Following Instructions Using STEM Boxes

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Summertime can bring on boredom, too much screen-time, and laziness in my children. My 9-year old is a super active girl who needs something to constantly do. It really wears me out sometimes keeping up with her and trying to find activities that will capture her attention. She loves crafts, I do not. She builds, I blog. You should see the cardboard structures she makes from all of my Amazon boxes!


This summer I thought I would try out the Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate from Kiwi Co. I had to explain to her in great detail that these boxes had INSTRUCTIONS she needed to follow. She is really the type of child who opens a box and tosses aside the instructions in favor of figuring it out herself. These boxes are pretty intense, so she has had to learn how to follow instructions or risk destroying her creations. This has been a great lesson for her to learn.

So far we have gotten 2 Tinker Crates and 1 Doodle Crate. 

Her favorite to build was the Mechanical Bird, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive! There is an educational booklet that comes with each crate. She learned a lot about physics and gravity with this Tinker Crate!

She has had a ton of fun building her motorized spin art station. She has always wanted to put something together that had wires and batteries – now she has. She plays with this for hours on end, making beautiful creations!

She also made a Leather Portfolio from a Doodle Crate. She decided to make it more like a purse and added a strap instead of the elastic closure. She was so proud of her purse when she wore it to church to show it off!

We have tried other monthly subscription boxes, but so far the Tinker Crate is her favorite. I love that she has to really use her brain to put these projects together. There is no opening the box and just “going to town” on the materials; she needs to follow the step-by-step instructions. I helped her on the first couple of crates, but she is getting used to the idea that you have to make sure you follow each step or one mistake will throw the whole thing off. 

Tinker Crates

Focus: Science and Engineering
Ages: 9-16
What you get:

  • Awesome Project – Materials to create a creative, innovative STEM project
  • Blueprint – Detailed step-by-step instructions
  • Tinker Zine – Additional science experiments and activities
  • Video Tutorials – Online tutorials with tips and tricks


Doodle Crates

Focus: Art and Design
Ages: 9-16
What you get:

  • Quality Materials – From yarn to washi tape, everything you need to create amazing DIYs
  • New Techniques – Get inspired with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions
  • Inspiration Sheet – Detailed instructions with design inspiration
  • Video Tutorials – Online tutorials with tips and tricks


KiwiCo. has other crates you can get for all ages (starting at baies!): Cricket (ages 0-36 months) | Koala (ages 3-4) | Kiwi (ages 5-8)

Written by Carrie


Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.

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