Video games and basketballs are awesome and all, but let’s not pretend they inspire the same awe for the world as your best buddy science. Remember when you were a child and you’d build your own volcano in the kitchen? How about the magic of growing your own multi-colored crystals? It blew your mind. This weekend, introduce your kids to the seriously cool stuff: let them play with robotics, excavate “dinosaurs,” or learn the basics of physics.
Learn about the past. Amazon
Everyone wants to discover something new. The National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit will let you experience archaeology in action. Carefully dig up 15 artifacts ranging from dinosaur bones to shark teeth. Use the mallet and chisel to chip away at the crumbly rock. Keep the artifact as a souvenir of your groundbreaking discovery.
Solid info. Amazon
Raise your hand if you remember your geology class. I do and it was awful. I just wanted to get my hands on some of those rocks we kept hearing about. This Toysmith kit will teach your child the basics of geology and minerals. Said another way: geology with actual rocks. Could it be?
Batteries not included. Amazon
Show the video game-obsessed what games used to look like with this modular game kit. Snap together the 30 modules to complete more than 200 projects. Each project will teach your child about circuitry, electricity, and engineering.
Pretty colors. Amazon
If you don’t think that rocks alone will be riveting enough, let your kid grow their own crystals. This Crystal Growing Experiment is a throwback, coming with the goods to create seven different types of crystal.
Expand your understanding. Amazon
Check out this grow your own snow kit, which lets your kids experience the science of water-absorbent polymers. Just pour some water onto the Insta-Snow powder and watch it expand. Don’t eat it.
Beyond the classroom. Amazon
The 4M Kitchen Science Kit will let your offspring explore a wide range of experiments, including writing invisible messages, generating electricity with a lemon, and, of course, making a volcano erupt. Recommended for ages 8 and up, these six lab experiments explore electricity, propulsion, and chemical reactions.
New take on a classic. Amazon
OK, yes, this Lego set is pricy. But look at it. The Lego Mindstorms EV3 is an intelligent robot with a Bluetooth connection, a Micro SD card reader, and four motor ports made of more than 550 LEGO Technic parts. The robots are programmed on your computer or cell phone and can be controlled by remote control. It also has touch, color, and infrared sensors used to interact with the user through different commands. You can build five different bots. I mean, your kid can build five different bots. Right. Right.
Keep the beat going. Amazon
This kit for kids over eight includes everything they need to build electronic instruments and then use them to embark on musical journeys that are so much fun, they’ll distract them from their typical musical choices of rappers with face tattoos and that Baby Shark song from YouTube. Projects include a DIY keytar as well as an air drum that lets the little creator make sounds without even touching the device.
Reach for the stars. Amazon
This kit lets you build 10 different robots. It has 251 pieces and comes with an 80-page step-by-step manual. The machines have multiple motors controlled by a six-button controller. It is compatible with other Thames & Kosmos kits, too, so in theory, you can combine them to create an army.
It’s alive! Amazon
The Deluxe Root Viewer kit lets the budding botanist watch the entirety of a plant’s growth. It comes with soil, veggie seeds—including carrots and green onions—and the clear plastic container that lets obsessives watch roots form.
Smells nice too! Amazon
Teach your kid science and good hygiene at the same time. The SmartLab Toys All-Natural Soaps Science Kit includes 14 soap molds, glycerin, and pigments. A 16-page recipe book encourages you to use ingredients already around your house, too, like coconut oil and oats.