Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Cooper and Kid Subscription Box (Part 1)

Cooper and Kid is a company that offers subscription boxes tailored for Daddy-time with the kids. It encourages dads to spend more time with the kids in ways that benefit both the children and dad. It’s coined as the instant “Dad is awesome box.”   You may remember that we were able to offer their Father's Day "Good, Bad & Ugly" Kit as a Giveaway back in May.  At the same time, I was given the opportunity to review their Flight Kit.

Being in the military, it can be difficult at times for me to get real quality time with my daughter. This box was an awesome way for her and I to bond and for me to do some teaching at the same time. The box offers education through discovery using the hands on building activities to teach children how and why something works the way it does. It is themed for dads and kids alike and is both gender and geographically neutral. 

As their website notes, each box“features an activity book that guides you through the theme and the contents of the box, a bedtime story, a website with related digital content, parenting and topical links to resources that are just for dad, a themed dinner menu with recipes to prepare with your children, and a shipping box that turns into a toy.” 

They really put a lot of thought into the entire experience from beginning to end.

I was super excited to get my hands and the box. Almost as excited as my 4-year-old daughter, Hailey. She couldn’t contain herself when I told her what the box was and that it was just for me and her. No mommies allowed! She was so excited that we had to open the box and look through it, even knowing that I wouldn’t have time for a few days to really get started.

Now, for a little background. Some people may call me crazy, but I let my daughter get into whatever she wants to (minus the cookie jar and the snack drawer). What I mean is that I refuse to tell my daughter that she is not allowed to help me work on our car or my motorcycle because she is a girl. If she wants to help me fix the kitchen sink she is more than welcome to. In fact, my daughter knows the name of more hand and power tools than my wife does. She is always excited when I ask for a certain tool and she gets to go find it. She will take off skipping in her sparkly pink tutu to dig through my tool box and bring me the flat head screwdriver and a socket wrench. Then she will lay with me under the car and watch while I change the oil and bleed the brakes. 

My wife and I chose to foster whatever interests she has. If she wants to do ballet and crafts that’s her choice. If she would rather sit under the car with me that’s fine as well. So far, she's choosing both. She loves building things with me just much as she does playing dress-up with her dolls.

I had recently been teaching her about flight as she had taken an interest in making paper airplanes. When I found out that the kit I would receive was their flight kit I was super excited to be able to teach even more about flight and have some really cool activities to back it up. Yes, flight is a fairly advanced topic even for most adults, but if she was willing to learn…

So far we have only done a few of the activities in the box. There is so much included in there that we are breaking this up into a two part review. In this post, I am only going to cover the stuff that we have done so far. Then the second part of the review will be the remainder of the contents of the box. So let’s get down to the good stuff.

First thing I have to say is this box is HUGE! We knew it was going to be jam-packed with all kinds of fun stuff just by the sheer size of this thing. Plus, the box has a cut-out toy on it. They make great use of all the materials. You’ve got to admit, there aren’t many companies out there that even use the packaging for their product as another part of the product!

Cooper and Kid walks you through the box every step of the way. They give you teaching points about every project that comes in the box as well as some cool content “just for dad.”

The box is packed to the gills with all kinds of fun activities. These are just a few of the ones we had done when I wrote this review.

1. Air Hawk Missile Launcher, 2. Parachute Man, 3. "Fly High, Fly Guy", 4. Flying Insect, 5. Catapult Kit

Air Hawk Missile Launcher

The Air Hawk Missile Launcher was definitely fun for both of us. 

We had a great time trying to see just how high it would go until a nice gust of wind came along and blew one rocket on top of the roof and the other into a nearby tree. 

We were able to recover both of them and she still plays with them all the time. Her friends love them as well. 

They are soft so there’s no real worry about it scratching the neighbors’ cars. I still wouldn’t want to aim it directly at their car. 

I mean honestly, who wants to look out the window and a see a kid shooting toy rockets at their car. Soft or not.

