Finding the perfect gift for the kids on your Christmas list may seem like a daunting task, but don't fret -- we've got you covered.
We've gathered some creative and surprising gift ideas that are fun and educational. You may be aware of the emphasis on STEM in schools. STEM education (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is crucial for the development of children who are entering a modern world where innovation, leadership, problem solving, and high-level thinking skills are in high demand.
Many kids are naturally drawn to games and toys that challenge and excite them. The intersection of STEM education and play is natural. It’s a relationship that people who create STEM toys are intimately familiar with. Educators also understand the importance of encouraging and facilitating the development of skills that coordinate well with a child’s formal education.
Here are some of the top STEM toys for Christmas this year.
Ozobot Starter Pack is a great way to keep kids stimulated and engaged during Christmas break. This programmable robot toy is an award-winning and teacher-recommended STEM inspired toy that has an optional upgrade to programming editor when kids master the capabilities of this starter set. The Ozobot Company has a full line of robot toys including the world’s smallest toy smart toy robot, Bit. Evo is their social robot option, capable of bringing in updates from friends. Check out their full line at their website.
Thames and Kosmos Glowing Chemistry allows kids to observe chemiluminescence first-hand. Children can experiment with glow in the dark plastic, use the ultraviolet lamp to reveal things invisible to the eye under normal conditions, and mix up their own blue light. Thames and Kosmos is a company founded by a science museum director who saw a need for higher-quality science education toys. They have a line of science kits, magic sets, and an entire set of new games ready for this Christmas season.
Learning Resources Zoomy 2.0 Handheld Digital Microscope is a great choice for budding scientists. At 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches, it’s just the right size for small hands to maneuver. This powerful toy magnifies objects up to 54x so kids can look closely and analyze an object’s structure. The Learning Resources website is a great resource for STEM toys appropriate for every age group.
LittleBits Electronics Arduino Coding Kit is an introduction to programming that has a snap module system that is easy for kids to maneuver and understand. The Arduino community online offers ideas and inspiration after the child masters the basic challenges of the set. The LittleBits Company is the most awarded STEM company and their website offers a host of gift guides and ideas for STEM-inspired toys.
Kano Build Your Own Computer Kit is a build-it-yourself set that encourages problem solving, creative thinking, and innovation among computer savvy and curious kids. This set helps to create an environment that lets kids participate in code-building projects and complete challenges that allow them to expand their skill set. You can check out the full line of Kano Computer Kits at their website.
Magformers Smart Set is an intelligent magnetic construction set that encourages brain development in kids ages 5-16. The kit is expandable and compatible with other Magformers sets. The rare-earth Neodymium magnets offer the kind of strong hold that inventive kids expect. This set has 144 pieces in all the basic shapes. Magformers offers other popular magnetic construction STEM toys at many different price points, as well.
Having STEM toys available at home is a great way to help create a healthy learning environment. Kids can be difficult to buy for; choose a gift from the many wonderful STEM toys available today and you could be the hero of the morning this Christmas.
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