Best Craft Kits for Kids

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
163 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best craft kits for kids

Last Updated October 2019

A young mind is shaped by early experiences, and it’s important to make sure they count. Fostering a constructive environment where creativity flourishes is key to personal and academic growth in children. That’s why kids’ craft kits can be extraordinary tools for learning. They give enough structure with gentle guidance while providing plenty of space for the imagination to run wild.

Kids’ craft kits are designed to entertain, engage, and educate. Some are simply fun hands-on activities for passing the time, and others have clear goals for a final product. These more sophisticated craft kits incorporate different materials and activities that present obstacles and challenges, and there’s a sense of achievement when the project is completed.

If you’re looking for a new way to spark creativity in a child’s life, getting a kids’ craft kit is a great start. We had fun checking out these kits, and we invite you to read our shopping guide and learn more about them. If you’re ready to get your kids’ creative juices flowing, check out our favorite kits, too.

Create an arts and crafts station in your home. Equip it with popular supplies such as simple tools, different types of glue, pencils, crayons, and paper. It will be a welcoming artistic space that inspires and fosters creativity.

Key considerations

Types of craft kits for kids

  • Leisure: Leisure craft kits are those that are used simply for the sake of play and enjoyment. These kits aren’t specifically designed to be educational in nature, yet learning and skill-building still occur. Some are purely artistic and free-form in nature, providing a healthy platform for a child’s imagination drive their creation.

  • Practical: These craft kits aim to combine two things: crafting and a solution. These types of kits create or build something that can be used over the long term, such as a piece of clothing or garden. They tend to hold a special place not only in your home but also in your child’s memory as a tangible item they created. They also illustrate that creativity can be useful as well as artistic.

  • Educational: Educational craft kits target building skills and knowledge. They’re engaging and challenging, and they give children the opportunity to develop problem-solving abilities. In fact, certain kits are geared toward coming up with solutions in unique ways. STEM kits incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math elements into the projects to innovate solutions to a problem. They can be crafts involving architecture, robotics, computer programming, or anything that includes creative ways to solve a problem.
     

Kids’ craft kits also take into consideration different learning modalities. For example, some kids like to read and follow instructions, while others prefer to dive in and start improvising with the materials. Different kits are designed to appeal to different modalities, and some combine complementary learning methods to achieve a constructive educational experience.

Age range

Most craft kits for kids are targeted to particular ages and indicate that on the package as either  an age range or grade level. Every child learns at their own pace, so the recommendation is simply that — a recommendation. You know your child best, so if you think they’ll enjoy the challenge from a more advanced project, go for it. If you think your child will be engaged by one  recommend for a younger age, definitely pick it up. More than anything, the craft kit should be enjoyable irrespective of age.

Instructions

While pretty much all kids’ craft kits come with instructions, some are much easier to follow than others. They’re also structured in various ways. Some kits have simple written instructions that are numbered with minimal diagrams. Others are incredibly detailed and include colorful pictures, arrows, and other helpful indicators. It’s not unusual to find instructions that are difficult to follow, so feel free to look online for a video tutorial or experiment with different ways of completing challenging steps.

Supervision

Kids’ craft kits require different levels of adult supervision. There are plenty of projects that children are able to complete independently. Other projects will require some degree of involvement by an adult, particularly when it comes to steps that include heating, planting, or using certain types of tools. Most companies anticipate this and point out on the packaging or in the instructions where parents need to help.

Time

The time it takes to complete a project is unique to each craft kit, but in general, projects are informally classified in three categories:

  • One hour or less: There are lots of wildly popular kits that take an hour or less to complete. They are fun and simple ways to pass a short period of time and provide some instant gratification. These craft kits include small holiday crafts and simple beading projects.

  • One day or less: Some more intricate projects take several hours to complete. These kits tend to have many steps, but since they’re nicely compartmentalized, it’s easy to take breaks and return to the project at a later time. Some of these kits include LEGO sets and quilting and sewing crafts.

  • Ongoing: Long-term projects are extremely involved and unlikely to be completed in less than a day, so these craft kits take some commitment. The steps are generally spaced out over a few days to maintain focus and maximize enjoyment, and they usually include more challenging steps. Kids are in it for the long haul with these kits, and they can look forward to watching their little garden grow or finishing a large knitting project.

Materials

Craft kits typically come with most of the materials a child needs to complete the project, though sometimes you’ll have to provide tools like scissors or materials like tape or glue. You might have to purchase the T-shirt so your child can use a tie-dye kit. Be sure to check the instructions thoroughly before purchasing a craft kit so you can buy everything you need in one visit.

