When you hear the word “wreath” what do you think of? I immediately think of the popular Christmas decorations that are suddenly everywhere the day after Thanksgiving. But here’s the thing… though they have taken on that connotation in modern America, wreaths have a deep history across time and the globe. And what I have realized is that coming home to a wreath on my door is like being greeted with a nice warm smile and it makes me happy. At Rosh Hashanah I put up a pomegranate wreath. At Halloween, I had a monster face wreath. For November, I have enjoyed my sweet felt flower wreath. And now that we are entering the dark time of year and it’s almost Hanukkah, I wanted something even more fun and cheerful. But sadly, a quick google search for “hanukkah wreath” turns up almost nothing but a few wreaths made of blue and silver ornaments (note to stores – round ornaments are pretty Christmassy even if you make them in “Hanukkah colors”). So, what’s a girl to do? Make something of course!
I have to admit – I’m generally not one to purchase pre-fab crafting kits; I have
hoards of craft supplies so if I want to make something, I generally only need to get a couple items. But when Kiwi Crate contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their Handmade Hanukkah kit, I figured why not. I’m always open to try something new.
Kiwi Crate is a children’s creativity company, targeted for kids ages 3-7. They offer monthly subscription activity boxes as well as special projects like the Hanukkah box. Each crate is filled with enriching & engaging kid-tested projects which cover a range of developmental areas and subjects, including art, science, and imaginative play.
The box arrived nicely wrapped in brown packing paper with a big Kiwi Crate logo and addressed directly to my son (which was a big hit of course). This was a nice touch in the age of elaborate, difficult to open packaging; no box cutters were needed, so my son could open it himself.
When my son managed to rip the paper off, we found the darling little Kiwi Crate Box filled directions and the makings for two Hanukkah projects: a tissue paper covered menorah (battery operated) and dreidel spin art.
Speaking of the directions, they are fantastic! Being a crafty mamaleh, I probably could have gotten by without them. But for those less craftily inclined, the details and pictures make the projects easy. I imagine that they’d be great for kids of reading-age too.
We decided to start with the menorah. The materials included candle holder, tissue paper, glittery Mod Podge with tray, foam brush, shamash holder, foam for the shamash, and LED flicker candles. The process itself was simple albeit a little messy. It was my first time using glitter Mod Podge and I found myself daydreaming about what grown-up projects I might be able to use it for as it was just pure sparkly goodness. I will say though that my three-year old’s attention span waned after about 2 candle holders so I was left to finish the rest on my own. I do think that makes for a project which could easily be shared by multiple kids – I sort of wished we’d invited friends to do it with us. It wasn’t until the menorah was all dry, that my son regained interest when it came time to “light” the “candles.” I must say, it’s pretty cute and fun and will be a nice, non-fire hazard menorah to use for the holiday.
Next up was the dreidel spin art and I gotta say this was super fun for both of us! But oy, was it messy! Be sure to put on smocks and do it on a drop cloth of some sort (we used a coated tablecloth on the floor). You use the included plain wood dreidel and pre-cut pieces of paper to do spin art in the Kiwi Crate box. I loved how many pieces of paper were included – ample enough for 2 or 3 kids to do a bunch. And when you’re done, there are Hebrew letter stickers included for the dreidel to restore its traditional Hanukkah role. My only wish was that the box had been a bit taller since the paint splatter definitely went over the sides (to its credit, it did wash off pretty easily).
The resulting art is really fun and unique. Perhaps we’ll use them to create Hanukkah gift thank you notes by putting them on a notecard and adding some stamped cardstock on top to cover the hole.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the Kiwi Crate. As an avid crafter who generally likes to do my own thing, it was sort of nice to be given direction. Along those same lines, it was nice to not have to worry about my son destroying my own supplies to do his project. Everything we needed was included in the box which I think is excellent way to help people who feel intimidated when they go to a store like Michael’s or Joann. Even I get overwhelmed at those stores with the variety of supplies and tools available. I think Kiwi Crates are creative and fun gift ideas; I may have to order a few for friends.
Oh and I almost forgot, the winner of the Ima Design contest is #1, Jamie. Look for an email with details!
Note: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a Hanukkah Kiwi Crate free for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my and my son’s experience.