A lot of people say they would like to invest in gifts that the kids like long after the thrill of tearing the wrapping paper off of them has gone. These three DIY kits fit the bill. They are fun, and encourage creativity to the fullest. Best of all, they're going to be loved (and used!) for a long time to come.
1). What child is not going to love this Gumball Machine Maker by Thames & Kosmos that does super stunts and tricks? When your gum arrives out of the machine, you can set it up so that it trampolines off, into your hand. You can make it so it has a domino effect, knocking lightweight pieces down as it goes, you can make it a pinball launcher, and so much more. I had this in the house, and intended it to be for my son. He saw the box. Ugh, I hate when that happens. I told him it was for another child in the family, and I meant it (if he saw it, well, it's not a surprise). Upon going to wrap it for the other little one (whom I love dearly and know would really enjoy this, but he is a wee bit small for it), I opted again to wrap it for my boy. He doesn't know it's for him, so now it will be a surprise. I hope...just so long as I can keep him from picking up this particular box under the tree...maybe I will put one of his brother's names on it. They don't live in our house (they are grown), so he this trickery (always permitted when concealing holiday gift contents) might just work. We shall see.
It's great, right? Just the kind of gift kids like to find underneath the Christmas Tree. You can buy this in retail stores nationwide, and online, including at Amazon.
2). The Ooze Labs Soap & Bath Bomb Lab is so, so, so perfect for my granddaughter. She loves things like this, not only because she can be the scientist and make them herself, but also because she gets to use them afterwards. She is quite the craft-maker and this kind of kit is right up her alley; always has been!
I love that the contents are all kid-friendly, and that the instructions are very clear and easy to use. There are also fun facts that are interesting and will help your child learn about these everyday items that they use on a regular basis.
It's time to start mixing things up! In this pretend STEM scenario, you are a chemist for a bath and body products company and it's your job to make and test different cosmetic products. Use the tools in your laboratory to employ different scientific techniques and essential chemistry principles to make soaps and bath bombs. Try out different additives to affect the color, smell, and other qualities of the products you make. Real science and pretend play come together in this activity-filled kit that can be used alone or as an extension of the Ooze Labs Chemistry Station (a Parents' Choice Silver Honor winner!). As you mold different glycerin soap shapes, you learn about the chemical properties of soap that help it pick up and wash away dirt. While you're concocting bath bombs, you learn about how acids and bases combine to form fizzing reactions, and what a pH level is. Expand your cosmetics knowledge with an overview of the biology of skin care and other science related to soap and bath products. All materials and chemicals are non-toxic.
This can be purchased in retail stores nationwide or online, including at Amazon.
3. Last, but certainly not least, the Foodie Surprise Mini-Collectable (spelled with an 'a' because the go on your 'table') Food Carts are adorable and because you are making lookalike treats (they really look like the real thing!), the kids are going to love it! Truly, you're mixing together your own little concoctions that are not only adorable, but they are great for imaginative play as well. Again, right up my baby school-aged granddaughter's lane of delight, but this one I gifted to a co-worker to give to grandbabe. Oh boy, come to think of it, most of the people I am associating with now are grandmothers, lol. I never made that connection before. I don't mind a bit (we do afterall, have a lot in common), but the realization...oh folks, the realization. 😛
These cute little pieces are fun for children, but make sure they're old enough that they won't choke on the parts. These are very tiny, which is part of their charm, but still not a good idea for the teeny tinies in your home. You can get these at retail stores nationwide, or online, including at Amazon.