If you're looking for a creative project to stir up your child's imagination, Kiwi Crate has some suggestions.

Kiwi Crate, a mail-order monthy subscription service featuring crafts for kids, offers a variety of interesting projects geared to children ages 3 to 6. There are also crates conducive to having the family work together. A different crate with assorted activities is highlighted every month.

Sandra Oh Lin, CEO and founder of Kiwi Crate, with fellow parents Yael Pasternak Valek and Yu Pan, came up with the crate idea to offer to "busy parents" who want to spark their child's creativity by engaging them in interesting, fun and educational projects.

"(The projects) come in a very convenient package. We try to provide everything," Oh Lin said.

All projects have a specific theme and include materials, instructions and other ideas for inspiration.

"And it gets delivered to the child," Oh Lin said, adding that youngsters love getting personally-addressed mail.

Oh Lin said she and her fellow team members take a great deal of time in coming up with the ideas and planning the crates.

Kiwi Crate, established in 2011, has featured projects with themes such as gardening, colors, dinosaurs and paleontology, space exploration, pirate adventure, under the sea, wind power, and more.

Oh Lin said through social media such as Facebook, she's received a variety of feedback on the crates and the projects they've inspired.

"When you go onto our Facebook page, you see posts by mothers who've taken pictures of their kids making the projects," she said. Oh Lin added that interesting posts, comments and other ideas are also found at kiwicrate/the studio or on Twitter.

"We're trying to bring a high-quality product to people," she said.

For the holiday season, Oh Lin said Kiwi Crate has come up with three different packages for its Celebration Shop.

• The Crafty Christmas crate ($19.95) offers materials to make  three paint swirl ornaments and a cardboard gingerbread house.

• Handmade Hanukkah includes items to make a menorah in addition to dreidel spin art. Cost is $19.95 and also includes LED lights.

• Gifts Made By Me, also $19.95, features ideas and supplies for two decorated journals, four greeting cards, and wrapping.

"The Gifts Made By Me crate has things made by children that adults can use and continue to use," Oh Lin said.

Also, in the December crate, kids will find activities that take on an Antarctic Adventure theme featuring Penguin Bowling, Aurora Painting and Ice Experiments.

The inspiration for Kiwi Crate, Oh Lin said, was sparked by her experience with her own two children.

"I've always been a busy parent and I wanted to do different activities with my kids because I had fond memories of doing them with my mother," she said.

To learn more about Kiwi Crate or to order a subscription, visit kiwicrate.com


Eloise writes about food and entertainment for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight children in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.