I fully believe in learning without a textbook. What better way to teach electronics and code than with hands-on curriculum? Actually sitting down with a project and getting your hands dirty provides a much greater appreciation and understanding of a topic than just learning it from a book. With that in mind, the Creation Crate provides a useful platform for young kids (and adults!!) to see technology and code in action – to learn by doing. And after spending some time with what I regard as an example of the best monthly subscription box for young coder, I am feeling pretty good about my electronics and programming skills. But let’s find out if it is the best monthly subscription box for coders available on the market today.
What is Creation Crate?
Don’t you love when you receive a box in the post? The fun and anticipation in seeing what’s contained within? Based out of Toronto Canada, Creation Crate is essentially tech-education-in-a-box. With the product, you can learn how to build electronics and code them without having any prior experience. Each month you will receive a new project that is slightly more difficult than the activity from the previous month, allowing you to build on the knowledge you have already acquired. The projects are beginner friendly and are comprised of a combination of hardware builds and software programming via the Arduino open-source language. The focus here is to help you understand how it works as you create.
What’s in the Creation Crate?
So every box will be different depending on the project for that month. The 3 main components are the UNO r3 (Arduino-compatible), which is essentially a pocket sized computer. The is coupled with various components and an instruction booklet. The are four key sections to each project:
- Building the hardware.
- Programming the software.
- Common errors to troubleshoot if your project doesn’t run the first time.
- Exercises to test what you’ve learned.
Example projects include mood lamps, instruments, games, sensors, and more!
Check out this cool video on just some of them!
So How Much Will This "Best Monthly Subscription Box for Kids" Cost Me?
Honestly, the prices aren't bad at all, especially when you factor in that shipping is totally free. There are a number of options available when you decide to subscribe:
- $29.99 USD per month (monthly)
- $26.99 USD per month (3 month pre-order)
- $25.49 USD per month (6 month pre-order)
- $22.49 USD per month (12 month pre-order)
Just remember that although shipping is free, orders outside of North America may take between 7 and 21 days to arrive.
What Else Do You Need?
The only other thing you will require is access to a computer with internet and a USB port. Everything else is included in the Creation Crate.
So Who is Creation Crate For?
Okay, so the makers of Creation Crate claim that the recommended age is 12+ and that younger builders may be able to do the projects with parental guidance. This is probably true. In my own opinion, the building section of the projects will be the most enjoyable. It's when it comes down to the programming side of things where you may begin to see some frustrations. Arduino is a text-based coding language. I would advise that your child will have much more fun with this if they have a good grasp of some of the fundamental concepts of programming - for example, differences between integers ('ints') and words ('strings'), as well as understanding how loops and conditionals work.
One criticism is that there is no power source included, which limits the possibilities of using your newly-built electronic device somewhere other than connected to a computer. Also, the instructions are quite small and not extremely well detailed. A younger child may need some assistance in reading them.
As you can see from the promotional video above, the Creation Crate has an appeal to enthusiastic adults too. Kids will definitely enjoy it, don't get me wrong. If that kid is an enthusiastic one, however, and not afraid of temporary failures at times, then they will definitely get a lot out of the product! In my opinion, the Creation Crate would be suitable for anyone with a keen interest in building electronics who already has some programming knowledge. A really good concept all in all. The Best Monthly Subscription Box for Young Coders? ... It's not far off it!
If you're convinced that Creation Crate would have a place in your home, click the link below and get 10% off using the code MKR10CC.