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I can’t believe that I can now officially say that Christmas is next month!!! Next month. Are you ready? I admit that I’ve already purchased a few presents even before Halloween. My kids have so many toys. When I was a new mom, I loved buying toys. As I had more kids (and more toys to pick up), I discovered that quality is much more important than quantity. I decided that I would rather my kids have few toys that were great, than an abundance of toys that were mediocre.
I also have never really understood “boy” toys and “girl” toys. I remember my daughter used to often tell McDonald’s that she wanted a boy toy. Usually the boy toys were cool Transformers that actually moved and the girl toys would be molded hard plastic Barbie dolls. My favorite class in school was shop. I loved building things. I don’t believe in stereotypes. Girls can become engineers and boys can make great nurses. With that said, please know that I think any of these gifts would be great for any child. I have divided the gifts by price categories so you should be able to find a quality STEM gift regardless of your budget.
STEM Gifts under $50
Operation Escape Evil by Kitki. I love board games. And a board game that teaches chemistry in a fun way? Oh yeah! The cards are divided by level of difficulty so the entire family should be able to play.
Microscope Kit. This is an affordable but great microscope kit for beginners. I will warn you though — once your child has a microscope, expect them to want to view everything under it! (Think pulling a hair strand “with bulb” from even the pets!)
Micronoid Programmable Robot. It is almost impossible to find a decent robotics kit under $50 which makes this great for beginners. Not only can you build this one and program it, but it also has an automatic mode where it does funny things on its own.
Circuit Kit. Again, most circuit kits are also more pricey but this one offers 120 projects and is also expandable so it’s perfect for a first circuit kit.
Magnetic Building Blocks. Kids love to build what ever they can imagine and parents will prefer stepping on these if they are left out more than building bricks.
K’Nex Intro to Bridges Set. A few years ago my youngest son found an app where you could build a bridge and then have different size vehicles drive over it to see if the bridge would withstand the weight or collapse. If your child has any interest in construction of real structures, they will love this!
Prime Climb Game. If you have a math whiz and traditional math games are too easy, this game will offer a little more challenge for them.
Three Sticks. Great way to organically learn geometry. (Really, I think I only need to say it’s by Kitki.)
STEM Gifts under $20
Crystal Growing Kit. ‘Nuff said. This never gets old.
Sick Science! Solve This. This book shows all the secrets to cool science experiments. Better than magic tricks.
K’nex Levers and Pulleys. This is a smaller set but a great introduction to pulleys and levers. This kit provides instructions for three models.
Look at That Building: A First Look at Structures. If you want to introduce your child to structures and engineering, I suggest you start here.
Wooden Building Blocks. Think Jenga. But with numbers on the ends of each block. I will say there are no instructions but as a homeschool mom, I love to create games to reinforce learning. You could easily use these blocks to create games.
Lego Chain Reactions Craft Kit. For the Lego lover in your life. Using common items and Legos, build ten different moving machines.
Brain Builders Game. The challenge is to take a 2 dimensional image and build a 3 dimensional structure. Builds on difficulty.
Domino Rally Classic. We love race dominoes. This is more than your classic game dominoes. This includes special track pieces and dominoes that are built speed.
STEM Gifts under $10
Everything Kids’ Science Experiments. I love every book we own from the “Everything Kids‘” series and this one does not disappoint. There are so many experiments and the best part is you can get started right away with most items found in your home.
Magnet Science Kit. Okay, technically, this is a few cents over $10 but totally worth it. Be sure you make sure to explain not to use this on a digital screen before handing over a big magnet. Trust me, I know what can happen.
Everything Kids’ Math Puzzles Book. Brain teasers and math puzzles to keep your young genius busy for hours.
Energy Stick. Fun way to learn about electricity.
And because I’m generous, here’s an extra suggestion:
Wind Power Generator Kit. Allow your child to discover renewable energy.