EXPERT TIP

Clear, concise directions contribute to a child’s enjoyment of a craft kit. Go over the instructions with your kids. You’ll be able to identify any areas where they’ll need extra help and where they’ll excel on their own.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Keep more than one type of adhesive on hand, including tape, glue sticks, wood glue, and white glue. You’ll be prepared for almost any type of craft kit.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Find a craft kit that is relevant to your child’s required reading list. It’s another way to connect with the text, and it’s a fun way to reinforce the lesson and commit the content to memory.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kids’ craft kit prices

Most craft kits for kids cost between $5 and $30.

Inexpensive: Kits that cost between $5 and $12 are simple projects with a few inexpensive materials that can be completed quickly. There are many kits involving crafts using paper in this category.

Mid-range: Between $12 and $20 are craft kits that are more involved and generally require a fair amount of time to complete. Common projects in this range are jewelry making, string art, and more advanced paper crafts.

Expensive: The craft kits that cost $20 and more include more sophisticated, well-thought-out projects, many of which are educational in nature. These kits require more expensive materials, such as fabric or wood, and could take a few days to complete.

Fun and challenging

With this award-winning kit, kids can design and build ten moving machines, with 80 pages of colorful tutorials to guide them. The ball and paper chain reactions serve as a fun STEM activity with endless applications. The kit is an excellent supplemental addition to an existing LEGO collection, and it incorporates in different projects some of the LEGO bricks you probably already own.

Tips

  • Save any leftover supplies. Store the extra paper, fabric, and other supplies for future projects.

  • Buy some aprons or smocks. Protect your child’s clothing with a water- and stain-resistant smock or apron. Choose one that can be wiped clean or tossed in the washer.

  • Save the kit for another day. If your child doesn’t seem interested in a project, save it for another day. Kids’ interests change constantly, so they might be ready to try it again at another time.

  • Take craft kits on vacation. Bring a craft kit or two on vacation. It will keep the kids engaged and help minimize screen time.

  • Replicate a beloved craft. If your child has a favorite craft, find new ways to recreate it. Offer more advanced steps to develop their skills, or see how the project translates into a different medium.

Retro favorite

This revival of a 1970s cult favorite is all the rage again. Kids can watch as their creations come to life and, better yet, become magnets, keychains, and pendants. Best of all, it’s a craft that’s quick to complete — once you color the Shrinky Dinks, it’s only a matter of minutes before they bake. And as much as kids love Shrinky Dinks, their parents love the trip down memory lane, too.

Other products we considered

We’re also big fans of the Melissa & Doug Created by Me! Fleece Quilt No-Sew Craft Kit, especially for children who have an early interest in fashion and interior design. The kit includes 40 fringed fleece squares for a no-sew quilt that can be completed in a couple of hours. The fringes are long enough for little fingers to tie while getting some fine-motor-control practice while they’re at it. Once the quilt is finished, your child has a cozy blanket to enjoy along with the fond memory of making it.

For children who enjoy paper crafts, My First Origami Kit is a great activity choice. It presents origami as an approachable hobby and artform with easy-to-follow instructions and colorful squares and animal stickers to bring each creation to life. The book includes all the origami classics like crane and frog, as well as some new designs courtesy of the author’s lifelong passion for origami. This simple yet engaging kit is enjoyable for kids and parents alike.

If a craft kit is a big hit, check out the company’s entire product line. Often it will have related kits or more kits in the same craft category.

FAQ

Q. My kids are a few years apart, so it’s hard to find craft kits that are appropriate for both of them. Are there any that could work in our situation?

A. Yes, and there are more out there than you’d expect. Craft kits that include beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels are ideal because your kids can work on the same type of project but at different levels. Jewelry making, drawing, and painting use similar tools and techniques, but the projects can be simple or complex. Another option is to find a kit with a multistep project in which your kids can work together on a shared creation, such as building a birdhouse or planting and tending a small garden.

Q. We just opened our craft kit and it didn’t come with directions. What do we do now?

A. You can exchange the kit or check the company’s website for instructions. You might also be able to find a video tutorial online.

Q. I’m concerned that the craft project is taking my kid much longer than expected. What should I do?

A. There are so many variables when it comes to craft kits, such as the quality of instructions and materials and whether the recommended completion time is accurate. Every child works at their own pace, so the time frame can vary. It could also be a sign that the project isn’t as engaging for your child as it could be. You could try a craft kit in a different category. For example, if your child isn’t enjoying a STEM craft, try a kit that includes painting or coloring.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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