This Mother's Day, we had big plans to get dressed up and go to a nice brunch, but we woke up to rain. Not just a sprinkle, I'm talking pouring rain with thunder and lightning. And guess what? We stayed in our PJs and snuggled and watched back-to-back movies instead . But by midday, my kids had that glazed over look in their eyes. You know the one, where you can practically see their tiny brains vaporizing?

So I pulled a Kiwi crate from KiwiCo out of the closet and huddled around my kitchen table with my 5-, 6- and 7-year-old, creating a hydraulic inchworm. The directions were easy to follow and the materials were exactly what my kids are obsessed with (Pipe cleaners! Plastic tubes! Water droppers!). We spent the next hour laughing, tinkering and critically thinking together . And it was awesome quality time —way more beneficial than some stuffy brunch where I reminded them to sit up and use their manners 100 times.

Upon finishing our crate's assignment , each of my kids was crazy proud to have helped create this hydraulically-powered inchworm thing-a-ma-jig that actually worked! So much so that they continued playing with their creation and all the fun do-dads that came in the crate for another hour. (Bonus: Each crate comes with a fun booklet of cartoons, word searches and similar additional experiments to try.) And guess what was gone? Those brain-drain eyes from an earlier in the day.

Founded by a mom of three who wanted to engage her kids with hands-on projects—but often fell short of doing so because of lack of time and the ability to gather together 100 materials!—KiwiCo is a subscription-based service that sends your kids monthly "crates" (a.k.a. boxes) with age-appropriate projects that encourage hands-on problem-solving. Dreamed up by a team of designers, each project is reviewed by experts to make sure they're churning up the maximum possible benefit to your kiddo's development.

KiwiCo subscription crates are your secret weapon this summer.

KiwiCo Crates

When the coloring books are full, a sunburn is setting in and your little one needs some true mental stimulation, this is the super-fun kit that you can break out of the closet—and become the world's most fun mom ever by doing so. And guess what? KiwiCo has crates for ages 0 to 104! (Yes, you read that right!) So whether you need to keep your baby, toddler, or kid entertained, there's something for everyone.

KiwiCo offers a variety of subscription options from just one month to an annual subscription and you can cancel at any time (no fees!). Want to test the goods before signing up? Check out the brand's store, where you can buy one-off kits like a cape-making crate or "fun with flight" option that builds a kite.

Regardless, if you're a parent who often feels like you're falling short in the at-home education department this summer (and year round, too), then trust me when I say you need KiwiCo in your life!

Pro tip: Get 40% off your first month of a subscription with the code MOTHERLY40.


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