The CRMP2 and CRMP4 proteins are strongly expressed in the developing nervous system, mediating neurite outgrowth, neuronal polarity, and axon guidance. In the present study, we demonstrate the interaction of the CRMP2 and CRMP4 proteins with the GluK5 subunit of the kainate (KA) receptor (KAR) and investigated the role of KARs in modulating the development of cultured mouse DRG neurons. We found that KARs modulate neuronal maturation and neurite outgrowth in a bidirectional manner. Accordingly, low concentrations of KA delayed maturation and enhanced neurite outgrowth, whereas maturation was promoted by higher concentrations of KA that attenuated neuritic elongation. The effects of weak KAR activation were prevented by blocking their noncanonical signaling and involved a differential regulation of CRMP2. Whereas the delay in maturation involves PKC-mediated phosphorylation of CRMP2 at T555 leading to a downregulation of membrane Cav2.2, the promotion of neurite outgrowth is achieved by dephosphorylation at T514 at the growth cones, the latter reflecting PKC-driven enhancement of GSK3β phosphorylation at S9. Together, these findings indicate that noncanonical KAR signaling influences neuronal development by modulating CRMP2 activity.