If you have a baby under 12 months of age, you’ve probably heard of the Panda Crate. Today we are going to take a look at another Kiwico crate. This is our review of the Kiwico Panda Crate “Chat With Me”. KiwiCo was kind enough to let us have a review copy to take through the paces.
Since I don’t personally have any infants to use as a “reviewer”, I relied on one of our Friends of Fractus with a ten-month old girl to relay their thoughts and give me their honest review. I first took quite a few pictures of what’s in the box, then repacked the toys and dropped off the crate for the review.
What was the verdict? Stay tuned!
Sweet Animal Sounds & Wooden Animals – What Do You Get With the “Chat With Me” Panda Crate?
Over the years we’ve had many opportunities to review the KiwiCo subscription crates, so it’s interesting to see how KiwiCo has grown and shifted focus. The willingness to grow and evolve is what makes Kiwi Co one of the best subscriptions you can get for a child. The Kiwico Panda Crate is one product line that has evolved. This activity box is geared to toddlers whose age ranges from 1 to 24 months old. It’s gone from an activity-based lineup to one more focused on developing a different skill each month.
As the name implies, “Chat With Me” is about helping to nurture and develop language development. As you probably know, a baby is always listening to what you say. By this age, they understand much more than they are able to speak.
Inside the Panda Crate “Chat With Me” Box
While this is not the first box I have opened from KiwiCo, I’m always amazed at the time and effort they put into the product presentation. Here’s my quick Kiwico Panda Crate Review- at least of what’s inside the box!
Stacking Wooden Animals
There are four solid beechwood barnyard animals that your child can play with and stack. It’s not a layup to stack these wood toys – but over time your son or daughter should be able to master it. A little adversity builds character, remember.
Pull-Along Truck Wagon
This fun wood pull-along truck is perfect for hauling the stacking animals around the house. It’s great for developing both gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
This wood barn is perfect for kids to play with during tummy time. Little hands will enjoy opening and closing the barn doors. Talking about these motions develops “directional vocabulary”. The Peek A Boo barn would be great to give to our child while in a car seat or other travel situation.
I currently live in Wisconsin. (No I don’t have any cows within a drone flight of my house – but the long dairy tradition of the state is drilled into you as a kid).
So maybe it’s just the cow-connection, but I really thought the cotton canvas cow was cute. It has rope arms and cloth feet. The arm loops are wide enough for a young child to easily grab onto it.
But the best was yet to come.
It moos when you move it! It reminded me of the sound of a farmhouse toy I had when I was young.
Poppy Says Hello Board Book
Poppy is back in this entertaining farm-themed read-along book with nice, thick pages. Poppy is out to say hello to all her animal friends. It’s a great chance to explore numbers and sounds with your baby.
This magazine is designed for parents. Wonder Magazine will give you information about this month’s crate – why it is designed as it is, some ideas for additional play opportunities along with links to more information and resources if you want additional information.
You also get the From The Crate cards and Beyond The Crate cards. These activity cards provide some ideas for parents to explore and take the concepts presented in their subscription boxes a step further. You also get a rundown of the items in the box – but I just gave you that, didn’t I?
What Did Our Volunteer Review Family Think Of The Chat With Me Panda Crate?
Once again, I’d think to thank our Friend of Fractus for their help on this Kiwico Panda Crate Review. While it’s “fun” work, it still involves some work. So thank you for your time Shelia! The opinions expressed below are hers – I lightly edited them for brevity.
Her 10 month old also really liked the cow. At first, Shelia was concerned that the voice box inside the toy might not be padded enough if her daughter whacked herself in the head with it, but that never was an issue.
Her daughter is a month older now and still enjoys playing with and mimicking the “Moo” sound. In the end, she felt it was designed with her child’s age in mind.
Mom enjoyed being able to spend time with her daughter – both reading Poppy Says Hello and playing with the stacking animals. Her daughter loves animals, so they were able to play and make pig, cow and other noises while having fun. She also liked the cart and using the pull-along cord – which really help develop those motor skills.
She admits that they didn’t do any of the baby sign language activities discussed in Wonder Magazine. She didn’t feel it was a good use of their play time.
Did This Infant Activities Box Help Foster Language Development?
Our reviewer thought it was a bit of a stretch to say this subscription box actively worked to foster language development.
Mind you, there were opportunities to engage verbally with her child while using the box. The Beyond the Crate activity cards have a wealth of information on ways to use sounds and have a baby babble conversation with your infant.
But honestly, Shelia already talks to her child during play and during reading. She thought maybe this might be helpful for a first time mom – and it’s certainly nice to have the wooden animal toys and mooing cow to play with.
Is The KiwiCo Panda Crate “Chat With Me” Worth Buying?
Value is always in the eye of the beholder…so your mileage may vary.
Both our reviewer and myself agree – you could probably replicate the experience of a Panda crate on your own, but it would cost you more in money – and ESPECIALLY TIME – to do it. I am just doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation here, but I’d guess it would cost at least double to purchase similar infant toys from retailers. Add in the additional cost from using your valuable time, and the total cost is even higher.
Your child will mostly outgrow these toys by the time they are 18 months old. However, they’ll never outgrow the mooing cow!
Is There A Discount Code To Use For The “Chat With Me” Panda Crate?
Coupons and discounts are limited time only, so they change all the time.
Kiwico runs discounts and promotions at various times throughout the year. There will be a pop-up that will appear when you leave this page that will give you the information on the discount we have for our parents and readers. We’ll include the necessary coupon code as well.