11 Brilliant Gifts for the Young Explorers in Your Life

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iStock

If your favorite kids can’t stop asking “why,” if they love running their own experiments, and if they never stop learning new things, these 11 gifts are a great place to grow their curiosity even further.

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1. FLACK KIT; $300


Imaginations will soar as high as this DIY airplane once it’s assembled. This kit comes with everything necessary to build this RC airplane, from the radio to the charger. All they'll need are a few simple tools, like a screwdriver, and your enterprising young engineer can pilot their first plane. No soldering of parts required.

Find It: Brooklyn Aerodrome

2. WONDERHOOD GRAND HOTEL BUILDING SET; $60


This deluxe building set from Wonderhood Toys—a company devoted to helping foster the next generation of women architects—includes 24 illustrated panels. The pieces can be connected together in different combinations in order to create a hotel building, complete with an elevator. The STEM-friendly kit also comes with two figurines, so that kids can play with their creation once they’re done designing and building it.

Find It: Wonderhood Toys

3. FIRE TABLET; $50


It might be too early give the younger set in your family a smart phone. Fortunately, the Fire Tablet is the perfect middle ground between allowing the curious kid in your family space to learn and explore on their own and being able to keep a close eye on what they’re doing. Amazon Freetime can be downloaded onto the budget-friendly Fire Tablet, which is a subscription program that only grants kids titles they’ve been given access to and allows parents to set daily screen time limits on the tablet.

Find It: Amazon

4. SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION BOARD GAME; $29


Designed by a NASA scientist who has led a major space mission, this award-winning board game introduces kids to space science ideas and concepts. As they compete, players tackle the in-game challenges of developing and launching various space missions. Other players may sabotage your space exploration attempts with government shutdowns and hardware memory swipes, reflecting the real-life struggles of launching a successful mission to space.

Find It: Amazon

5. THINK & LEARN CODE-A-PILLAR; $31



Future coders and programmers can get started early with this caterpillar-shaped toy from Fisher Price. Kids learn while rearranging code-a-pillar’s body segments and figuring out what combination will make it move forward or backward, left or right.

Find It: Amazon

6. SOLAR PHOTOGRAPHY KIT; $15



Help a young artist harness the power of the sun into prints. The instructions for this budget-friendly kit are simple: Set an object or transparency on the sunography fabric included in the kit, let the sun shine down, and then remove the object for the coolest tan line ever.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

7. LITTLE PASSPORTS SUBSCRIPTION BOX; $18 per month or $180 per year


Take your favorite adventurer on a once-a-month trip around the world without ever leaving home. This subscription box service introduces preschoolers to geography through themed lessons. (There's also an option for older kids.) The first box comes with an orange suitcase, world map, an activity booklet and passport stickers, and every monthly box after that contains activities and souvenirs surrounding that month’s theme, such as art, food, landmarks or celebrations.

Find It: Little Passports

8. DA VINCI MINIMAKER 3D PRINTER; $168


It may be small, but this miniature 3D printer can whip out 6-in. creations at 100mm/second. It’s also easy to use, thanks to its 9-point calibration detection, which assures a level print bed. Your curious kid will also have access to loads of resources, like online courses and 3D modeling software specifically designed for beginners. Of course, if they want to hit print right away, there are thousands of 3D models available on the company’s website.

Find It: Amazon

9. AUTHOR'S KIT; $44


As every writer knows, nothing is more exciting than seeing your name in print for the first time. With each author’s kit, your young writer creates a story and dialogue to go along with a wordless illustrated book. Then, the company prints it and sends a copy, complete with author’s bio, to your doorstep. Every author’s kit also includes writing games, an official author’s certificate, and an idea pad to get them inspired.

Find It: Write Brain Books

10. MECCANOID G16; $145



Every tech whiz kid dreams of building their own personal robot, and now they can. MeccaNoid stands 4 feet tall and includes programmable LED eyes, voice recognition capabilities, and 10 motors, which allow it to smoothly move its arms, head, and feet. Although young programmers have three methods for programming the robot, MeccaNoid also comes with 3000 preprogrammed phrases.

Find It: Amazon

11. PROPS IN A BOX; $60


Help budding actors and directors get their movie or play off the ground with whimsical backdrops and quirky costumes. Each box has props for two distinct characters, a backdrop to hang, and access to the Props in a Box moviemaker app.

Find It: Props in a Box

10 Lotions and Balms Perfect for Your Chapped Hands

These lotions and balms can help revitalize your dry, cracked hands.
These lotions and balms can help revitalize your dry, cracked hands.
Duke Cannon/Dr. PawPaw/Bliss/Amazon

Chapped, cracked hands are one of those little annoyances that can turn into a big headache after dealing with them for a few days, but after a long winter, and with all the hand-washing everyone is doing due to coronavirus concerns, it’s nearly unavoidable. To give your skin a sigh of relief, we’ve rounded up our favorite lotions, creams, and balms that will heal your raw palms and have your knuckles feeling soft and smooth in no time. Check them out below.

1. WOW ALOE VERA MOISTURIZING BODY LOTION; $12


BUYWOW/Amazon

With all-natural ingredients that work for every skin type, this aloe vera body lotion is particularly useful for putting some life back into your hands. This lotion is fast-absorbing, quickly creating a barrier between your skin and the outside elements. And since it's not greasy, you won’t have to wait for your hands to dry (or wash them all over again) before you can get your day started.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dr. PAWPAW MULTIPURPOSE BALM; $8-$20 (Sizes vary)

Dr. PawPaw hand cream.
Dr. PawPaw/Amazon

Your hands will feel like they’ve entered a tropical oasis after applying this soothing balm. Made from papaya (or pawpaw), a fruit that’s known for its natural healing properties, this balm also contains aloe vera and olive oil to give dry skin a natural glow. And it’s not just for helping your palms and knuckles—this balm can also be used on your lips, nails, and cuticles, and as a tool to tame flyaways or stray brows. It’s the multipurpose secret weapon that’s a must-have for any bathroom cabinet.

