From preschool age and on, as soon as children start beginning their sentences with “let’s pretend…” , they are learning about imagination and creativity.
Creative play is essential to proper cognitive development for children and adolescents. Instead of dictating the play experience (as video-games and interactive toys can do), arts & craft and kit sets encourage kids to imagine and create for themselves, thus bringing their own unique experiences into play.
“Every child will benefit from accessing and developing his or her own creative resources… Creative ability at any level can enhance life satisfaction and career success, no matter what occupational avenue your child ultimately chooses.”
– The Creativity Institute
Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that creating art is one of the most effective ways to stimulate multiple areas of the brain. In a study titled “The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health” published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers compiled over one hundred studies regarding the effect of arts and crafts on your brain development, cognitive functioning, and overall health. They found that regular participation in arts and crafts related activities:
-Improved overall well-being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones
-Improved creativity and spontaneity, positive identity, and social skills
-and even improved medical outcomes, while helping to reduce stress and anxiety
That’s why we’ve selected these 16 best arts and crafts kits for kids of all ages.
Cool new arts & crafts toys
Criteria for our selections:
-flexible in terms of age range, (low-frustration for young kids, but can potentially be made more complex for older kids.)
-contains all of the supplies and instructions, but has the ability to be customized (for creativity and outside of the box thinking!)
-appealing to any gender
Best Arts and Crafts Kits for Kids
16 craft kits that encourage creativity and design skills
Each Strands Bands kit allows kids of all ages to design at least 30 friendship bracelets. The included material is both strong and tactile.
What you get: 144 feet of peel-apart Strand Bands and an assortment of beautiful beads and charms
Why we love it: There are plenty of colors to mix and match, wear and share. Bracelet making kits often promote sharing, bonding, and overall social interaction.
Most helpful review: “Our daughters love making these bracelets and still play with them for hours.”
Kids make their own soft pillows, 3D animals, or furry holiday ornaments. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) footballs, koalas, and reindeer – and the best part: no cutting and no sewing necessary.
What you get: over 360 pieces: one pillow, one tool, and a variety of colored fabric pieces and instructions.
Why we love it: It is fun and easy with no sewing or glue required
Most helpful review: “Each kit keeps them busy for a couple of hours and they get a great sense of accomplishment.”
Kids can design and build real working electronic circuits with easy to manage snap-together pieces. Hundreds of different electronics projects are possible, (as easy as a doorbell to more complex, like a basic video game.)
What you get: 30 snap-together parts, and instructions for over 100 projects, working models of a photo sensor, flashing light, or an adjustable-volume siren
Why we love it: Electrical components gives kids of many different ages and skill abilities hands-on experience making their own models of electrical circuits, which actually work.
Most helpful review: “After I showed her how to use it once she loves it!
Make cute squirrels with this eco-friendly craft kit – the giant acorn is 100% Recycled Paper and if you plant and water the envelope you can actually grow wildflowers! Even the instruction booklet can be re purposed as a craft project on it’s own.
The included 60 page instructional book will teach kids exactly how to turn 40 sheets of custom-designed paper into awesome Star Wars tie fighters to either play with or mount on 6 foldable display stands.
What you get: 40 sheets of custom-designed paper, tape, 6 foldable display stands, and a 60 page instructional book
Why we love it: Once you’ve built them, they actually fly- and have even been rigorously tested by the Klutz Aerodynamics Team!
Most helpful review: “As soon as they got it, they spent hours making the starfighters and flying them.”
Conceived over 50 years ago (although re-engineered and updated for today), Spirograph has experienced a re-birth. Great for creative kids and nostalgic parents!
What you get: 45-piece deluxe set includes 19 wheels and 2 rings based on the design of the original 1965 Spirograph, 1 rack, spiro-putty, 3 pens, 14-page guide book, design paper and carry-along storage case
Why we love it: With Spirograph’s distinctive, nostalgic (and redesigned for perfection!) interlocking gears and wheels, kids of any age can draw elegant, spiraling designs – and adults love it too.
Most helpful review: “The kids and the adults in the house all love drawing with this…Totally recommend!”
