educational fun for kids, asked if I'd like to have the kids test drive a couple of their genius boxes and write a sponsored post about them ... I bit. Not quite as hard as Sebastian bit Julia's forehead last week but ... I bit pretty hard.

The kids were like, "oh, okay mom ... we'll do something fun and totally out of the ordinary."


{Phoebe like, "Theo's asleep so I'll take his place as pesky third wheel, sacrificial lamb that I am."}

No, when I asked Julia if she wanted to do some crafts like she does at school she looked at me like I had 78 heads and said, "what? no, we do not do craps at school."

Fair enough.

I think one time a couple years ago I cut some unrecognizable "bats" out of black construction paper and taped them on the wall around Halloween and decided I'd filled my craft quota for my entire motherhood so it was with a bit of trepidation that I opened the boxes with the kids. But, I needn't have stressed like the Grace Patton that I am because with just a tiny bit of guidance ... they were off and running on their own in no time. Each crate comes with 2-3 activities to keep them busy for hours over an extended period of days. Really.

Sebastian almost had a little toddler heart attack when he opened his Koala Crate (for ages 3-4) and it was all "CHRUX!!!" themed ... and I wish I could stay I staged and planned that he was wearing that shirt to match the theme but that is the only shirt he wears these days. Ever ...

There was a wooden truck and blocks and a mat that you could "paint" on with water (It was so evident that there are experts behind the scenes making sure each crate is totally age appropriate and engaging ... I was happy to not see any actual paint) and a little cardboard ramp and road signs and Washi tape to make roads galore. I loved that there was lots of suggestions for what to do (and Bash had a grand time pretending he was very seriously reading the "constructions") but mostly he was just so tickled with the zillions of options with his goods that I just let him play (skipping his nap! He had to have been a perfect quiet little angel for this quiet-craving mom to allow that) for 2+ hours. Everything in his box was completely reusable and he's slept with that truck under his pillow every night since it was opened.

Julia's Kiwi Crate (for ages 4-8) was a bit more involved which was so perfect for Miss Detail-Oriented. She built and taped together a snowman (which was too perfect because as much as I hate snow ... the kids have been so sad that there hasn't been enough snow for a snowman this year AND they are borderline obsessed with us having carrots on-hand for a carrot nose just in case the snow gods decide to dump on us) and then decorated all four sides with a combination of stickers and markers.

And the second part of her crate involved putting together lanterns (complete with flameless candles) which she thought was pretty incredible ...

... photo shoot on top of the toilet because ... only dark room in the house.

Her crate included a ball to "bowl" with her snowman which I thought she might enjoy at the very least ... 

... but the first time she finally (she might've inherited her mom's sporty spice skills which is to say she is sporty spice skill-less, sorry J) knocked the man down she swiftly switched gears into cheerleader for Team Self.

Repeat 3829230 more times. Self confidence is pretty below average around here.

To note:

+ all subscriptions come with free shipping
+ there's an add-on "no fight" sibling option (did someone hear Theo waking from his nap?)
+ Beyond the Koala Crate (ages 3-4) and the Kiwi Crate (ages 4-8) there's also a Tinker Crate (ages 9-14) and a Doodle Crate (ages 9-16)

Next time super kind and generous relatives ask for birthday and Christmas ideas for the kids I just might have to point them in the direction of this post instead of drawing my usual blank. I was expecting the kids to like the crates and enjoy the activities but Julia exclaimed, "this is just the most terrific day of our lives, huh Bash?!" while she was busy working so I think to say, yes - they sort of liked them, at the very least.

If you're thinking your kids or some kids you know and love might like a little boost of happy this wonderful winter ... feel free to click over and use the discount code: CP30 and get 30% off your first month's subscription (any crate!) and you can see some of the past popular crates here.

Happy, happy weekend.

I pray there's an embarrassment of unhealthy football food + commercials that don't disappoint in your very near future. And mine.


  1. i'm a little sad to see they only do crates up to 16 yrs old because from the sounds of it my 28 year old self would LOVE it. gorgeous photos of play time too!

  2. I secretly love that it didn't come with actual paint.....the bane of my existence whenever I visit my sisters kids. I asked her who was crazy enough to get them water color paints and she just sadly shook her head as I cleaned up spilled dixie cups filled with murky paint water all day long. I'll have to send this over to them especially since they are cooped up with snow in Jersey!

  3. I had looked at this last week for the kids (I'm not a crafter. At all.) so I took the plunge and signed them up. Hopefully you'll see the referral credit for our purchase!

  4. I've seen the crates come up as a ad suggestion before and never paid much attention but those look really, really neat and I think our kids would love them. Especially the six year old.

    And I especially love that the trucks makes tracks with water on the mat. For a second, looking at the paper I gasped because I totally thought it was ink and I thought that you were super brave. But with water that would be perfect for our little guy!

  5. With two February birthdays coming up, I needed this post today! I was knew deep in holy-cow-what-can-I-get-you-both land and it was getting ugly!

  6. My 4 year old son always says "constructions", too! Great thing to know about - if we hadn't abandoned our previous frozen tundra abode (where we resided with a crazy 3 year old boy last winter), I too would be fighting cabin fever...

  7. I clearly have no use for these boxes, but I love reading the posts anyway. Even sponsored ones, because you clearly are using it.

    also, i want J's chambray shirt to be my own. AND THAT HAIRCUT. too bad I look like a chubby emo boy with short hair

  8. oh Grace, have I told you lately that I love you? ;) This cracked me up. Love Bash's constructions, and Pheobe and Julia never fail to make me laugh. Plus Theo's suck it up suck it in is my life mantra till the wedding! x



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