Thanks to your rolodex of extremely overqualified experts, you’re undoubtedly already helping your child kick ass at pretty much every activity imaginable. (You’re welcome, by the way.) But even SuperDad need a break occasionally. These 10 activity kits are all self-contained — everything you need to make, build, or do the hours-devouring, kid-engrossing thing is right in the box. Sure, you’ll still have to help, but at least you won’t have to bug your new buddy who’s building the next Hubble telescope.
For The Next Bill Nye: Labracadabra Science Kits
Labracadabra is a series of 5 pre-packaged kits that include all the materials your kids need to turn the living room into a mini-meth …odology lab. Or, better still, a laboratory for conducting colorful, safe experiments — like making a lava lamp. Or a foaming fountain. Each box includes safety goggles, gloves, and a magic lab shirt, as well as the flasks, pipettes, and ingredients. All they do is follow the written instructions and/or accompanying video on the Labracadabra YouTube Channel. And if you’re lucky enough to live with Amazon’s Alexa, you can also put her to work as a lab assistant; she’s “programmed to teach multiple experiments while offering help, fun facts, and humor along the way.”
For The Next Andy Warhol: Markybox
Not to be confused with the Marky Mark box (which is full of Funky Bunch cassettes and used Calvin Kleins), these kits go way past a few sheets of construction paper and some glitter. Recent boxes have included plaster molding, paper marbling, screen printing, tin screening, string art, papier mache, and fabric dying. Goodbye Brown, hello RISD. The subscription runs $40 a month (plus shipping). If your kid is already using terms like “negative space,” you may want to consider the discounted 6- or 12-month plan.
For The Next Walter White: MEL Science
Of course, you want your kid to grow up to be Walter White, brilliant scientist for Grey Matter Technologies and family man — not meth kingpin Heisenberg. And this is the twice-a-month chemistry set subscription that can make that happen. The Starter Kit contains all the beakers, safety glasses, and Bunsen burners to get them started. And additional boxes are experiments like making monsters out of burnt sugar. (That’s where Dr. Frankenstein went wrong.)
For The Next Stan Lee: The Superhero Comic Kit
This book provides a blank canvas for inventing comic heroes and adventures, with story-starters, how-tos, and stickers to help create amazing new superpowers. Changes diapers faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than projectile vomit! Able to work 12-hour days on a single cup of coffee! Wait, was this for you or the kid?
For The Next Rosie The Riveter: Makedo Cardboard Construction Starter Toolkit
Whatever you give your kid, they’d rather play with the box. So instead of Toys ‘R’ Us, head around behind the grocery store, stock up, then create something truly epic with Makedo’s starter kit. The safety saw and fastener screws will ensure that all your parts are customized and securely fastened. Because that fighter jet is badass, but Scotch tape just doesn’t hold at 35,000 feet.
For The Next Kate Spade: Seedling Design Your Own Tote Bag
You shouldn’t have to donate to public broadcasting to get your hands on a stylish tote bag. Your kid can just make their own with the included assortment of paints, glitter glue, fabrics, and ribbon. When they’re done, rather than adding another toy to the pile, they’ve got a place to store the pile.
For The Next Richard Blais: Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit
This kit turns your kitchen into a laboratory with experiments that teach the science behind foodish mysteries like why soda is fizzy and how cakes rise. It doesn’t, however, answer their most pressing question: why won’t my parents let me eat any of this stuff before bed?
For The Next Neil deGrasse Tyson: Creativity For Kids Create A Solar System Mobile
Whether for the science fair or just because kids love hanging stuff on their walls, at some point a model solar system will be built in your home. This kit facilitates that project without you having to sacrifice your new Titleist, your eleventh grade no-hitter game ball, or that orange you were going to have for breakfast at work tomorrow.