Gift giving season is the perfect time to think about gifts that will promote an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math and help build STEM skills that will last a lifetime. From building kits to experiments-in-a-box and beyond it’s never too soon to introduce the idea that learning STEM is fun.
Here are some great suggestions to get started.
Loop Lab: Science-in-a-box is a stress-free way to allow kids to become mini-experimenters right in your own home. Loop Lab delivers everything you need to conduct kitchen counter experiments throughout the year so it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Magicubes: These Magicubes are building blocks that have built-in magnets to allow even young kids to build in unique ways that teach early STEM skills. Building can grow more complex s kids get older. Choose from solid colors or themes like mix-and-match people and theatre.
Yuckology: Slime is HOT. Instead of giving kids jars of slime give kids not just the tools they need to make their own slime but a kit that tells them the science behind the slime. The Yuckology Slime Lab helps kids develop early chemistry skills — and they get slime to play with at the end.
Arcade Coder: Nearly every kid loves playing video games, but few know how to code their own. Enter the Arcade Coder from Tech Will Save us. Kids can learn block coding using the companion app and the board can also be used for playing multiplayer games as well as drawing.
Three Little Pigs Problem Solving Kit: Every child knows the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf who huffs and puffs and blows the house down. Now, kids can build their very own set of houses with The Three Little Pigs Problem Solving STEM Kit that even comes with storybook figures.
Magnatiles: These clear, magnetic building tiles may just wind up being the most played-with toy in playroom. Magnatiles can be used by all ages and structures will get more complicated (and taller!) as you children grow. Just about anything can be built with Magnatiles from a castle or bat cave to cars and houses. Stick with one set or add to the set over the years. Or, for a different building experience with cubes try Magna-Qubix. These cubes fit well in little hands and are also great for STEM play on-the-go.
Mechanics Gravity System: Perfect for elementary aged kids, the Mechanics Gravity System from Geomag allows kids not just to build but to add a motor to their creation. Kids can move the machine they build with their hand or with a “mechanical knob” to start chain reactions caused by magnetic attraction or repulsion. Then, they can take it apart and build it again!
Build-a-Robot: Elementary aged kids will love building their very own robot. This Air-Walker Gravity-Defying Wall-Walking Robot Science Experiment Kit allows kids to build five different robot models, all of which can defy gravity and climb the walls — literally. Younger kids will enjoy playing with this brightly colored Remote Control Gear-Bot kit that allows children to build robots out of gears and then control the robot with a remote control, which only adds to the fun.
Ozbot: This tiny robot comes pre-built and can be used so many ways. Ozbot is popular in classrooms and even young kids can complete basic coding with colored markers and older kids can code with Ozoblocky or use their Ozbot to play games that require coding.
Ooze Labs: Kids may use soap on the daily but they probably don’t know how it’s made. This Soap & Bath Bomb Lab allows kids to make their own bathbombs and soaps using molds in cool, science-themed shapes. Bathtime has never been so educational or fun!
Look & Learn Kits: PBS has a great line of Look & Learn Kits. There are kits focusing on nature, birds, insects, and more! Kits include charts, tools like binoculars or a magnifying glass, and lots of related activities to make exploring fun for young children.
Magformers: Get young children interested in STEM with this police-themed magnetic building set that comes complete with an instruction booklet explaining STEM concepts as a companion to the set. This set comes complete with figures and a siren and is compatible with other Magformer sets so children can continue to build bigger and more complex structures as they get older.
Ubongo Extreme: This pocket-sized game consists of hexagonal shapes that players use to perfectly fill the blank space on their puzzle board. Each puzzle is double-sided with two levels of difficulty, making it challenging and fun for family members of all ages.
Legos: Kids may not realize they are learning valuable STEM skills when putting together cool Lego sets like the Batmobile or the Lego Friends Rescue Mission Boat but they are. When assembling Legos kids learn important special and building skills that they will use as they grow and develop more complex creations with Legos and beyond.
Tech Will Save Us: Tech Will Save Us has a variety of kits for ages 4–11 ranging from kits to make electric play-doh to a Synth Kit and more. These kits start at around $15.00 and the smaller, manageable products make them a great choice for kids new to STEM and kids who have a specific tech interest.