MT Kid Kits

Shayne Erickson and Lauren Hein are the founders of MT Kid Kits, a kid’s craft company that donates one kit to a local nonprofit for every kit sold.

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When two Bozeman moms and longtime friends started MT Kid Kits in November, they didn’t expect as much interest as they got.

“We handed out some kits just to get the word out and ended up selling a bunch in November,” said Lauren Hein, who founded MT Kid Kits with Shaye Erickson. “It was very hectic, but very fun.”

MT Kid Kits are craft kids for parents and kids to make three crafts together, like paper penguins and egg-carton bird feeders. For each kit sold, Hein and Erickson donate one to a local nonprofit, like Thrive.

“We have found that the Gallatin Valley is really big on giving back,” Erickson said. “I was born and raised in Bozeman, and I’ve always known this is a special community.”

Erickson, who taught kindergarten for almost a decade, said the kits can help fill in the gaps for kids who are doing online or at-home schooling and potentially missing out on in-the-classroom crafts that can help with building important abilities, like recognizing numbers and building fine motor skills.

“Teachers are amazing and doing an amazing job getting kids the education they need,” Erickson said. “But I think the missing component was the arts and crafts part of school that especially those young kiddos are missing.”

The kits are geared towards elementary-aged kids, with the idea that younger kids can do the three crafts with the help of a parent or guardian and that older kids can do them independently.

Hein said some major feedback she and Erickson have received is that the kits allow parents or guardians to do crafts without having to plan them out or buy a bunch of, for example, pom-poms that will be used once and then take up space in a drawer.

In the future, the duo want to continue to build up the business and potentially have the kits for sale in other local businesses.

They also want to continue providing kits to kids involved with local nonprofits, with a goal to get a kit to every kid involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country in 2021.

“We’ve just felt so much love from everybody, and it’s just been really great,” Hein said.

Building a website is also in the cards for the future. For now, MT Kid Kits accepts orders through its Instagram page and its email, mt.kid.kits@gmail.com.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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