Last year in our homeschool we had the opportunity to tour a local book store. The girls had a lot of fun, but the highlight of their trip surprisingly had nothing to do with books at all – but with creating fun things with circuits! Since then, the girls have been asking me constantly about getting some sort of circuitry kit to add to our curriculum.
When I was given the opportunity to try out and review Creation Crate, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought this would be perfect for my girls, and I couldn’t wait to show them our first crate!
What is Creation Crate?
Creation Crate is a Canadian based company based in Edmonton, AB, Canada. It is an excellent way to learn the basics of building hardware and programming software all from the comfort of your home. Just as their website states, it’s basically tech-education-in-a-box!
The recommended age for these projects is 12 and up, but really they can be for anyone of any age! It is recommended that children under 12 have the help of an adult. That being said, Adults can have fun and learn with these projects as well!
Each month Creation Crate mails you a small box that is full of everything you need to build that months tech project. All you need is access to a computer that has an internet connection, and USB port.
The projects vary from month to month, but each project contains these three things:
- UNO R3 (which is basically a Arduino-compatible pocket-sized computer)
- various components for the specific project
- instruction booklet
Our first project was for a mood lamp that only lit up at night. Here is a photo of what the contents of our first creation crate included:
Every month a new crate is offered with a different project, and each month the projects progressively get harder. This makes it easy to build your knowledge slowly with each project. Over time you will have a nice collection of projects you can easily build again and again!
Each creation is completed in two parts: building and programming. All of the instructions for each part is included in the box for you.
How We Used Creation Crate in our Homeschool
Moe, Hubsterdude and I decided to take on the challenge. The hubsterdude was totally in his element and perfect for the job of teaching, so I let him take over the assignment (it’s so nice when dad can help out in the homeschool, isn’t it?). I sat back with the camera to document the fun!
Once Moe understood how to read the instructions, she got to work trying to help with the building process. Reading the instructions were pretty tricky for her, mostly because I think she was just a tad too young to keep up with dad.
Once all of the parts were put together it was time to code the project. This was an area that made the hubsterdude space out, as he’s not experienced at all with coding. Moe also isn’t very familiar with typing yet (we’re working on that). I on the other hand have been self teaching web design and coding since the 7th grade, so I took over at this point.
Once we worked out all of the kinks in the coding, we had ourselves a mood lamp! It was really cool to watch how it changed colors. We even spent time tweaking the coding to get the lamp to do different things.
Check out the video of the finished result:
My Overall Opinion of Creation Crate
Honestly, I think this little box of tech education is fantastic. I can absolutely see the benefits of using the crate as a basic tech curriculum in your homeschool. It was very helpful to have everything I needed in the box, and did not have to gather or buy extra supplies.
I also loved that the lessons included the programming section as well, so they aren’t just learning the physical aspect of building the creations, but also the computer programming end as well.
When the project was finished, the instruction booklet had a list of questions that could be answered about the project. I loved that this was included as I think it helps solidify what was just covered.
My only complaint about the kit is that the diagrams in the instructions were pretty small, therefor not the easiest to read. If they made the instruction pictures bigger, it would have been a very big help!
Would I recommend Creation Crate?
This kit is definitely not going to be easy for most younger children. Especially children like mine with a short attention span. If I were to recommend this kit, it would be for older kids (middle school and up). That being said, if your younger child can sit still long enough to really pay attention to small details, they would enjoy this too!
I would definitely use this again in our homeschool, but I’m probably going to wait a few more years when my kids are more familiar with computers and typing and have a longer attention span.
How to Get Your Own Creation Crate
You can sign up for Creation Crate for just one month, or save a little each month by signing up for a monthly subscription service. Subscription services are offered in 3, 6, and 12 month plans. I definitely would recommend the 12 month plan, because it makes each crate’s cost the lowest per month. You really can’t turn it down at such a low price for a fun learning experience. Plus, your entire family can enjoy the projects together!
If you would like to try Creation Crate out for yourself, and take advantage of a great 10% off deal, click on the banner below!
Have you tried Creation Crate in your homeschool? If so, what kind of fun projects have you made so far? We’d love to hear about your experience!