There are several themed kit subscriptions on the market these days that ship boxes of educational or entertaining content to your house. But there is one kit that stands apart from the crowd: Cooper & Kid, a quarterly kit subscription service with a fun back story that delivers really cool, adventurous and engaging content for dads to share with their kids ages 5 to 9 (though I’d argue the content is fun for kids of any age).
Here is how Cooper & Kid describes itself:
Cooper & Kid is the first subscription service that puts the power of play in dad’s hands. Kids see the modern dad as a jack of all trades, the picture of manly perfection, and the embodiment of paternal awesomeness! Cooper Kits help him stay on that shining pedestal with a quarterly subscription service that comes complete with all the tools he’ll need to maintain his title as Galaxy’s Best Father.
This month our family got the opportunity to review the “Wilderness Walkabout” kit from Cooper & Kid. The “Cooper Kit” arrived in a themed box with Bukwas (a hairy Big Foot creature) printed on the outside giving us a neat clue what was inside. Inside the box we found an extremely informative and clever Activity Guide with project instructions, activity ideas, recipes, history and science info and tips for making the most of our wilderness adventure. Also in the box were a themed bandana, paracord and Mylar for making a tent (or practicing knot tying methods), supplies to start a fire, supplies to make crafts while on the campsite, chalk, an MRE (meal ready to eat), a Curious George Goes Camping book, a mirror for sending light signals, a water testing kit, and a map (on the shipping box the kit arrived in).
Our kids (ages 2 and almost 4) are a little younger than the intended users of the Cooper & Kid kit, but the content and level of intensity of the activities outlined in the Activity Guide can be scaled for any age. Honestly, this kit would be just as much fun to use with kids or adults of any age. (I could see my middle-aged siblings and I having a complete blast using the kit on a weekend camping trip.) So while my husband worked through the kit with the girls, he simplified the tasks, abridged the info and skipped a few things altogether to save them for when the girls are older and can appreciate them. And because many of the items in the Cooper Kit are reusable, we are just keeping the kit in the closet for future wilderness adventures so the price of the kit is very reasonable.
Last Saturday, we packed the girls, our Cooper & Kid Wilderness Walkabout kit and a backpack full of blankets and snacks into our car and headed to a fantastically wooded park just outside of town to spend the day on a wilderness adventure. I know the kit is intended for dads to engage with their kids, but because I’m writing this review, my family let boring ol’ mom tag along.
Once we hiked a short distance into the park, we found the perfect location to set up camp. My oldest daughter and husband worked together to make a tent, that wasn’t pretty but kept the light rain off of us, so we considered it a success.
Because the park has an absolutely no fires EVER policy, we weren’t able to test the fire-starting kit in the Cooper & Kid kit. Instead, my husband and daughters collected nearby sticks and made a pretend fire over which they pretended to roast marshmallows.
While my husband took the girls on a short hike to explore the area, look for animal tracks and use their mirror to send light signals to other campers, I set up a little lunch for us to enjoy in the tent. Since we’re vegetarian, we decided not to open the MRE included in the Cooper & Kid kit (stew containing ham). Instead, we ate PB&Js, hummus, crackers and apples. And while we snacked, I read the Curious George Goes Camping book from our Cooper Kit.
Our kids don’t get processed sugar… well, ever… so getting to make s’mores was mind-blowing, even if the marshmallows were cold straight out of the bag. All in all – making the tent, hiking with dad, eating marshmallows and looking for animal tracks made for an extremely memorable family day that my girls are still talking about.
The air was damp and cool the day we went on our outdoor walkabout so we did NOT spend the night under our tent and we didn’t get through all of the activities in the box. Instead, we decided to continue our camping fun the next day by setting up a tent in our living room, with a pretend fire made out of an orange throw blanket. The girls loved it.
We pulled the Cooper & Kid kit back out, worked on the Spool Buddy craft (which ended up a Spool Necklace when we were done), studied our neighborhood maps and ate waffles inside the tent.
The clean water science kit included in the box looks super cool for kids ages 8 and up. It would be lost on our kids right now, so we’re going to store it away until they are older and can enjoy using it.
Cooper & Kid is a full-fledged lifestyle brand, so there’s more to the company and experience than just what arrives in your box. In addition to the physical kit that arrives in the mail, Cooper & Kid offers bonus “Beyond the Box” digital resources through its membership portal on the website that enhances the kit experience with videos, music downloads, more activity ideas and cool stuff to buy. Even if you don’t have a subscription, you can explore the CATCH e-zine that shares “Dad stuff you don’t want to miss” and follow the company on social media for even more dad-focused content to inspire awesome adventures with the kids.
BOTTOM LINE: These Cooper & Kid kits are extremely well designed and inspire several weekends’ worth of engagement between a dad and his kids. A subscription of Cooper Kits would make a fantastic Father’s Day gift (hint, hint… it’s coming up in June). The kits are shipped quarterly, so you can opt to be billed each quarter or save some loot by paying for a yearly subscription.
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions on this post are 100% my own.