10 Brilliant Kits to Help You Learn New Skills

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If anything good has come out of being stuck at home during the pandemic, it’s that many of us have taken the opportunity to build new skills. Whether you’ve already mastered a new language or instrument, or haven’t yet been motivated to learn anything new, there’s still plenty of time to teach yourself something useful before things eventually go back to normal. These great kits make picking up a new skill as easy as it is fun.

1. Discovering DIY Slime Kit; $25

Greener Mindset/Amazon

Slime making kits and videos of people making the gooey gunk have been wildly popular in the last few years, and if you haven’t gotten into the trend yet, now is the time. Included in this kit is everything you need, including ingredients and measuring equipment, to make your own slime from scratch—a chemistry experiment everyone (not just kids!) can enjoy. Depending on which ingredients you choose, you can end up with cloud slime, crunchy slime, fluffy slime, color-changing slime, galaxy slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, and more, all of which are fun to play with and fun to look at.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Kid Made Modern Trading Card Kit; $13

Kid Made Modern/Amazon

If you used to spend a lot of time playing Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, or another trading card game, use your creative energy to create your own trading card game. This kit makes the process of creating quality-looking trading cards easier than ever with blank trading cards, gel markers, stickers, and even foil bags to hold your decks.

Buy it: Amazon

3. BUTUZE Bookbinding Kit for Beginners; $29


What better way to celebrate your love of books than to try your hand at the classic art of bookbinding? It might not be particularly practical in modern times when you can publish just about any book on demand, but it’s a unique skill that can be used to make truly amazing creations. This kit comes with a steel ruler, pencils, bone crease folders, glue brush, wooden awl, waxed thread in four colors, scissors, binder clips, bookbinding needles, thimble ring, compass, bookbinding ribbons, and a needle threader.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Stitch & Story Lola Pom Slippers Knitting Kit; $45

Stitch and Story/Amazon

For those interested in taking up needles or hooks, there are many simple kits available on Amazon that provide all the necessary materials and instructions. This knitting kit, which teaches you to make a pair of slippers, comes with a pattern and simple instructions; a ball of merino wool, along with contrasting wool for the pom-poms; bamboo knitting needles; and a sewing needle.

If knitting slippers isn't your thing, there are plenty of other fun kits to consider: This crocheting kit that can help you make belts, coasters, placemats, or handbags ($15); this embroidery kit that allows you to decorate a mini-pillow or mini-bag ($14); and this felting kit that lets you create four furry friends ($27).

Buy it: Amazon

5. HomeBrewStuff One Gallon Nano-Meadery Deluxe Mead Kit; $140


If you never got into IPAs, lagers, ales, and stouts, but love the sweet, flowery flavors of mead, you’ll want to get your hands on this kit that comes with enough honey and yeast to create a gallon of the ancient alcoholic drink.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Molecule-R Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit; $50


If you miss the flair and flavor of molecular gastronomy, try creating it in your own home with this delightful kit, which will give you the chance to create a fluffy cloud of lemon foam, poppable balsamic vinegar pearls, spaghetti-like chocolate strands, and more! It comes with a silicone mold, slotted spoon and measuring spoons, plastic syringe and piping tubes, ingredients, an instruction booklet, and a molecular recipe book. One reviewer, who gave the kit five stars, noted that "As with many new skills, it takes a little bit of practice, but the instructions are clear and the equipment provided is useful."

Buy it: Amazon

7. Cooking Gift Set Chinese Soup Dumpling Kit; $65

Cooking Gift Set/Amazon

If molecular gastromony isn't your thing, or feels a bit intimidating, try this kit, which helps you create delicious xiao long bao, a.k.a. Chinese dumplings filled with warm soup. Wonder how to fill a dumpling with soup? That’s where the science comes in. Agar agar powder (included in the kit) turns the broth into a gel that can easily be packed inside of a dumpling. When the dumpling is cooked inside the included bamboo steaming basket, the gel melts again, leaving a yummy pocket of warm, soupy goodness.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Create Your Own Chocolate Truffles; $38

Uncommon Goods

If you have a sweet tooth, get your hands on this chocolate truffle making kit that teaches you to turn chocolate chips into rich, flavorful truffles covered in cocoa powder or coconut. Add cream, coconut milk, peppermint extract, and vanilla to create your own custom flavor combinations.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

9. littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit; $98


Always wanted to get into programming, but found it a little intimidating? Let R2-D2 inspire you to start coding in a less daunting manner. This fun kit allows you to customize your little droid inside and out—plus, you can also enjoy driving him around your house using the app.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden; $20

Sarah Burrows and Nick Behr/Uncommon Goods

Hydroponic gardens are cool, but they tend to be expensive and unattractive. These grow kits allow you to try your hand at simplified hydroponics without spending a fortune and the classic, country-style mason jar containers look good in just about every kitchen. Plus, the fresh herbs can add a delightful touch to your favorite dishes. Choose between basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, and sage.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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