Last week I shared some holiday gift ideas with a Language Arts theme. This week, I’ll give you some great science-themed gift ideas.
Science can be so much fun, what kid doesn’t want to discover how the world works? Every child has a million and one questions about everything – give them the right tools and they can find the answers on their own.
For little ones – you absolutely must have a magnifying glass. We have gone through dozens and dozens of these over the years. Take them outside on nature walks, have them look at the skin on their hands, their pet, etc. These are great and really sturdy – Learning Resources Jumbo Magnifier Set Of 6
Another great tool for exploring your world is a microscope. These don’t have to be the fancy expensive variety. Nor do they have to be reserved for high school/college level science. This is a great first microscope:Educational Insights Geosafari Tuff Scope; as is this pocket microscope: Carson 60X-100X MicroMax LED Lighted Pocket Microscope The Learning Resources Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope is another great and inexpensive option.
Another item I’ve always kept on hand are magnets. These 8″ Magnetic Wands (Set of 6) are fantastic – they are durable, and the magnets are really strong. My kids have spent hours playing with these, and exploring which things are magnetic and which aren’t.
Now, I’ll admit, I haven’t actually used this item yet. But I just purchased Goldie Blox and the Dunk Tank for my youngest for this coming Christmas… I have heard fantastic things, so I’m hoping she likes it. Goldiblox is a kit that comes with a storybook and the pieces to create design ideas to complement the story. Each kit focuses on one type of machine. For example, this kit’s focus is the hinge. You can collect the different kits and use the pieces interchangeably to create lots of different designs. It’s geared toward girls, but I don’t see why a boy wouldn’t want to play with these as well. And once your child is hooked on this beginner’s engineering toy, you can move up to the next level with the K’NEX 521 Piece Building Set.
If you want a fantastic science kit, then look no farther than Thames and Kosmos Science Kits. There is a huge variety of kits, in nearly every field of science. They even have a little labs series of kits for younger children. I’ve used a few of them over the years and they’ve always been great – and we’re picky. There is nothing worse than a science experiment that promises to be amazing and then completely flops. So far, we’ve never had a flop with these kits. They are a bit pricey, but worth it.
Have a budding geologist? We’ve used and enjoyed this 4M Crystal Mining Kit. There is a good variety of crystals for your child to chisel out, just like a real geologist. You might also enjoy this ROCK ON! Geology Game & Rock Collection. Likewise, for your budding paleontologist, this is a wonderful kit: Smithsonian Diggin’ Up Dinosaurs T-Rex – they can dig up the bones and then put them together to build a model of a T-Rex skeleton.
If you are looking for more fun ways to explore the natural world, you could try an Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden or this Adventure Kids Bug Catcher Box Set or maybe this Fascinations AntWorks Illuminated Blue Ant Farm. All are great ways to learn more about insects, and even collect some new “pets.”
Do you have a space-nut? For years, my boys had an inflatable solar system that we found at our local planetarium hanging in their bedroom. This is a similar set to what we had: Learning Resources Inflatable Solar System. I saw this a few weeks ago when I was starting my shopping – perfect for a future astronaut: Uncle Milton Moon In My Room. With this, you can hang a replica of the moon in your child’s room and track the phases of the moon. It also works as an educational night light.
There are some great Science themed board games that make great gifts too.
Somebody Board Game
Primordial Soup (more for middle grades/teens)
Bone Wars: The Game of Ruthless Paleontology (also middle grades/teens)
Zooloretto Board Game
Periodic Quest: A Family, Educational Card and Board Game Set with More Than 6 Card Games and Board Games Based on the Periodic Table of Elements.
Of course I’m going to mention at least a few books. 😉
If you are looking for a really sweet introduction to Einstein – you should get On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. My youngest loves this book. She found a kindred spirit in Einstein when we read that Einstein didn’t wear socks, because his feet were happier without them. She gasped and shouted, “Mine too!”
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein is a beautiful introduction to the universe and our place in it. Young children will love the gorgeous illustrations, they are just amazing. They will also learn about the natural world and how we are all connected.
If your child is interested in evolution, then they might enjoy Evolution: A Colouring Book. This is a really interesting and unique coloring book. It’s got interactive elements and activities that even older teens would appreciate. This book is different and creative and will inspire quite a bit of rabbit trailing.
In the next article, I’ll share some History/Geography themed gift ideas!