“Dog,” my almost 2-year-old said lifting the felt stuffed animal.
“Peek-a-boo,” I said, watching his toothy grin grow ear to ear.
After watching me once, he too hid the animals under the flaps of the playground. We took turns hiding the rabbit under the slide and the cat into the house. Each time he would lift up the flap or pull on the pet with glee. It might sound like a simple game of a hide-and-seek, but this “game” was actually teaching my little guy spatial sense.
This game of hide-and-seek is part of the monthly subscription box available from KiwiCo. KiwiCo is all about educating children, introducing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) to kids from 0 to 16 plus.
These crates allow kids to create, teaching them how to follow directions, to experiment and make learning fun.
Cricket Crates are the boxes made for 0 to 2-year-olds. I feel like my almost 2-year-old is at the perfect age to be more hands-on and try out art projects. Examples of crates for this age include: Neighborhood Fun where little ones are encouraged to explore their neighborhood and Grow With Me, which is all about how tall things are.
This month’s box called Pet Playground played on the idea of space. Spatial sense is developed by reaching for objects, grabbing them and placing them somewhere. Then moving it to another place.
This is taught by the game of hide-and-seek in the playground. The crate comes with dog bag that opens up to present a playground where the toddler is encouraged to hide the animals and move them around.
After visiting my mom’s dogs the weekend before, “dog” is said on repeat by my LO. Perfect timing since we don’t have pets, now he has a some of his own new friends to play with.
There is no doubt that my son likes playing with the pets and moving them around. But I am thrilled that it is promoting learning in a unique way. Partial sense is a part of geometry that involves “knowing where things are placed and how they can be moved,” Tadpole Crate’s Wonder magazine writes. Parents are encouraged to use words like “underneath” and “behind” as they hide the pets.
Along with this skill, this is also teaching them object permanence, the idea that even though something is behind, in, or above something doesn’t mean it just vanished into thin air. This game of peek-a-boo gives an always-on-the-go toddler the ability to practice patience and control their impulses when finally “seeking.”
The Cricket Crate also comes with matching game cards that includes the adult and baby animal such as a dog and puppy and cat and kitty. We tried playing a memory game, but my LO wasn’t into this at all. But he did understand picking out the like animals, grouping them together.
Finally, the Crate came with a book and my son is obsessed with reading. The magazine recommends talking while reading like pointing out where something is or what something is. This is something I already do but wasn’t aware that it does help them remember, look for objects, and learn the words for the thing.
My Thoughts On This Month’s Crate
This is the first time we received the Cricket Crate, and I was far from disappointed. The activity was fun and my LO was engaged and loves bringing me his dog satchel to open and play. The cards are also something we can use and over again and in multiple ways.
That’s the thing I like about the crate is that we can play in different ways or learn different things using the items given. It was fun to give my son his very own mail—especially since he loves watching Blue Clues and the mail song.
It also gave me as a parent new ways to teach my son. I have been wanting to do crafts and create with him, and this provides me with everything I need to execute the idea while teaching him things to help him grow since it’s created by education experts.
The Pets Playground itself as a theme was lighthearted, fun, and just looked great. Mom friends were asking what it was the second I added my LO playing on my Insta story.
I think we both are looking forward to next month’s create.