Five rad and random items to entertain your kids
The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 39.
My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful or fun or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guide of like items—for example the ultimate guide to making cafe-style coffee in your own home or four apps that will help you learn to play music. But I often stumble across some pretty awesome gear that doesn’t really fit into a list. So I made a list for those.
Steve Spangler’s Super Slime
A work of SLART. Amazon
The Steve Spangler Super Slime kit lets you create and color your own slime. There are six colors to choose from, including clear glass, hot pink, neon yellow, tangerine orange, radioactive green, and electric blue. The slime is made by mixing a polymer with an activator solution, which helps bond the polymers together into longer chains. The formula doesn’t stain your hands, plus it glows in the dark. Once it dries, the slime turns into slime art—or as I call it, slart. Their formula is designed to reduce bacteria growth. Each kit can make 32 batches. $26.
MudWatt STEM Kit
Make energy from mud. Amazon
This kit aims to teach kids about energy, electronics, and microbiology by using living bacteria in soil to power a fuel cell. The kit encourages little scientists to experiment with various types of soil, foods, and temperatures to see how they effect the generated electricity. Use soil—any will do—to power an LED and then use the smartphone app to measure the wattage and number of bacteria. The more energy your MudWatt generates, the faster the LED will blink. What’s more, as you make progress, you unlock new sections of an educational comic. $34.
A few weeks ago, we got to test out Nintendo Labo—and it was better than I could have imagined. The cardboard objects you make are fun to build, customizable—I put googley eyes on my car—and make you feel way more accomplished than playing Super Mario for 20 hours. Your creations are made to interact with your Nintendo Switch using both its screen (where instructions and controls are displayed) and the gaming system’s Joy-Con controllers (which you can place in your creations to make them move). This Variety Kit comes with six projects, including a fishing rod, a 13-key piano that plays chords, and a RC car. Pre-order now for the April 20 release. $70.
Gross Body Lab
Science Academy Amazon
Gross and educational! These experiments teach your child about chemistry and biology by way of craftingbulging eyeballs, gooey boogers, and blood clots. $25.
Big Bag of Science
Be Amazing Toys Amazon
This beastly STEM kit comes with supplies and instructions for more than 70 activities, including creating quicksand, making slime, and growing crystals. It’ll get your kid amped about chemistry, physics, biology, and more. All the pieces come in a re-usable zippered bag, so it’s easy to store your experiments after you’re done. $27.
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