It’s not spring break yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t revive our routines with a little boredom-busting play. These activity kits have the added bonus of being complete entertainment in one little (or medium-sized) box, so set up is a breeze. Read on for our top picks.
Butterfly Dress-Up Kit
Toddler and dress-up are a match made in imaginary heaven. Let little ones really spread their creative wings with this darling new Butterfly Dress-Up Kit from Treehouse Kid & Craft. As these felt wings shimmer, orange pom-pom antennae will help imaginations soar. A sweet storage sack is also included when toddlers (and wings) need a rest.
Available at treehousekidandcraft.com, $30.
Garden Friends Dough Activity Set
Green Toys and Sesame Street are helping little green thumbs bring a whole garden to life any day of the year with butterflies, critters and flowers galore. As for the flour in this dough, parents will love knowing it’s organic. No toxins in this garden!
Available at greentoys.com, $24.99.
Hatch Modern Eco Art Kits
Ideal for kids ages 3 and up, these kits are not only aesthetically pleasing to kids and adults alike, they are super fun, too. Their line of Free Range Art for Kids kits includes a Collage Box with all kinds of cool pieces like colorful muslin, seashells and buttons; a Print Box with paint, sponges, cork and more; and our favorite, the Build Box which contains a variety of interesting wooden shapes and spools, non-toxic watercolor paint and glue, and more. All paints and glues are vegan, and everything is free from toxins nd single-use plastics. Each kit is $24.99.
Learn more at hatchkids
Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer
Little chefs can get creative in the kitchen with this new set that lets you stamp out colorful cookies and frosting topped cupcakes using Play-Doh. The mixer comes with different stamp attachments and tools to create designs and pretend candies for toppings.
Available on amazon.com, $11.19.
Color Wonder Scented Light Up Stamper
Let your little artists get creative with colorful stamps without worrying about the mess. Crayola's Color Wonder Scented Light Up Stamper set comes with several animal stamps and Color Wonder inks. The inks are not only scented, they magically won't work on skin, furniture, walls or any surface other than the special Color Wonder paper. The inks appear invisible until they touch the special paper, but the stamper handle will light up with the color in use.
Available from crayola.com, $19.99.
My Gnome on the Roam Adventure Kit
My Gnome on the Roam Adventure Kit is a suitcase of memories waiting to be unpacked. It comes with a copy of the My Gnome on the Roam Award Winning Story Book, a family adventure journal filled with blank pages, a colorless ready-to-be-painted gnome and a magical pen, all beautifully packaged in an adorable suitcase that kids awe about. The kit is designed to encourage families to Explore, Create and Connect and to add adventure to their everyday lives. You can see all details as well as worksheets, downloads, games, articles, the link to their 15 Minute Adventure for Busy Families app and more on their website at mygnomeontheroam.com.
Kidvelope Mission Adventure Game: Space Rescue
What if you could not only gift your kids with an awesome activity kit but also an interactive game designed to help them connect with friends and relatives far away? Thanks to Kidvelope, you can do just that. You order the kit for your child and they work together with “players” of their choice to help solve challenges and complete the mission, all through hands-on creative activities (like secret messages written on space slime), online interactions, back-and-forth mail and phone calls. The best part? It’s easy to follow and exciting to play. It’s a perfect mix of offline, creative problem solving and using technology to connect. An excellent way to stay in touch with long-distant grandparents!
Try it today from kidvelope.com,$21.95
Electronic Music Inventor Kit by Little Bits
Just when you thought a kid with an electronic guitar couldn’t get any cooler, they created this: a guitar set that kids build, program, and customize all on their own. With an accompanying app, this inventor kit suggests over 12 activities with step-by-step instructions—including how to re-build your guitar into a set of air drums using the same littleBits electronic blocks that make a synth guitar. It’s totally splurge-worthy.
Find it on Amazon, $99.
Flower Press Art DIY Kit
New form Hape, preserve the beauty of the outdoors year-round with this cute pressing kit. Paints and brush are included to then transform dried flowers or plants into artwork as original as Mother Nature’s.
3Doodler Start Kit
Conceived as the world’s first consumer 3D printing pen, 3Doodler was a successful Kickstarter project before quickly growing into a $20 million business. Thanks to its ingenious design, hand-held portability and ease of use, 3Doodler has become popular among school STEM programs and at-home techie creators alike. This year’s new releases include the 3Doodler Create+ 3D printing pen ($79.99) and the 3Doodler Start Make Your Own HEXBUG Kit ($59.99). Combining drawing and sculpture with a dose of 3D magic, 3Doodler is a cool gift for gadget-loving creative types.
Available at the3doodler.com/shop, starting at $49.
Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit
Faster than you can say, “Expelliarmus!” the Harry Potter Coding kit will have young wizards learning how to code in no time. Created by Kano, makers of kid-friendly, DIY computer kits and programs, the Harry Potter Coding Kit lets users build custom wands that can perform acts of magic when connected to tablet or computer screens. Following a few simple steps, apprentice wizards learn how to code by connecting code blocks that pair with actions tied to their wands. A wave of a wand can make fire flow, pumpkins grow, feathers fly, goblets multiply, and much more, via iOS and Android devices.
Available at amazon.com, $99.99.
Creatibles DIY Window Cling Art Kit
Like colorful miniature pieces of stained glass, Creatibles DIY Window Cling Art Kit lets young artists create unique window decals that will brighten any room. The kit includes five colors of cling art paint and 14 simple-to-follow designs. Trace the designs using the black outliner paint, add color, leave for 24 hours, then stick the finished cling art to any window. Additional free printable designs are available for download on the website.
Available at ooly.com, $14.99.
Karina Garcia DIY Squishy Art Bake Shop by Craft City
Move over homemade slime: DIY squishy arts are the latest trend to spark the imaginations of crafty kids across the country. This well-composed squishy art kit comes courtesy of Karina Garcia, a popular YouTuber who parlayed her online celebrity into a successful line of DIY crafts. Featuring an adorable bake shop theme, the kit includes decorative sprinkles, colored chalk and puffy paint. After making your slow-rise bake projects, simply color, add paint and sprinkles, and squish your original squishy art designs!
Available at target.com, $19.99.
Sew & Glow Kit
Seated neatly at the intersection of fashion and technology, the Sew & Glow Kit lets users design and build glowing badges that light up with electrical conductive thread. In addition to exploring crafting, the kit teaches kids about electrical circuits in a fun and simple way. Light up badges with LED lights and become an electronics master in minutes!
Available at techwillsaveus.com, $24.99.