Finding new ways to keep young hands and minds busy is just part of raising a family. But we all have those days where spending the energy to put together an engaging project just isn’t in the cards.
A subscription service can’t give you more hours in the day. It can, however, deliver ready-made crafts, toys, and other hands-on activities directly to your front door.
There are tons of great STEM-based subscription boxes to choose from. (We’ve reviewed quite a few of our favorite STEM boxes in the past.) KiwiCo and Little Passports are two such subscriptions that we see earning praise again and again.
The main difference between KiwiCo and Little Passports is that KiwiCo boxes focus on project-based learning across a broad range of STEAM topics and cater to every age group, whereas Little Passports have either Culture & Geography, or Science-themed subscription boxes for kids aged 3 – 12 years.
Which monthly activity box is right for your family? Let’s take a closer look at KiwiCo vs Little Passports and the contents of each subscription:
|Age Range||0 to 16+ years||3 to 12 years|
|Price||Starting at $18.50 per month||Starting at $23.95 per month|
|Shipping||Free within the U.S.|
$4.95 to $8.95 international
|Free within the continental U.S.|
International shipping varies
|Kits Sold Separately||Yes||Yes|
|Sibling Add-On Available||Yes||No|
|Cancellation Policy||Cancel online at any time (goes into effect at the end of the current subscription term)||Monthly Plans can be cancelled online at any time (contact customer support for prepaid plans)|
|Refund Policy||Subscriptions are non-refundable (subscriptions can be paused and/or switched to a different box type)||Subscriptions are non-refundable (subscriptions can be paused and/or switched to a different box type)|
Little Passports is a classic educational subscription box geared toward young children and preteens. Its products focus on geography, global culture, and STEM-related subjects.
All Little Passports boxes ship monthly.
Culture & Geography
The Little Passports Culture & Geography line-up consists of three subscription boxes: Early Explorers, World Edition, and USA Edition.
Early Explorers is recommended for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Each monthly box includes a range of activities, puzzles, books, stickers, and similar products centered around a geographical theme.
World Edition is ideal for kids ages 6 to 10 years old. This subscription box highlights one country per month with activities, stories, and educational toys.
USA Edition is designed for ages 7 to 12. It zooms in on the United States with monthly boxes dedicated to each state’s geography and culture. As of this update (November 2023), it doesn’t seem to be available to new subscribers, though! But keep an eye out as they may decide to re-release it.
Each Culture & Geography subscription begins with an introductory box that includes a storage suitcase, map, and starter activities.
Little Passports offers two different STEM subscription boxes: Science Junior and Science Expeditions.
Science Junior is recommended for children ages 5 to 8. It explores natural science topics via activities, books, and other engaging materials.
Science Expeditions is designed for kids 8 and older. Compared to the Science Junior box, this subscription focuses more on hands-on experiments and covers themes like DNA, aerodynamics, and more.
Note that many experiments call for additional household items that you’ll need to have on hand (or purchase specifically for the month’s box).
All Little Passports subscriptions start at $23.95 per month.
Several subscription lengths are available, including a Monthly Plan. Just keep in mind that longer subscriptions come at a discounted rate.
You can also purchase individual kits without a subscription through the Little Passports website.
KiwiCo is one of the biggest names in STEM subscription boxes. The company recently expanded to include cooking, geography, and art-themed subscriptions as well.
Another major feature of KiwiCo is that it offers subscriptions for literally every age!
Most KiwiCo boxes ship monthly. Panda Crate subscriptions ship every two months.
As mentioned, the KiwiCo subscription line-up is extremely diverse. To keep our Little Passports vs KiwiCo comparison as relevant as possible, however, we want to take a closer look at a select few:
The KiwiCo Koala Crate is designed for children ages 2 to 4 years. It comes filled with a variety of toys, crafts, and other hands-on activities that help make playtime just a little more engaging.
While the Koala Crate features a different theme each month — sample themes include Ocean Life, Rainbows, and Camping — the suggested age range makes it most comparable to the Little Passports Early Explorers subscription.
All it takes is a quick comparison of the KiwiCo Kiwi Crate vs Little Passports Science Junior subscriptions to see how similar the two are. This box is recommended for ages 5 to 8.
Each Kiwi Crate includes everything needed to complete the month’s projects. Adult supervision (and sometimes help) is often required for more complex experiments and builds.
Little Passports is one of the leading educational subscription boxes that focuses heavily on geography and culture. But children ages 6 to 11 will find a similar experience in the KiwiCo Atlas Crate.
Like the Little Passports World Edition box, each Atlas Crate is based on a country from around the world.
On average, the Atlas Crate tends to be more hands-on with several crafts and activities included in each month’s box.
Nearly all KiwiCo subscriptions (including the ones mentioned in our overview) start at $18.50 per month. The Eureka Crate starts at $25.95 per month.
KiwiCo crates can be purchased alone or through a subscription. Both termed and auto-renewing subscriptions are available.
All subscription boxes from KiwiCo and Little Passports offer high-quality, convenient, and safe materials and activities. Choosing one over the other for your own family largely comes down to personal preference:
Little Passports is a leading source of fun and educational geography-themed boxes. Kids that prefer engaging with books, stickers, and similar materials will have a great time with one of these subscriptions.
For monthly hands-on activities that cover a variety of topics, though, you can’t go wrong with KiwiCo. We definitely recommend KiwiCo for children who learn best by crafting, building, and experimenting!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does STEAM Mean?
STEAM is simply an updated version of STEM. It stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
The use of STEAM versus STEM acknowledges the importance of art and creativity in the world of education and development. However, many products labeled as STEM-based still include plenty of crafting elements!