WANTED: STEM gift ideas for kids

November 8th was National STEM Day. A great way to raise awareness about the need for STEM education. But we need more than one day to remind us of the importance of STEM education. Especiallycanstockphoto36568604 STEM for girls. The number of women in STEM fields continues to lag men. My current favorite TV commercial is the GE one with Molly the young inventor – great inspiration! 

I’m a firm believer that you need to create an interest in science and encourage children, in particular girls, starting at a young age. There are many ways to do this. The choice of toys, games, and books is just one of them.

The holiday season and gift buying is ahead of us. In my case, it’s not just the holidays but it’s also two birthdays. I’ve been asking my daughters what to get for my soon to be 3 and 5-year-old granddaughters for their birthdays. The soon to be 3-year-old is consistent in her answer no matter who asks – a red motorized toy car so she can drive her younger brother around the yard. The soon to be 5-year-old answered a My Little Pony or Hello Kitty toy set. For Christmas last year, we bought her several months subscription to Koala Crate, an activity kit for kids age 3-4. She loved it and her parents continued the subscription.

I’m committed to finding some educational toys for them for either their birthdays or holidays so I’ll be checking out the STEM section of the local toy store again this year.

When I started writing and speaking on women in technology a few years ago, I put together a list of STEM toys for different ages. This was done with the help of one of my staff who had two young daughters and shared my passion about STEM education. I know this list needs updating and I could use your help.

So here’s my ask – take a look at my STEM for the holidays blog post from back then and send me your more current suggestions via a comment so I can share with all my readers. Think all ages from toddlers through high school. If I get enough new suggestions, I’ll create an updated list to share before the holidays. Thanks in advance for your help!!

Related posts:

STEM for the holidays

Yes you can: encouraging girls to pursue IT careers

Technology, where are all the women?

12 thoughts on “WANTED: STEM gift ideas for kids

  1. Marianne Mara on said:

    Author Chris Ferrie has a series of science themed baby books: “Quantum Physics for Babies, “Newtonian Physics for Babies” …

  2. Vicki Davis on said:

    Here are great STEM toys for the holiday Wish I was a little girl again so I could play and learn with these amazing toys. Hope this helps you on your shopping journey I listed age range, costs, and where to buy each item

    Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set: Budding inventors can create whatever they want with this colorful set of interchangeable gears. There’s no wrong way to build, just an endless set of options for animals, machines, and beyond! As the gears interlock and turn, children will learn about complex systems and creative problem solving Age: 3 years and up Cost: kits start 14.99-49.99 Where: Kohl’s, Target, Amazon

    Makeblock Starter Robot Kit: Makeblock offers this kit as a way for kids to get started in the exciting world of robotics. They’ll learn beginning electronics and programming – no soldering needed! Multiple robots can be created from the included materials, so the possibilities are as wide as your child’s imagination. Age: 14 years and up Cost: kits start 24.99- 144.99 Where: Walmart Target, Amazon

    Scientific Explorer AntLab Gel Station: This ant farm presents a modern take on the old classic, letting ants live in a clear gel that they can also eat – simple, and easy to watch their incredibly complex lives! It’s a great way for kids to start learning to observe the natural world around them .Includes ant gel habitat, ant gel, 2 treat pods, 3 tunnel connectors and easy instructions Age: 6 years and up Cost: 22.95-34.84 Where: Walmart, Target, Amazon , Kohl’s

    Sunprints are based on the cyanotype process, something that has been used by artists and photographers for centuries. The special sunprint paper changes color when exposed to the sun, so you can create patterns by blocking the light with any object you want. The result? Beautiful images that let kids express themselves while learning about the science of light. Age: 6 years and up Cost: 10.99 -15.99 Where: Amazon

    Dance Code featuring Disney Princess Belle- Amazon Exclusive• Dance Code empowers kids to create choreography for the ultimate dance partner.This innovative play experience introduces early coding techniques in a fun way. Create dance routines in the app for Belle to perform in real life. No device needed! Belle performs 10 dances with a touch of her necklace. Belle instructs kids how to dance along to enchanting music. Age: 5 and up Cost: 99.99 Where: Amazon Only

    LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit -NAPPA Silver Award Winner. Design and build 10 amazing moving machines – teach your bricks new tricks. Comes with 80 page instructions, 33 LEGO pieces, instructions for 10 modules, 6 plastic balls, string, paper ramps and other components. Includes more than 30 essential Lego elements. Age: ages 8+ Cost: 15.99-21.99 Where: Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Target, Amazon

    GoldieBlox A construction toy and storybook sets that features a girl engineer character.GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank, GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine, GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, GoldieBlox: Construction toy Winner of: Educational Toy of the Year, People’s Choice Toy of the Year, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy – Platinum, Parent’s Choice – Gold. Age: 4+ Cost: 21.99-49.99 Where: GoldieBlox, Kohl’s, Amazon, Walmart, Office Depot

    Mega Fossil Mine A kit from National Geographic that lets them dig up 15 real fossils. Become a paleontologist and start a rock and fossil collection when you dig up 15 million-year-old fossils! Dig out a real dinosaur bone! Other fossils you’ll find include an ammonite, coral, mosasaur tooth, coprolite and more. Ages 6-15 Cost: 29.95- 30.99 Where: National Geographic, Amazon

    SmartLab Toys Ultimate Secret Formula Lab Explore the secrets of science with the unique Experimentation Station! ENDLESS SCIENCE FUN-conduct 40 epic experiments using the chemicals provided and your own common kitchen ingredients. Includes base station, plunger, cylinder, valves, test tube holder, test tubes, reservoirs, rubber grommets, snap clips, flask, beaker, vinyl tubes, petri dish, pipette, calcium chloride, phenol red, calcium hydroxide, pH strips, spill tray, book.Age: 8 and up Cost: 39.95-49.95 Where: JC Penny, Target, Overstock, Amazon

    Elenco SCL-175B Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Discovery Kit Hands-on introduction to electronics Make real working circuits and devices. Make over 175 projects with over 55 color-coded circuit components. Plug in your in your iPhone or android phone or any MP3 player and see your circuits react. Snap Circuits have received several AWARDs: National Parenting Center-Seal of Approval, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, Dr Toy Best Educational Products. Age: 8-15 Cost: 47.81-76.40 Where: Walmart, Best Buy Amazon

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Vicki, I’m sharing your comment in its entirety at the risk of appearing to endorse the products – I trust you have good reason to recommend them all and hopefully some readers will find the list useful. Thanks for the info!

    • Mike L. on said:

      Got our 3 y/o the Fisher Price Codeapillar for his birthday and he really likes it. Haven’t quite gotten to the programming-your-algorithm stage, but I think we’ll be there soon. 😉

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