About this project
New Stretch Goal:
That's $2,000 worth of crates that we will donate directly to charity if we reach $25,000 in pledges before our Kickstarter ends! Help us spread the word!
Each month's crate is different, but each is designed by Little Ms. Crate’s panel of early childhood development experts and contains unique activities, games, stories, props, and profiles of women role models, which provide just enough structure and inspiration for hours of educational, self-directed play.
Little Ms. Crate is about refuting society's many negative messages and showing our girls that careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and leadership ARE "for girls".
Little Ms. Crate is about showing the connections between the impactful, meaningful careers that our little girls tell us they want when they grow up, and the math and science classes they're taking right now.
Little Ms. Crate is about shining a light on the accomplished, inspiring and fascinating women who've done so much to change the world for the better. There are so many! Their stories just don't typically get enough air time.
As an obsessed father of a (spectacular!) 14 month old girl, I've seen so many products that attempt to "make STEM fun for girls" by simply applying glitter, or camouflaging it as a jewelry-making kit. Young boys and girls are very similar — you don't have to shy away from bugs, dinosaurs or dirt to interest girls! Of course, there are some differences in typical play patterns between the genders — not to mention different social pressures around things like asking questions, being assertive, and being competitive. Little Ms. Crate focuses on a mix of social activities that are cooperative and dramatic (roleplaying), as well as solitary activities that are creative and open-ended.
Chances are that your favorite little girl already engages in these types of play today, though not necessarily as a CEO...or 3D Animator...or Supreme Court Justice...or App Developer...but she can, with the gift of a Little Ms. Crate subscription!
The information, games, props and activities let her "try on" each career option, to see how it fits —
- What’s so interesting about it?
- How can it help shape the world?
- What is a day on the job like?
- Is it a good choice if I want to help animals? Explore space? Create beautiful buildings? Employ lots of people? Work with technology? Make music?
Learning about the life stories of real women who have lived and worked in that profession allow her to consider how it might fit in with her other thoughts about life —
- Are women allowed? (Spoiler alert: Yes!)
- Can you wear dresses? Work boots? Cool helmets?
- Can I be the boss? Do I have to be the boss?
- Can I make art, too?
- Would it help if I joined Math Club even though everyone says it’s soooooo lame?
Maybe she'll fall in love with a career at age 8 and dedicate the rest of her life to that passion. Maybe she won't end up pursuing a career in STEM or leadership, at all. The important thing is that she'll get to make that decision for herself, at the appropriate time in her life.
This chart will help you find the perfect reward! All you need to do is find your objective in the first column — whether you're doing some holiday shopping, or want to be part of the first regular subscriptions early in 2016, or even if you don't have a 5-10 year old girl in your life right now, but want to support our mission to inspire and empower girls everywhere. Once you find your objective, look to the 2nd column to see which reward name you should choose.
Wondering why some of the rewards have price ranges?
We're offering a limited quantity of very low cost tiers for our earliest backers. Most of the crate rewards will have 2 or 3 tiers of pricing:
- Insider Exclusives are the lowest priced and most limited tiers for our earliest supporters. Anyone can grab one if they haven't sold out.
- Early Birds are still ahead of the curve and get great deals. Look for these if the Insider Exclusive tier of the reward you want is all gone.
- Not-so-early birds are fashionably late, but every bit as important to our mission! Even more so, in some ways.
We've done a ton of planning and prototyping, but this is Kickstarter, so we're still figuring things out to make sure we can get Little Ms. Crate up and running for the long haul. If you're not able to get those early discounts, please know that the little extra backing you provide will go a very long way to helping us get through the inevitable start-up bumps. No matter what tier you end up with, you'll always be an official Little Ms. Crate Backer and we'll always remember that.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is failing to meet the challenge of creating fresh, engaging, challenging-yet-approachable material each and every month. That risk has been top of mind since the idea was conceived, just about a year ago.
As a coder-turned-technical-sales-executive, I have extensive professional experience bringing people, process, and technology together to successfully execute large, complex projects with globally distributed teams. It's what I do!
I have spent much of the past year building and working with a team of early childhood development experts from all areas of the discipline — academia, hands-on teaching, curriculum development, play therapy and writing/illustration.
I have worked out a crate design process that leverages technology to find and pick the brains of real, live professionals in whatever field we're considering as a crate theme, to get their ideas about how to introduce their job to kids. The team then brainstorms activities, props and toys based on those ideas. We work together to refine the most promising ones, tapping into networks of writers, illustrators, and designers to polish the ideas. I then leverage technologies like 3D-printing, book self-publishing platforms, and custom game publishers to create a new crateful of Little Ms. Crate-exclusive materials. We will occasionally round out a crate by including realistic, 3rd-party toys or props to make the experience as immersive as possible.
In this way, I have built a pipeline of several months worth of crate concepts that are currently under development. With the Kickstarter funding, I will develop play- and safety-testing programs to ensure the highest quality. Until then, I have ensured safety by focusing on paper-based activities and independently safety-tested 3rd-party items in the first few crates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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