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Think Inside The Box

8 Activity Kits For Young Artists, Engineers, Scientists, And Chefs

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 8 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

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.”

Buy Now $30

For The Next Andy Warhol…

Marky Art Box

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.

Buy Now $40

For The Next Walter White…

MEL Science Chemistry Subscription Box

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.)

Buy Now $50

For The Next Stan Lee…

fatherly_activity_kit_the_superhero_comic_kit

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?

Buy Now $15

For The Next Rosie The Riveter…

Makedo Start Toolkit

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.

Buy Now $13

For The Next Shepard Fairey…

Kid Made Modern Print Making Kit

Kid Made Modern Print Maker Kit

That “art” is going on the fridge whether or not you can tell what the hell it is; might as well be high quality. This kit contains all the tools of the printmaking trade — paint-embedded paper and shapes, paper, wood, and foam materials — so your kid can open their first Etsy shop and start earning their keep around here.

Buy Now $15

For The Next Kate Spade…

The Best Gifts For 5-Year-Olds In 2016

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.

Buy Now $32

For The Next Richard Blais…

Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit

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?

Buy Now $18

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