Simply bunch together and pull apart the Bunchems to make and re-make countless creations. Bunchems are a great introduction into sculpting that is simple enough for kids to learn. PSA: These can potentially get stuck in kids hair! Adult supervision recommended.
What you get: 370 Bunchems (in Mega pack), 36 Accessories, 1 Instruction Guide
Why we love it: They stick to each other sturdily enough to actually build, but then pull apart easily enough to start again, resulting in nearly endless play
Most helpful review: “We sat around the table assembling, disassembling, and re-assembling for several hours. Just keep away from hair.”
What you get: 4 backgrounds, 48 Colorforms pieces, and self-contained storage box
Why we love it: Colorforms vinyl re-stickable playsets are great for safe, creative, open-ended and imaginative play; and when you’re finished playing, everything folds easily away in self-contained storage box. No mess!
Most helpful review: “She’s fascinated with the fact that the ‘pieces aren’t sticky but stick anyway'”
Yasutomo makes the challenging art of Origami accessible to kids with practice papers, instructions with diagrams, and included background scenery. The easy to follow, step-by-step how-to book takes the frustration out of making complex yet beautiful Origami.
What you get: Paper, wooden beads, paste, cored and instructions
Why we love it: Combine two amazing arts and crafts styles with origami meets jewelry making.
Most helpful review: “The beads are beautiful–very different from what I expected.”
What you get: 100% post-consumer recycled paper mold design, paint
Why we love it: Very easy to assemble, glue and decorate.
Most helpful review: “Easy to follow instructions and easy to do. Would recommend for anyone at any age.”
What you get: All the materials necessary to build and design 3 complete vehicles
Why we love it: It’s a perfect project to do alone or as a group activity for birthday parties, sleepovers and get-togethers
Most helpful review: “A great kit for a very reasonable price and the cars look great in the end.”
Paper Punk is an creative paper-based building kit that allows nearly endless possibilities for creative, open-ended play for kids of all ages with just a few simple folds.
What you get: planning mat and poster, 697 stickers to customize your city
Why we love it: No scissors or glue needed for hours of geometric and creative fun
Most helpful review: “A good hand eye learning toy, filled with opportunity for imagination.”
All Renegade Made products are fun to build and also encourage anonymous acts of silliness and kindness.
The anonymous gift tag reads “I made this for you, Do something nice for someone today”.
What you get: 76 sheets of colored tissue paper, 12 stem wires, hanging vase with lacing ribbon, 12 leaf gift tags, Renegade mask
Why we love it: This kit contains all of the materials that you need to make 12 awesome paper flowers, and a hanging vase to hold your creations. A portion of the profits are donated to a deserving charity.
Most helpful review: “She loved making the flowers and I loved giving her a creative opportunity to be kind to others. Awesome gift!”
Build & Imagine Storywalls
Your child will become a designer, builder, and storyteller right in front of your eyes
What you get: magnetic building panels, a standing wooden character and magnetic clothes, animals, and accessories that stick to the doll and panel walls.
Why we love it: These building blocks meet dollhouse meet dress-up dolls story walls develop important spatial reasoning, problem solving, and design skills (that are prerequisites to succeed in STEM fields!)
Most helpful review: “I love these sets as much as my 4 year old daughter does! :)”
What you get: Paint spinner, neon color paints and paper.
Why we love it: A classic arts and crafts project that is fun and interactive for the entire family
Most helpful review: “I used this machine for about 300 splatter paintings. It’s still in excellent condition.”
Create your own lip balm kit
Handcrafted Honey Bee brings us unique kits that integrate logic, creativity and intuition. With the lip balm kit, create eight natural beeswax lip balms with three fun flavors and two mineral colorants. Learn ingredient properties and phase-transition, experiment with measurements of flavor & color mixtures, and develop a unique product & design from imagination to production.
Especially during winter snow days, it’s important to keep your kids entertained indoors to keep them from going stir-crazy! These 16 arts and craft kits are full to the brim of creative ideas to cure their cabin fever, while having loads of fun.
We love these awesome craft kits because they:
-encourage open ended thinking
-teach problem solving and goal-oriented thinking
-develop creativity and design skills
-leave kids with a finished product to be proud of (boosting self-esteem while providing a very real sense of accomplishment)
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