KiwiCo Koala Crate Review: Is It Worth It for 3 to 4 year olds?

Wondering if Kiwico's Koala Crate is worth it? In short: yes! But it depends... In this Koala Crate review I'm going to walk you through how this line is different than others, who I think it's a best fit for, the biggest concerns, and our personal experience after getting our first Koala crate back in the Summer of 2021, so it's been about 2 years now.


What is KiwiCo?

KiwiCo is a company that's part fun and part learning activity company. They produce expert backed, kid tested, and award winning STEAM projects and activities for people of all different ages… literally, from newborns to 101 year olds, they've got something for you!

They offer individual products for sale in their online store as well as different crates lines by age and interest in their monthly subscription service; all designed to stimulate kids' natural creativity and critical thinking.

All of Kiwico crates ship monthly (except the Panda Crate for 0 to 3 years old which ships every other month).

What age is Koala Crate for?

KiwiCo's Koala Crate line is for ages 3 to 4 years old and ships monthly.

What comes in the Koala Crate?

Each Koala Crate box is themed with 2 to 3 different activities inside, including an instruction booklet, and all the supplies you'll need. The crates with 2 hands-on projects typically come with a book too.

For subscribers, you can add a bonus book for $10.95 to each crate.

Personal Experience with Koala Crates:

I'm a DIYer at heart, so we do a lot of activities naturally, but I love keeping Koala Crates in our closet as a great way to spend a rainy day doing a last minute activity.

The 3 to 4 year old crates require a good amount of parent involved to follow the instructions, which make for a great way to spend quality time with kids while building something together, which is super rewarding.

What really worked best for us during the 2 to 3 year old period was utilizing KiwiCo's storefront.

We purchased the “window garden” and “baking and fractions,” both of which my kid LOVED. To this day, both of my kids use the baking supplies every single day and it's such a great buy.

Around 3 years old, my daughter became more interested in following instructions in the KiwiCo Crate work and we found it provided the best value overall for us.

Currently my son is about 21 months (so younger than the intended age range), but he has also enjoyed the Koala Crates since he was about 12 months.

He would often play with the things my oldest made from the Koala crates, like the glow in the dark firefly or musical instruments. One of the cool things if you have mixed aged kids, your oldest can do the project with you, then your young kids can use the toy once the oldest is done. I think that stretches its value quite a bit too and provides a lot of fun for the family.

What if my child is between ages?

If your child is kind of in-between crate lines you can switch lines at any time during your subscription.

This is a GREAT feature in my opinion. For instance, my daughter is just over 4 and the Koala Crates are great for her right now, but I can see how before her 5th birthday she'll may enjoy the Kiwi Crates for 5 to 8 year olds more.

What if my child doesn't like the month's project?

When it comes to young or old toddlers, you really want to focus on building their creative confidence and confidence momentum. That's largely why I like having the control from 2 to 3 years old the Kiwico storefront offers.

I find the majority of 4 year olds become more interested in following instructions and enjoy the Koala Crates at some point during the year.

If my child wants to play with items in different ways than the box intended, I don't want to feel stressed about them doing it “right.”

So my suggestion are:
  • Get okay with things not looking like the picture and go full steam ahead
  • Review the instruction booklet first, and choose which activity you think your child can handle at this age and only pull that stuff out. Each booklet has skills it works (e.g fine motor skills, caring, etc.) mess level, and parent involvement noted by each individual activity.
  • Choose single crates from the KiwiCo storefront

Above all else, remember this is meant to be a great time for everyone involved so have fun and use the included inspiration booklet for more play ideas with everyday objects.

Are Koala Crates age appropriate?

Overall, I'd say yes, Kiwico did a great job with matching the crates with the intended age range.

In 2023 KiwiCo revamped their Panda Crate and Koala Crate lines. Panda Crate originally served newborns to 24 months old, but now covers up to 36 months. Koala Crate's used to be for 24 to 48 months, but now are for 3 to 4 year olds. I think this was a smart move.

Benefits of the Panda Crate for 2 to 3 year olds:

Originally these crates were in the Koala Crate Line, so I want to touch on them briefly here:

A massive benefit to these crates: they really help parents connect with their 2 year old.

It's no secret, two is such an odd age. Not quite a preschooler, not quite a baby. Play at this age is in between parallel and cooperative. The Panda Crates for this age range, provide items with minimal “activity” based instructions, but more so instructions for how to play with and questions to ask this age range. Essentially it teaches caregivers how to cultivate critical thinking, empathy, fine motor skills, and more in the child – which is really what they should be working on at this age.

