Tension Kiwi Crate


Kiwi Tension final

This month’s crate for Travis from Kiwi Co was all about push and pull. Between puppets to push and turtles to pull, there was lots of hands-on fun in this one.

First up were the Push Puppets. Travis helped rig together a base that relies on tension, meaning lots of wooden pieces held together by rubber bands, nuts, and bolts.

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To assemble the puppets, thread one end of the provided elastic through a hole in the wood base, and then layer on three wooden beads. These look like little people: a body, a head, and a hat!

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Two sticky wiggle eyes complete each person. Pushing on the wooden lever now releases the tension on the elastic, and the puppets fall flat.

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Needless to say, Travis thought this was a riot! We could add the provided backdrops for little puppet shows that took place at the beach or in the moonlight.

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He colored his own background of a big hairy spider on the blank sheet of paper. Oh no, the puppets fell down in fear!

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Next up were Woven Turtles. This was the crafty Art part of STEAM for this crate, with a turtle shell to weave from yarn on a wood frame. This project came right on the heels of several other weaving activities we’ve done this summer, so Travis is becoming more dexterous at the motion.

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It was a lot of yarn, though, so he still needed me to take over! The fully woven shell is then adhered to a foam cut-out of a turtle, with a nut and bolt to fasten things in place.


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Travis added wiggle eyes and a little straw in the turtle’s nose. We made two because now it was time for… a Turtle Race! Use the provided blue tape to attach a piece of straw to the edge of your Kiwi crate (or any similar box).

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Tie the provided string to a table leg, making sure it’s at the same height as your prepared turtle.

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Thread the string through the straw on the turtle’s nose, and then through the one on the box. Add a wooden bead at the other end of the string, securing with a double knot.

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When you give the string quick tugs, your turtle moves from the table leg to the box. Here he goes:

What’s more fun than watching one little turtle scoot along? Making it a race of course!

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Mommy’s turtle won by a nose!

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In addition, Explore magazine had fun facts about ways people use ropes and tension in everyday life, whether the cables of an elevator, the strings of a guitar, or a game of tug-of-war. So of course we needed to play the latter!

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Finish with a read of the following:

  • Give It a Push, Give It a Pull, by Jennifer Boothroyd
  • Cece Loves Science: Push and Pull, by Kimberly Derting

Kiwi Tension books


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