Playing with babies doesn’t come naturally. From the time your baby is a newborn to even a year old, his behavior, likes, dislikes, and play habits evolve dramatically. It’s hard to keep up, let alone figure out which toys and activities are the best for his development.
I have two kids and have been blogging about babies for 3 years and I’m still stumped as to how to play with my kiddos sometimes. Not to mention, wasted a ton of money on toys that my babies didn’t even like.
That’s why when I saw an ad on Facebook for the KiwiCo Panda Crate, I jumped on board with all hands and feet.
The Panda Crate is a subscription box that delivers developmentally-appropriate toys straight to your porch. These toys stimulate your baby’s rapidly developing skills and encourage quality bonding time. AND, it’s actually affordable.
Sound too good to be true? I’ll let you decide!
In this KiwiCo Panda Crate review, I’m going over my entire experience. What’s included, what I liked, what I didn’t, and (what everyone wants to know) how to SAVE on the Panda Crate. I hope you’re ready to have some fun!
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Pros and Cons: The Kiwico Panda Crate Review At-a-Glance
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions. Fun fact: I actually was not gifted this box. I bought it on my own and joined the affiliate program afterwards so I could share it with all of you!
- Developmentally Appropriate: Boxes are curated for your baby’s specific age
- Hands-on: In addition to the toys, each crate comes with activity suggestion cards
- Boxes developed by child development experts
- Great value for toys
- Games are fun and easy for parents
- Bi-Monthly Shipment
- Cancel or Pause at Any Time
- Unable to choose items in boxes (baby’s interest may vary)
- No refunds on delivered subscription boxes
What is KiwiCo?
Like all good start-ups, KiwiCo was created by a mom that wanted to solve a problem.
CEO and mom of 3, Sandra, founded KiwiCo with the goal of providing an easy way for parents to stimulate their children’s creativity and learn new things. KiwiCo’s subscription boxes are pulled together by experts in the field and then reviewed by parents and more-than-willing children testers.
The items in these boxes are decided on based on your baby’s age, and as your baby grows into a child, his interests.
The coolest thing is, KiwiCo’s boxes are about half the price of other subscription boxes.
What’s the Panda Crate?
The Panda Crate is KiwiCo’s subscription box for babies ages 0-24 months. It’s a bi-monthly subscription, typically priced at $19.95 a month (but we’ll talk about ways to save below).
Each Panda Crate box has a theme. For example, the box that I’m reviewing is the Travel With Me box, made specifically for 3-6 month old babies.
In general, each crate includes about 5-6 skill-developing, brain-stimulating toys, coordinating activity cards, “beyond the box” cards (which offers more helpful developmental activities), plus a helpful pamphlet explaining how you can assist your baby’s current development.
What’s Included in the Panda Crate Travel With Me Box:
- Interactive Floor Mat
- Sun Rattle
- Crinkly Book
- Teething Star
- Cloud Rattle
- Coordinating Activity Cards
- Beyond the Crate Cards
Remember, your box might be different depending on when you order and how old your baby is. But, I think this sample gives you a good idea of what to expect from KiwiCo. Let’s dig a little further into some features of the box that I think you’ll really like.
Highlights from the Panda Crate
To be honest, I always question what kind of toys I should buy for my kids. I have a very realistic fear that my children won’t like what I buy them or I’m buying the wrong type of toy.
But guess what?
I (and my baby) genuinely loved all of the toys in the Panda Crate. They were multi-purpose, adorable, stimulating, and excellent quality. I was a little worried KiwiCo would send out cheap toys…that’s not the case. $15 a month for great toys is definitely worth it.
So, you have all these new fancy toys, but you’re still stumped. How do you play with your baby?
That’s where the activity cards come in.
Thanks to these flash cards, I knew how to get the most of the toys and play with my baby in an interactive way. For example, the Panda Crate Travel With Me Box includes a playmat and star teether. The cards suggested hiding the star in the moon pocket of the playmat for a little game of “where’d the star go.” This seems simple, but I wouldn’t have thought of it myself. And my baby was delighted by it.
My Baby Loved It
When you purchase new toys for babies, there’s always a chance that your little one just won’t be interested. So, when my baby really seemed to get into the toys (and still plays with them) it was a relief.
Now at 6 months, my baby still uses these toys. The crinkle book and star teether are her favorites. The playmat has held up extraordinarily well to spit ups, dirt, and crazy toddler shenanigans.
The downside is, you don’t get to choose which toys your Panda Crate includes. This is the dual edged-sword of KiwiCo subscription boxes. In the next box, I didn’t like the toys as much. The quality was still definitely there, but my baby wasn’t interested in a couple of the items. Having said that, you can check out KiwiCo’s website and look forward to the next box. If you decide it’s not for you, you can pause or cancel your subscription.
Is KiwiCo or Lovevery Better?
Ah, the KiwiCo vs. Lovevery debate.
Like KiwiCo, Lovevery offers developmentally-appropriate toys for babies every 2 months. These toys are designed to help your baby test his motor skills and parents to teach their babies new things. Lovevery crates offer roughly 7-8 toys. Many of these toys are sturdy, wooden products. The catch is, these boxes are about $36 a month, or $80 per box. Double the price of the Panda Crate.
I think both boxes are great, but for me, it just came down to price. The items in the Panda Crate were half the price of Lovevery and my daughter really enjoys them, so it was the best choice for us.
How Much Does Panda Crate Cost?
What’s the price of the Panda Crate? The price varies, depending on your purchase choice:
- 1 Crate every 2 Months
- 3 Crates for 6 Months
- 6 Crates for 12 Months
- 12 Crates for 24 months (lowest price)
KiwiCo is always having sales on their crates! Right now you can save 30% off on your first month when you sign up for their newsletter.
Shipping is free. Once you purchase your Panda Crate, it usually ships out in 3-5 business days. Mine shipped out in 2 days, making my total ship time 5 days.
How to Purchase a Panda Crate Subscription or Buy It as a Gift
I loved the simplicity of KiwiCo’s website. You just go to KiwiCo.com, click “our lines,” then select the Panda Crate (this link takes you straight to the Panda Crate).
Enter your baby’s name and age. From here you can choose which shipping options you’d like (1 crate every 2 months, etc.) and then enter your 30% discount code.
Alternatively, if you’d like to gift the Panda Crate to someone, you can choose “termed subscriptions.” These boxes are more expensive than the subscription boxes, but they don’t renew. Perfect for baby shower gifts or birthdays!
KiwiCo Panda Crate Review: Would I Recommend It?
If you can’t tell, the Panda Crate worked out fabulously for us. I thought the items were high quality and I loved the bonding time the crate initiated between my daughter and I. I feel so much more confident in my ability to play with my daughter now.
If you really want to engage with your baby but aren’t sure which toys to buy or how to play with them, check. this. out. The Panda Crate is fun, cheap (especially when you take into account the 30% off deal!), and well-worth it!
If you’d like to grab your Panda Crate, check it out here. (Don’t forget to save 30% off on your first box!)
Already purchased the Panda Crate? Let me know your experiences below!
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