Run Oregon Test Kitchen (or Playroom): Tinker Crate

When it comes to running and kids, parents have several choices, and those choices depend on the children's age, too. You can either bring the children with you (in stroller, on bikes, or running), run while they are otherwise occupied (at school, camps, sports, etc.), or leave them at home in the care of another responsible person (other parent, sitter). Or when they are the right age, you can leave them at home by themselves while you hit the road. I'm currently at a stage in my children's lives where they are old enough and I can trust them enough that I am comfortable leaving them for an hour without fearing poor choices. I'm even more at ease when I know that they are involved in an activity that will keep them busy and involved for some time. Enter Tinker Crate

Getting started.

Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription box by Kiwi Crate Ltd, that is filled with several science, technology, and engineering activities. From the instant my eleven-year-old son opened his first Tinker Crate, he was fascinated. He looked through the parts and booklets, and was hoping to have some time immediately to get started on figuring out what to make. When he sat down with his crate, he chose the wooden engineering project first, which was a string operated robotic hand. The instructions were clear to him and he worked for some time, sharing his progress with me along the way. When the thirteen-year-old saw what was going on, he pulled up a chair and started reading the “Tinker Zine” magazine, sharing interested facts about the science of 3D printing in prosthetics. In all, they were both engaged for over half an hour on the first sitting, and hadn’t yet gotten close to completing all the activities. I’m sure they will look forward to their Tinker Crate every month.

Two kids tinkering.

Kiwi Crate offers a variety of choices in their subscription. Crates are available for age group 3-4 years “Koala Crate”, 5-8 years “Kiwi Crate”, and 9-16 years old. The two crates for younger children contain age appropriate science and art activities, while in the oldest age group you can choose between the art centered “Doodle Crate” and the STEM based “Tinker Crate”.

Subscription prices vary depending on the length of the pre-paid subscription. All subscriptions renew automatically, but you can cancel any time. A one-month or three-month subscription costs $19.95 per month, the six-month subscription is $18.95/month, and the one year subscription averages to $16.95/month. You can buy a single crate as well for $29.95.

First project almost done.

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