Five rad and random toys I found this week
The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 55.
My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful, fun, or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guide of like items—for example, the best gear for going back to school, an exclusive deal on Kikuichi Cutlery, or the best vacuums for any kind of mess. But I often stumble across some pretty awesome gear that doesn’t really fit into a list. So I made a list for those. This week’s theme is bananas.
Sometimes science is more fun with some science fiction thrown in. This Zombie science STEM kit has 15 (repeatable) experiments like making blood clots, exploding slugs, zombie eyeballs, and scary soaps. Each of the experiments will teach your child about subjects like liquid-solid transitions, polymers, and pigments. The kits comes with protective gear and all the ingredients you’ll need. $23.
This Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab is for children ages five and up. Place the round reactor balls—basically a fizzy bath bomb—into the beaker chamber, add liquid, and watch tiny, hidden creatures appear. This kit comes with two Beaker Creatures, but there are up to 35 to collect. You can purchase extra reactor pods for the rest. Each comes with a double-sided mini poster and a classification card with a short science quiz. The kit also comes with experiments inspired by the creatures and the worlds they come from. $25.
The Orb Factory’s Orbmolecules sets consist of tiny round balls in three sizes that stick to each other without making a mess—and don’t dry out. Children can construct the characters on the box or dream up their own creations, over and over again. The sets also come with a storage tray to place the molecules once you are done playing. $12.
Similar to the Orbmolecules, Kinetic sand sticks only to itself and not to the people playing with it. The sand and polymer mixture is non-toxic, reusable, dry—you won’t make a mess—and comes in a carrying case that doubles as a mini sandbox. This kit comes with two pounds of sand and everything you’ll need to build a dream sandcastle in your living room (including seven molds and sculpting tools). $30.
Tinkering Labs’ Electric Motors Catalyst kit includes over 50 wooden pieces and electronic parts for your child to build their own robots. The kit uses 10 challenge cards to push them to use problem solving skills to assemble robots that can doodle or scramble an egg. Everything you need to complete the challenges and create the electric-powered vehicles can be found in the box, including batteries and markers. $59.
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