I was not at all kidding when I said she was running around in her sparkly pink tutu to look through my toolbox. 

The spring was actually strong enough to have a little bit of recoil in her hands.

Parachute Man

The parachute man. Ah, the parachute man. This brought back so many memories from when I was a child. 

My friends and I used to make parachutes for our Ninja Turtles and then throw them off the balcony on the second floor of my parents’ house. It was such a fun time. 

They even sold these little guys at the store that was within walking distance of my house.

Unfortunately the house we currently live in does not have a second floor balcony so we had to settle for standing on the back of the couch and dropping the parachute man. 

Hailey had a lot of fun with it even given the poor circumstances.  

With this, as well as the other items in the box, Cooper & Kit includes a good explanation of the scientific principles that go into making a parachute work.  I am sure that Hailey, like I did as a kid, will remember what she learns while she's having fun.

Flying Insect

She had a blast with the flying insect as well. She kept asking me why it flew so crazy, which actually turns out to be one of the teaching points of the kit. Without a tail the flight is much less controllable. This thing pretty much does whatever it wants.

The only thing we found wrong with the Flying Insect was that it's made of some pretty thin, flimsy foam. She accidentally snapped the wing. We just added a little electrical tape to it to help hold it together. It flew just as wildly as it had before.

I had some trouble getting an action shot since its flight was so unpredictable but I did manage to get a few. She had a lot of fun with this one because you could never tell what it would do or where it would land.

Fly High, Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold

The book that was included is "Fly High, Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold.  It's is about a boy and his pet fly. 

“Mom and Dad won't let Fly Guy go along on the family road trip. They're afraid he'll get lost. But when Dad accidentally shuts him in the trunk, Fly Guy goes along for the ride!”

The story was very cute and my daughter loved it. She was very excited to find that our local library actually a few of the other books in the series so we could read them as well.

Catapult Kit

The next thing we did was the catapult. This one was by far my favorite. I think it was hers as well. She had so much fun watching the toy come together and getting to build it herself with the help of her daddy. 

She also thoroughly enjoyed launching the beanbags at everything we would let her throughout the house.

The instructions were very clear and it was easy to put together. 

We did end up breaking the project up into 2 evenings though as she had started to get tired and lost interest after about an hour and half.

After all that waiting for glue to dry it came together exactly as was pictured in the box. She had a great time learning how to measure with the ruler that was included on the instructions as well as learning a few tricks to make measuring easier such as finding the center of the blocks quickly using other blocks that had already been measured. 

It quickly became one of her favorite toys and was much more rewarding to her than flat out buying one as she not only got to make it herself but got to spend the time with me as well learning some basic mechanics and physics.

So far I have been incredibly pleased with the contents of this box and so has my daughter. Every day when I come home she asks if we can do something out of the Cooper and Kid box. I think this company has a genius idea here, and it's so well put together. I can say with certainty that if we can find a way to fit this into our budget it will be a regular purchase for us. 

Cooper & Kid Cooper Kit Boxes come out quarterly, and cost $65 each, plus shipping.  With well over $100 worth of items in each box, and easily enough memory making activities to keep you and your children busy for three months, it is a great value.

I hope you and your kids enjoy it as much as mine have. And this isn't all! Please check back in a few days as I will be making the second entry highlighting the rest of the contents.


  1. I love all the subscription boxes and just wish they had them when my daughters were younger. I know they would have really loved this one (we have a box we store several rockets they had from Girl Scouts and a couple of their classes at school).

  2. This look like a bread idea. Dads should be just as excited as the kids. I love it.

  3. This box looks like it would be so much fun. I love the idea of month boxes, as it would add some excitement and variety to my life. I love the parachute man. I had one when I was young and we had such fun with it. I hope it continues to offer smiles and fun activities for you and your family.

  4. Now this is an awesome idea! I'll have to share this with my daugher and her husband - I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  5. I honestly can't believe how much fun my daughter and I had doing this kit. I can't wait to check out what else they have to offer!