Which craft kit for kids is best?
Young kids’ minds are shaped by their early activities. Craft kits are ways kids learn while playing. The best craft kits are designed to stimulate, entertain, engage and educate.
All craft kits for kids present challenges and obstacles that the child navigates to a successful conclusion. For a craft kit for kids who want to make their very own, very creepy slime, take a look at National Geographic Mega Slime & Putty Lab.
What to know before you buy a craft kit for kids
Types of craft kits
There are three basic types of craft kits for kids:
- Educational: Educational craft kits for kids usually target a specific skill or a set of interrelated skills. Most allow children to develop their abilities to follow instructions and solve problems. Kids develop skills and build their knowledge when they play with educational craft kits.
Most educational kits focus on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. A few craft kits add art to make what is called STEAM subjects. STEM craft kits hold the greatest appeal for older children.
- Recreational: Recreational craft kits for kids are made for pure fun and enjoyment. Even though they aren’t designed to be primarily educational in nature, recreational craft kits for kids inspire their imaginations and guide them to making creations of their very own.
- Practical: Some craft kits are designed for kids to make useful things like gardens and costumes. These craft kits combine kids’ artistic abilities and things that can be used throughout the household. Craft kits that build lasting things also build lasting memories that are a source of pride that kids can point to, saying, “I made that myself.”
What to look for in a quality craft kit for kids
Like most toys, craft kits for kids come with suggested ages on the packaging and on their websites. Because kids learn at different paces, use these age ranges only as guidelines. If your child enjoys challenges, look for craft kits that are made for kids a few years and school grades further along. If your child likes things to go smoothly, consider a craft kit targeted to a younger age group.
Time is relative, and the time it takes to complete a craft project is usually grouped like so:
- One hour or less: These craft kits are usually recreational and include simple craft projects like beads and hand puppets.
- One day or less: The more detailed the craft kit, the longer it takes to complete it. Many practical craft kits take a day or less to complete, usually with a number of breaks between steps. These craft kits may involve quilting, sewing or growing your own garden.
- Ongoing: These are long-term projects that are made for kids who are willing to commit to seeing a project through to completion. Many of the STEM and STEAM craft kits for kids are ongoing projects.
How much you can expect to spend on a craft kit for kids
Craft kits with a few inexpensive materials can be found for less than $10. More involved craft kits that take longer to complete cost $10-$30. More complex and detailed STEM and STEAM craft kits cost $40-$100 and more.
Craft kit for kids FAQ
What if your kid doesn’t use all the materials in a craft kit?
A. Projects come and go, so make sure you have a box or drawer where you keep all the loose pieces left over from earlier projects. Kids can mix and match them with new products or design their own creations just from scraps and leftovers.
Are craft kits for different ages really so different that only a small age group will enjoy them?
A. The differences may be small at first glance, but always be aware that there are beginner, intermediate and advanced versions of most good craft kits.
What’s the best craft kit to buy for kids?
Top craft kit for kids
What you need to know: This craft kit for kids 8 and up has four kinds of slime and four types of putty.
What you’ll love: This is a craft kit and a STEAM learning experience that allows kids to make glowing slime and play with putty that changes colors with the temperature. Kids make their own slime with special slime powder that glows in the dark, fluffy slime, liquid slime and bouncing putty. There’s even a magnetic putty that moves when kids control it with the supplied magnet. The slimes and putties come in tins and plastic cups with lids.
What you should consider: The snotty slime is fun but gross.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top craft kit for kids for the money
What you need to know: This craft kit for kids 3 and older is a winner of the Parents Magazine Best Toys of the Year.
What you’ll love: This craft kit includes five colored paper bags, 270 paper shapes and stickers, a glue stick and picture instructions and suggestions that are easy to follow: just peel, stick and glue. Each puppet is bagged separately and includes so many colorful shapes, stickers and decorations that your kids can make whatever fanciful puppet creatures they’re able to imagine.
What you should consider: There are a few issues with weak glue, so consider using your own.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Kids 7 and older mix science and art to grow their very own enchanted garden.
What you’ll love: Everything kids need to grow their own mini-ecosystem is included. This craft kit comes with an 11-inch paintable shallow flower pot, gemstones, flowers, mushrooms, butterflies and magic seeds that begin to sprout in as little as three or four days. All materials included for kids to paint and decorate their fairy garden are nontoxic. This craft kit teaches kids about botany and the life cycles of plants.
What you should consider: More varieties of seeds than just beans and grass would be nice, but you can always add your own.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.