Looking to give your kids some hands-on fun this holiday season? Try one of these DIY craft, art and science kits for kids that are sure to inspire and delight.
Arts & Crafts Kits: Whether you have a brand new doodler or a well-practiced drawer, these craft kits promise to provide hours of creative fun.
At under $10, this Darice 120-Piece Deluxe Art Set is a steal! And holds up amazingly well. (We've have ours for over a year) It includes pencils, pens, pastels, paints and everything your budding artist needs to create.
I've recently fallen in love with the British company Natural Products and Worldwide Co (NPW) that makes an adorable line of craft products sold in the cutest little tins. The stencils sets (available in robots, zoo,faces and more) let kids trace and draw funny figures with stencils while the fingerprint kits (in safari, bugs, fairies and more) help kids turn their fingerprints into new creations. Love these!
If your kids aren't confident with their art skills, start them with a stamp set that lets the create a unique scene with minimal skill. I like this Stamp-a-Scene Farm set that comes with 20 stamps, ink pads and pencils but Melissa & Doug make a variety of sets like vehicles, fairy garden and horses .
If you have a crafter who's grown weary of coloring, it may be time to introduce origami. This Origami & Kirigami set by Alex Toys will teach kids 8+ how to fold and cut paper to create animals, flowers, figures and more.
You can't go wrong with Crayola for a craft gift, but artists looking to take their drawing to the next level will love this Pencil Design & Sketch Set that includes 8 graphite sketch pencils in varying weights and directions on shading.
These hardback Story Lines book by Compendium Inc. come with all the text of a story - but none of the artwork. Put your mini Monet to work creating the illustrations to titles such as Me and Giant Kangaroo, Grandma is a Superhero, or Rainbow Kitty Saves the Day among others.
Subscription Kits: Delivered on demand, once a month or quarterly, these activity kits arrive on your doorstep with a new set of activities every month.
Designed by educators and child development experts, each Green Kid Crafts box contains 3-4 activities, crafts or experiments that are fun, educational and eco-friendly for kids age 3-8. The Backyard Science box we tried let us make a sunprint magnet, leaf pendant, design a tote bag for collection outdoor treasures. ($19.95/month, cheaper when you buy a whole year)
Kiwi Crate Kits combine science, art and imagination activities all related to a theme such as music, gardening, dinosaurs or color. Kiwi Crate Kits are designed for kids 3-7 and offer a discounted "no fighting" sibling rate to get enough supplies for two kids. ($16.95/month) Get $6 off your first month with code "PREVIEW30".
Maybe you saw Surprise Ride on the show Shark Tank - and if you haven't, they are worth taking a look at. Surprise Ride sends out thematic activity boxes every month that include various crafts and activities, plus a book and snack for kids age 6-11 (starting at $24.99/month).
Cooper & Kid kits are specially designed for dads and their kids age 5 and up. Each box comes with 6-9 activities, a bedtime story, themed dinner menu plus additional online resources. Plus directions for how to turn the box into a fun toy! ($78 per quarter)
Fans of Ms. Frizzle and her zany adventures will love the Magic School Bus Science Club that arrives with science experiments and information on the human body, magnets, space, rainbows and more! Complete a whole year of kits and earn a certificate of completion ($19.99/month).
Jewelry & FashionKits:From necklaces and bracelets to handbags and Ts, we're loving these DIY design kits for fashion-minded kids.
Klutz Friendship Bracelets is a great intro set for kids just learning the art and includes 10 colors of thread as well as a built-in clipboard to make it easy to hold your bracelet in place while you braid.
Bead Bouquet by Melissa & Doug comes with over 200 wooden beads to allow the creation of anklets, bracelets, necklaces and more.
Fashion Angel has tons of fun sets for crafting for designers-in-training. I love this Handbag Design Set that comes with two clutches, two coin purses and a cosmetic bag that are clear and can be decorated and personalized with the included tapeffiti. The Project Runway Silk Screen Fashion Design Set lets your child design shirts, tanks, totes and more. It comes with a silk-screen machine, silk screen sheets, squeegee, 6 fabric paints, paint brush, stencil sheets, and a design guide.
It seems like every kid at our local school is into loom bands like this Infinity Loom Band Kit. Boys and girls alike are looming up bracelets, key chains, headbands and more. Parents I've talked to are a bit confused by the fascination, but thrilled with the amount of quiet time their kids spend sitting and looming.
Fans of the feather trend will love this Feather Fashions Kit by Creativity for Kids. Create hair clips, headbands or hair extensions with the included 40+ multi-colored feathers, fabric flowers, rhinestones, and glitter glue.
Science Sets:Have a budding scientist on your hands? These DIY science kits will let your kid create and learn about crystals, circuits, slime, sound and beauty salon science.
Learn about how circuits work with this user-friendly intro kit from Littlebits. You integrate the "bits" with your own materials to create gadgets that light up, move, make noise and more. Color-coding and magnets ensure you're connecting the pieces correctly and the project booklet will help get you started with 8 projects. The Base Kit (age 8+) starts you with 10 bits and over 150,000 combinations while the new Synth Kit (age 14+) lets you build your own synthesizer to play with and manipulate sound, and even create your own instruments!
The Edible Chemistry Kit promises fun...and food! Your kids can create fizzy drinks, color-changing foaming jelly and polymer pudding while they learn about science and get a snack.
Wild Science Beauty Salon comes with 12 activities to learn about chemical reactions while creating fun and usable Crystal Potpourri, Soap Volcanoes, Sublime Slime, and Instant Fizz.
The Disgusting Science kit needs little explanation. If your child is fascinated by all things gross, they'll love collecting bacteria and watching it grow, making fake mucus, and other icky tasks. The benefit - they'll be learning science in the process.
Solar Power set from Thames & Kosmos will teach your children 8+ about capturing energy from the sun and put it to work making things move like a solar-powered locomotive, single-prop plane, bulldozer, helicopter, backhoe, and twin-rotor helicopter.
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