Benefits of Koala crates for 3 to 4 year olds:

The Koala Crates in the 3 to 4 year old range include more step-by-step instructions that are activity focused. I love this because they are still engaging in that 4 to 5 year old range too and provide plenty of spin off for homeschool lessons and further learning.

For instance, the Farm crate includes 3 activities. You can do one a day at home, head to the library to get books about farming another day, and do a field trip to a local farm on a different day. And voila! You've done an entire homeschool week on farming just like that!

Parents will need to read the instructions to kids and always remain involved on some level, but most of the instructions are easy enough for kids to follow on their own.

KiwiCo Koala Crates Cons:

#1 You don't know exactly what you're getting.

For instance, we got the doctor box which is intended for 2 to 3 year olds (this is now in the Panda Crate line). It's not one I personally would've chosen. So while it's a great activity, I think we may have gotten more use from some of their other good ideas you can purchase individually, which is why the KiwiCo Store is a great option.

Additionally, while you may not know what you’re getting in the Koala Crates, since they are ultimately activities, you aren’t likely to have duplicate toys at home already, which is a nice win.

#2 You can DIY the activities for less.

Which is absolutely true if you have a well stocked craft supply closet or plan to set this up for multiple kids.

However, most of the Koala Crates use high-quality materials with uniquely cut woods and felts that most of us don't have.

Additionally, we've relied on Koala Crates for their ease and convenience after I had our second and my toddler was about 3 years old as a special treat for us. We also found them a huge help when we put all of our stuff in storage and started moving around a ton since I don't have my usual craft closet and they ended up being a time and cost saver.

#3 Automatic renewals

Lastly, some people have left comments to me over the years not liking that the subscriptions automatically renew.

If you tend to forget about subscriptions, there's a handy little swap you can use while checking out, where you click “Learn about our non-renewing subscriptions ➜” and can purchase a non-renewing subscription at a slight markup (e.g. $5 more for the 6 month subscription and $3 more for the 12 month subscription).

How much is Koala Crate per month?

Koala Crates start at $27.95 if you purchase via the KiwiCo Store. You can bundle 3 for $70.95 via the shop too, which comes out to $23.95 per crate).

However the best financial deals come via their subscription where you can purchase a single month subscription box for $23.95 (a $4 savings compared to the storefront), a six month subscription for $19.95 per crate, or an annual subscription for $18.85 per crate.

Koala crates are a monthly subscription box, so the monthly price is the price per crate.

Koala Crate Coupon Code:

Use code ‘TCM' for 50% off your first month’s subscription here!

What if you lose the step-by-step directions?

Simply email about your Koala Crate lost instructions and they can help you out.

List of Koala Crates:

*note: With the age range switch between the Panda Crates and Koala crates, I'm not positive where these fell in the split; but originally these were all in the Koala Crate:

Since Koala Crates ship monthly and are designed for 3 to 4 year olds, there are at least 12 unique Koala Crates you’ll receive. KiwiCo generally doesn’t disclose all of their crates as they constantly switch things up for the best experience. 

This is the list of Koala Crates I was able to discern from the internet, but there are more unique crates in the line too:

  1. koala crate rainbows
  2. koala crate ocean games
  3. koala crate color mixing
  4. koala crate glowing nature
  5. koala crate little driver
  6. koala crate farm
  7. koala crate jungle fun
  8. koala crate number play
  9. koala crate doctor
  10. koala crate music
  11. koala crate camping
  12. koala crate safari
  13. koala crate reptiles
  14. koala crate bugs
  15. koala crate medieval fun
  16. koala crate dinosaurs
  17. koala crate space search
  18. koala crate kitchen play
  19. koala crate mail delivery
  20. koala crate forest friends
  21. koala crate neighborhood fun
  22. koala crate letter play

Final thoughts

Overall, I like the Koala Crates from KiwiCo. I’m personally a bit of a control freak, so I like shopping the KiwiCo Store until about 3 years old as it fits our family’s needs at the time a bit better. Then switching to the Koala Crate subscription around 3 years old. I found my daughter just devours the monthly crates. The different theme boxes and art projects are things I wouldn't have set up without Kiwico so overall I'm a huge fan and find they really flex innovation and imagination beautifully for this age.