Our family has been loyal customers of KiwiCo crates for over a year. A new crate comes every month and every one of them brings joy to my kids. My son is obsessed with Tinker Crate and my daughter, even though she is less obsessed, likes the Doodle Crate.
Each crate costs just $19.99 and can be subscribed monthly, for 3, 6, or 12 months. This $20 buys me some quiet time to get stuff done or to work while watching my kids not only enjoy themselves, but actually learn something useful. Doodle crate is less about learning and more about arts and crafts, but creativity needs nurturing too.
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- 60% Off The 1st Monthwith code CS60
- 25% off all subscriptions with coupon code popart
My little girl has always been very artistic, much more so than her brother. She draws, sings, dances, and enjoys spending time learning how to make intricate bracelets and various animals from rubber bands. She is happiest when she has something to do with her hands.
While all KiwiCo boxes are STEAM related, Doodle crate is heaviest on the A part and that’s exactly what we like. She might be slowly outgrowing this crate though, but we will give it another year, especially because I don’t think we can find anything this good.
First of all, the price is good. All the projects are always well thought through and prepared. Every project comes with clear directions and all the needed supplies included. Amazingly, the supplies are always of highest quality, so after a project is done, whatever has been made, lasts for a while and doesn’t fall apart in 2 days.
This month’s Doodle crate is about Shibori messenger bag dyeing and making. I don’t know what Shibori is, but tie die has been all the rage among kids for over two years now. Even my son, who doesn’t usually care what he’s wearing, requires tie dyed clothing.
OK, so I looked up what Shibori is – it’s a dying method when ties and wooden boards are used to make controlled patterns. And there are also a few different methods of it! Milla was excited to learn about these techniques probably even more than making the bag itself.
While I usually don’t participate much when kids work on their crates, because they don’t really need my help, this time I am thankful I was around. Working with permanent colors over my 100% wool carpet can pose some danger.
The crate arrived with the messenger bag itself, wood squares, powder dye in the bottle, gloves, fabric squares, and a white bag. We needed water, scissors, plastic trash bag, paper towels, and iron, which was optional. I have to say that the project is not long if you don’t count major spill cleanup and resulting soaking overnight.
To start she had to pick a pattern she wanted, and she chose NE-MAKI. It comes out as nice round circles and is probably easier to make than ITAJIME, which requires very orderly folding with the help of wooden squares. She tried that one latter too. NE-MAKI involves rubber bands and tying the fabric into little tight bunches. It is very important to wrap the pinched fabric formations tight for the technique to work.
Once the fabric is prepared, it is time to pack it inside a white bag that is placed in the empty Doodle crate. I wasn’t present at that moment, but somehow instead of putting water into a plastic bottle with dye powder and coloring the fabric with it, my daughter emptied the powder into the bag and then poured water there. The bag became full and it was only a matter of minutes before the bag tilted and everything started spilling onto my said wool carpet. I rushed in from the kitchen, grabbed the streaming bag and dumped most of its contents into the kitchen sink. So thankfully not all the deep indigo water spilled on the carpet, but enough of it did.
My poor girl was close to tears that her project won’t come out and that she is in trouble. In trouble she was not, but I did spend good 15 minutes scrubbing the carpet. Fortunately I was able to get most of the color out and now only those of us, who know where it happened, can see a faint blue hue. So all is good. She even made ITAJIME technique as well, since there was no more powdered dye left for future.
Because she made this little mistake and soaked both fabrics in this large quantity of water, instead of just having color placed directly onto the fabric with the small bottle, her patterns are not as vivid as they should’ve been, but they both still look lovely. I actually like these imperfections even better. In art, as it is often in life, you won’t get everything perfect, but the beauty is in the process and in everybody’s unique results.
What we really took away from this project is that mistakes can happen and they are not the end of the world – on the contrary! Thanks to those occasional mistakes we can grow and create some unexpectedly beautiful experiences and things!