S.T.E.M Toy Gift Guide for Kids of All Ages

It’s that time of year when the catalogs start clogging up my mailbox, my pinning finger is in trigger mode and I’m always on the hunt for the perfect gift for my girls and the kiddos of my friends and family.

Today, I wanted to share my new finds along with some tried-and-true S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) toys on this special blog post in hopes of helping you find the perfect gift for our future innovators this holiday season!

1.  Top on my list is a toy that’s been a HUGE hit in my home for both of my girls for over a year - let me present the Battat Take-A-Part Airplane $17.99 (ages 3-15 years - shown in picture above).  This plane has 21 pieces that can be put together using a power drill with both forward and reverse action, and three different bits.  To reassemble this toys, the “engineer” needs to figure out the correct order and placement of the very durable pieces…I have to admit, my three-year-old had to correct me once or twice when I was helping her put the plane together - maybe I should tell the makers of the toy to up the age limit!

2. Being a Physical Science teacher for many years, the Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit $89.99 (ages 8-15 years) from Elenco is a dream toy.  Not only do kids love it, but adults love it just as much, both ages beaming with happiness when their project buzzes, lights up or whizzes.  Snap Circuits is such a versatile kit that kids can either follow the well laid out instruction manual  and snap together over 750 different electrical circuits or can come up with their own configurations.  If you have a younger kiddo in your house, the Snap Circuits Jr. $20.99 (ages 6+) may be a better fit, which still offers a hands-on introduction to electronics and lays out projects so that your “electrician” can build their skills as they progress through the instruction manual.

3. If a FAMILY GIFT is more your style then I’ve got the perfect purchase right here…the Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer $999.99 (ages 3 to 103) is AWE-SOME and is such a fantastic tool to help your future techies and engineers create, create, create – everyone is going to get a kick out of this!  The only problem with it being a family gift is to decide whose idea to start designing and printing first!  This beauty comes ready with a complete accessory kit so you can start designing and building immediately.   A great online program for creating digital designs that can be 3D printer-ready is https://www.tinkercad.com/  which is great site to help with this gift or for your kids who have access to one in a school program.  

4. Of course with the Lego Movie out now (and the ridiculous number of Lego design kits available) there is something out there for every builder at heart!  When it comes to gift-giving you won’t go wrong with LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Kits starting at $4.97 (ages 6+). For my 7-year old nephew, he's going to be floored with his gift this year - the gift starts out with pizza and movie night with his favorite aunt in which I'll introduce him him to the classic adventure movie...Back to the Future. Then I'll round out my grand slam gift when I give him the Lego DeLorean Time Machine Building Set, which features opening doors, folding-wheels, Marty AND Doc Brown, the flux capacitor and even Marty's skateboard.  Oh my gosh...I don't know if I'm going to be able to wait to give it to him I'm so excited!

5. If you want to see your money put to good use instead of on something that’s going to be played with for five minutes then discarded, pick up this set of Magna-Tiles $120.00 (ages 2+) which has translucent pieces (kids like to see their toys inside their creations) that join together using magnets for ENDLESS play.  When I sit and play with my kids (nieces and nephews included) I start building something that I think is pretty cool then I look over to see their masterpieces and I immediately wonder, “What happened to my imagination?”  Their structures are fun and amazing and they're not afraid to think outside the box.  They take their Magna-Tile creation and join them with other building toys to create worlds where Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles and Hello Kitty run rampant through their maze-like city crushing any block or banana in their way!

6.  Nancy B's Science Club Microscope and Activity Journal $29.77 (ages 5-13) and this AmScope Prepared Microscope Slide Set $14.50 is on my holiday list for my girls this season.  My brother had a toy microscope that my daughter played with, but was frustrated that she could not see some images. This dissecting microscope allows the magnification to be changed (30x, 100x and 400x) and comes with a book featuring ideas for things to collect for kids to observe. But I’m telling you, once they have the idea, they’ll be finding every dead bug in your windowsill and cleaning out the fur from the dog bed to get a closer look at their "specimens". I’m purchasing the extra set of slides because there are images featured, such as hydras and honeybee legs that my girls wouldn’t be able to find out in the backyard.
7. A new find for me is the Rokenbok ROK Works Construction & Action Set $139.99 (ages 6+) which is a great starter set in this series of toys from the Rokenbok World.  The sets in this series include building materials with clear instructions and some interactive machine (or two as in this set which features a Loader and a Conveyor) which is controlled by a remote control.  The great thing about this remote is that your kids (or you for that matter) can control other Rokenbok machines that come with other sets, so when you start combining and building your “world” your kids can work together using the machines for their designed purpose, or coming up with their own design.

8.  You can’t go wrong with a traditional tool set as in Constructive Playthings 15 piece Child-sized Real Tools $39.99
(6+) to get your kids excited about using their own hands to build something that they're going to cherish and be proud of for years to come.  If you're looking for ideas for projects that you and your child(ren) can build together, pick up The Kids' Building Workshop: 15 Woodworking Projects for Kids and Parents to Build Together by Craig and Barbara Robertson $8.51.

9. C'mon who doesn't love playing with marbles, right?  Check out the Marbulous Marble Run $74.95 (ages 4+) where children design awesome tracks from the 222 included pieces for their marbles to shoot, drop and wind down the tracks.  Now, I say marbles with an "s" because I can guarantee your kids will not
be satisfied watching just one marble roll around their creation, but will want to drop an entire handful to see their masterpiece at work.  The trick the kiddos will need to figure out is that it's all about  the angles.

10. Last but not least on my list are GAMES. I'm a game enthusiast - I love trying to find games that are challenging yet fun.  Ones that make me think about strategy a little bit, but not too much that I can't enjoy the company I'm playing with.  The first game to meet my criteria is Quirkle $20.71 (ages 6+) which is an addictive strategy game where you earn points by building rows of different shapes and/or colors, trying to make rows of 6 or a "Quirkle". If you love mazes, Laser Maze $26.95 (ages 8+) will not disappoint. Challenge cards (beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert) are included for this single-
player game that uses an actual laser that you will need direct to try to hit the target. For the final game, my choice is Q-Bitz by Mindware $20.10 (8+), but I'm actually changing the age on this one just for the fact that my 3-year-old loves playing the game by herself in which she tries to replicate the pattern on the card using the patterned cubes. This game of "visual dexterity" sharpens observation skills and teaches symmetry and pattern recognition. 

I promise you and your kids will not be disappointed this season with these innovative picks that will inspire creativity, ingenuity, and curiosity.  Enjoy and have a safe and wonderful holiday season!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...