1. A kombucha starter kit with everything you need to make that vinegary fave at home, including your own slimy SCOBY.
Each kit includes a 1-gallon glass jar, a cotton cloth jar cover, organic black tea, organic cane sugar, a tea bag, a claim code to get free SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), and instructions.
Promising review: “This kit changed my world, can’t wait to never buy kombucha again and keep trying new recipes! This was easy to use (including redeeming SCOBY) and the directions was to the point and simple to follow. I loved that everything needed for the first brew was included from the tea and sugar to jar with its cloth and tight elastic.” —Hope
2. A New School course from yours truly (BuzzFeed, not me) that teaches you how to make successful videos on social media. Your TikTok career awaits!
You’ll learn how to get the most out of your inexpensive gear, find your audience, build a fan base, tell great stories, and even make money from your work. The tips and techniques are taught by Steele Filipek (Starlight Runner Entertainment) and Vinay Chowdhry (New School) with special guest experts from BuzzFeed, CBS, and AMC. They are self-guided lessons with worksheets and activity journals so you can go at your own pace. You can sample the first course for free to see what you’re getting into. Learn more about this New School course.
3. A beer-making kit with the tools and ingredients you need to convert your kitchen into a brewery.
It comes with a gallon jug, thermometer, cleanser, tubing, racking cane and tip, chambered airlock, screw-cap stopper, and mix (grain, hops and yeast). You can make tasty brews like Everyday IPA, Jalapeno Saison, and Grapefruit Honey Ale. I’ve tried the saison at a beer festival a few years ago and confirm it’s really good!
Get it from Brooklyn Brew Shop for $45+ (available in many, many types).
4. A calligraphy guidebook that’ll show you the ropes of fancy writing. Think how nice your name will look in swoopy script. So nice.
Promising review: “Great book. I got it as a gift and love it. I now give it as a gift to those who show interest in how I learned.” —Rach
6. A DIY hot sauce making kit in case you’re tired of the offerings sold at the grocery store and want to learn more about the art of making spicy liquid.
Each kit comes with ingredients and instructions to make six different hot sauces based on guided recipes, and includes the bottles and cute lil’ stickers to put on them when you’re done.
Promising review: “Lifetime of hot sauce. The very informative instructions not only guide you through making a few (very delicious!) hot sauces for now, they also teach you how to make them with your own ingredients in the future.” —Gigi
Get a subscription to Coursera for $49/month (first week is free).
8. Learning Crates, a subscription for kids that’s tailored to their interests and will get them excited to learn new things. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn a thing too.
Each delivery includes seven to ten books, experiments, and hands-on activities, personalized based on your your child’s favorite subjects, interests, and hobbies. Shipping is free and a book is donated toward a children’s literacy charity for every order.
Promising review: “Love this! Around $50 worth of books and a few random items. Very age-appropriate. Good novels with some pictures — they look fun and engaging. Coolest item was a locking space diary story that the child fills out themselves. Really neat, and my son loves science! Good products in the box for the price I paid for a three-month subscription. We will most likely lengthen our subscription if the next boxes are just as good.” —Ashlie
Get it from Cratejoy for $14.99+/month (available for grades K-6).
There are 25 languages to choose from. They try to make the process easy and fun by using a time-tested and proven immersion method. It works with your brain by mirroring its natural language-learning ability. Every student is different, but most can learn the basics of a language with even just an hour a day in a little over a month.
You get five skeins of pima cotton (your choice of color), wooden knitting needles, a pattern, small sewing needle, embroidered label, and WAK packaging.
Get it from We Are Knitters for $89+ (available in sizes S–XXXL and many colors).
11. A Taekwondo class series available for free on YouTube so you can learn something new and get some exercise at the same time.
The video above is the the intro to white belt class! Heads up: Lots of commenters mention that you need to be kind of limber to do a lot of these moves.
See all the Global Martial Arts University classes here.
12. A fermentation kit that turns mason jars into tiny vessels you can fill with all your hopes and dreams (pickles and kimchi). Learning to brine is way easier than you’d think.
The kit comes with four multipurpose lids, fermenting caps, extractor pump, and recipe book, but you need to get your own mason jars. The special caps let carbon dioxide escape without allowing oxygen to enter so your jars won’t like, explode. I recently used one to make a jar of pickles and somehow they were not only edible, but actually pretty good!
When you sign up for a class, Murray’s will mail you four cheeses and their accompaniments, plus a personal pairing guide. Just use the provided link when the class begins and you can follow along with the cheese experts at home.
The subscription includes all the materials, tools, and instructions you’ll need for a fun craft project every month — which can vary from wood burning to terrariums to cement work.
Promising review: “I am impressed by the quality and concept of this artistic box! First, you get everything you need to do a project. No running around finding supplies. The art projects are fun, as easy or complicated as you choose and, again, all the supplies are included! (Sometimes you need your own scissors.) I would recommend this box as a great gift for artists of any age or experience. Also a great box for self care by investing some of your valuable time into something creative and handmade by you! Big fun!” —Amber