STEM gifts for kids!
Are you gearing up for holiday shopping? Here is my list for the top 5 STEM gifts for kids this season:
We have always loved Thinkwell games and logic puzzles at home. They are great for individual learning, and can be worked through at each child’s individual pace. It looks like there is also a simpler version in Lazer Maze Jr. Laser Maze has 60 levels, so it will take awhile to work through them. If using in the classroom, be sure to have spare batteries on hand. If you are looking for more logic puzzle type games similar to this one, be sure to check out Rush Hour, Chocolate Fix, and Solitaire Chess.
Hue Animation Studio
If you are looking to try stop motion animation, this is a good place to start with elementary aged kids. The software is very simple and straightforward to use. From Amazon’s description,
- The kit contains everything you need to create your own amazing stop motion animated movies. An educational and fun gift for kids of all ages.
- Includes the HUE HD camera with mic; the HUE Book of Animation, a 60-page full color book; a mini stage with background and ‘green screen’ and stop motion software with sound effects, printable activities and backdrops.
- Animate using LEGO®, modelling clay, paper or toys, and recreate your favorite scenes from movies like The Boxtrolls, Frozen and Star Wars in minutes.
I highly recommend starting with LEGOs for stop motion animation due to the innate discrete steps dictated by the LEGO bumps!
MindWare is another favorite company of mine, as the creator of Extreme dot-to-dots and Qwirkle. You would think that there is only so much you could accomplish with small wooden planks, but KEVA Contraptions will challenge that line of thought! The idea book will have you on your way to creating a variety of contraptions. No glue or fasteners are needed for this set, but if you do like working with glue and models, you’ll want to see their Trebuchet set. My son and I enjoyed putting it together, as well as playing with it!
Ozowhat? Ozobot! These little robots are amazing and adorable! What a great introduction to programming. Using only markers and paper, you can program blocks of code that the robot will read and process. You can also go to the blockly website and grab larger blocks of code to use. These are very tiny robots, so may not be the best for the youngest crowd. From the product description,
Ozobot can see colors, follow lines and detect intersections on shapes you draw on paper and a digital screen. Twin micro-motors and a friction drivetrain deliver quiet and precise movements, while Ozobot‘s sensors scan the surface for color variances – thus interpreting an actual code, created by your child. Ozobot Bit’s built-in LiPo battery provides quick recharge via a micro-USB port and delivers over an hour of continuous action on a single charge.
In stark contrast to the mini robot are plastic gears! We have owned these gears for at least 5 years now, and they still get regular play. There are a variety of ways to configure them, and they are easy to snap in place and start working with. These are excellent for young and old kids alike, and can be used for counting, sorting, logic, and just plain fun! This is a basic set but there are also other sets you can purchase to make more elaborate or decorative designs.
Thank you for reading my top 5 list! Looking for even more STEM gifts for kids? Head on over to Brooke’s post for her picks:
and then over to Sarah’s picks here:
Please note, these are not affiliate links, nor was I approached by any of these companies to review their products. I just love them and wanted to pass on why!