Buy it: Ulta, Amazon

3. DUKE CANNON BLOODY KNUCKLES HAND REPAIR BALM; $31 (Pack of 2)

Duke Cannon Bloody Knuckles balm.
Duke Cannon/Amazon

Even if you’re not throwing punches in the ring, you might feel like you’re in a boxing match with your raw and red hands. But Duke Cannon’s repair balm will reverse your skin damage and have you feeling like a champion once again. Best used for extensive chapping, this balm is unscented and completely free of fragrances, dyes, and other artificial ingredients.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 2-IN-1 BODY LOTION CANDLE; $29.00

Candle and skin lotion from UncommonGoods.
UncommonGoods

Not all lotions come in a tube. Try this amazing body lotion candle, which melts at a comfortable temperature so you can safely use the “wax” as a warm lotion on your skin. These 10-ounce candles are packed with coconut oil, botanical oils, and vitamins A, K, and E to instantly moisturize your hands. Scented with fresh figs, amber, and floral notes, this unique candle makes skincare feel like a spa experience.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

5. L’OCCITANE SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM; $29

L’occitane hand cream.
L’occitane/Amazon

Applying this hand cream is like easing yourself into soft, cozy slippers after a long day. Made with 20-percent shea butter, honey, almond extracts, and coconut oil, it has a creamy feel that instantly protects and nourishes your skin as it repairs. It’s also rich in fatty acids, doing double duty to prevent wrinkles along with any cracking.

Buy it: Amazon

6. O’KEEFE’S WORKING HANDS; $8

O’Keefe's Working Hands on Amazon.
O’Keefe's/Amazon

With nearly 18,000 4.5-star reviews on Amazon, this concentrated hand cream is a true miracle that instantly repairs any cracks or dryness on your skin. And it also works to prevent future damage, creating a barrier that locks moisture in and keeps dryness out. Even if the most you’re doing with your hands involves a keyboard, O’Keefe’s will still work around the clock to keep them looking—and feeling—their best.

Buy it: Amazon

7. PALMER’S COCONUT OIL HAND CREAM; $3

Palmer's Cocoa Oil on Amazon.
Palmer's/Amazon

This affordable hand cream works for 24 hours, so it can go for as long as you do. Made from shea and cocoa butter, with a boost of hydrating vitamin E, Palmer’s uses natural, raw ingredients to create “glove-like” protection to keep your skin feeling soft all day long. And its coconut oil is fair-trade certified, so you can feel even better every time you use it.

Buy it: Amazon

8. J.R. WATKINS ALOE & GREEN TEA HAND CREAM; $8

J.R. Watkins hand lotion on Amazon.
J.R. Watkins/Amazon

Aloe isn’t just for sunburns; it’s great for use on cracked hands, too. That’s why this hand cream from J.R. Watkins, enhanced with the healing power of aloe and green tea, is your best friend when it comes to dry skin. J.R. Watkins uses plant-based ingredients from ethical sources, making it a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin. And its products are recyclable, allowing you to go green while restoring your skin at the same time.

Buy it: Amazon

9. BLISS LEMON & SAGE BODY BUTTER; $10

Bliss hand lotion on Amazon.
Bliss/Amazon

PETA-certified and free of harsh chemicals, Bliss uses a special combination of natural plant-based emollients, humectants, and extracts for hydration that lasts all day. And its bright lemon and sage scent will make you feel more energized and refreshed—the perfect stand-in for a dehydrating cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

10. AQUAPHOR HEALING OINTMENT; $9

Aquaphor hand ointment.
Aquaphor/Amazon

Aquaphor is an oldie but a goodie. A drug store favorite, this multipurpose ointment works to shield skin from the elements to restore it to its natural condition, and it can be used on everything from your hands to your lips to your feet. It can even help heal burns. Preservative- and fragrance-free, it’s the powerful little tube that will never let you down.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

These Scented Prank Candles Turn From Sweet Fruits to Sour Farts

The blissful peace of someone who has not yet sniffed a Prank Candles product.
The blissful peace of someone who has not yet sniffed a Prank Candles product.
RL Productions/iStock via Getty Images

When someone lights a scented candle—maybe before meditating, taking a bath, or enjoying a romantic dinner—the last thing they expect to smell is a fart. That's what makes this product from Prank Candles so brilliant. As the wax melts, the aroma transitions from sweet apple pie to noxious flatulence, fouling the smeller's mood and home air quality.

In terms of appearance, the gag gift resembles a normal candle in every way. The label calls to mind the warm scents of apple pie in autumn, and when the jar is first opened, it has the smell to match. But after about an hour or so—just as the victim has gotten used to the pleasant fragrance—it changes.

Apple pie fart-scented prank candle.
Turns out receiving this scented gift isn't so sweet.
Prank Candles

Prank Candles writes in the product description, "Often—our customers will report that their victims will initially thank them because it's 'the best candle they've ever burned.' Because of this, they're even less likely to blame the candle when they think, 'WTF is that smell?'"

In addition to the apple pie scent, the company sells nasty candles disguised as fresh roses, balsam and cedar, and vanilla. The apple pie and vanilla varieties are currently back-ordered, with shipping estimated for April 15. Whether you're already planning for April Fools' Day 2021 or the birthday of a frenemy, you can order yours today for $23.

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