Yesterday I shared some holiday gift ideas with a Language Arts theme. Today, 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: Levenhuk LabZZ M101 Moonstone Microscope for Kids; 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.
I’ve always loved Melissa and Doug’s line of products and this Human Anatomy Play Set is a durable and wonderful learning tool. Pair it up with the entertaining graphic novel Human Body Theater and you have a whole unit study on human anatomy without your child even realizing they are learning!
I’m a huge fan of open-ended play and building toys. Everyone knows about Legos, but there are so many different types of building toys! These can teach your child physics and engineering as well as build creative thinking skills. But best of all, they are just plain fun! Some of our favorite are: K’Nex, Magna-Tiles, Wedgits, and Lincoln Logs.
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: National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit – where they can dig up real fossils with tools similar to what actual paleontologists use!
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 twins 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: Geosafari Glow in the Dark Solar System. I saw this a few weeks ago when I was out 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 (ages 6+)
Cranium (best for middle grades/teens)
Totally Gross! The Game of Science (ages 8+)
Wonders of Science Card Game (ages 8+)
Evolution (best for middle grades/teens)
Cytosis (best for middle grades/teens)
Doctor Microbe Game (ages 8+)
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!”
I already mentioned it above, but I have to recommend Human Body Theater again – it is such a fantastic resource! To this day it is still my 10 year old’s favorite book. We even got a chance to meet the author, Maris Wicks, who is lovely. This graphic novel teaches your child everything they want or need to know about human anatomy. The illustrations are adorable and the text is written in a way that is scientific but still fun to read!
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.
Does your child love oceans and ocean life? Then check out Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist. We read this during Shark Week and it was a big hit. The illustrations are stunning and the story of Eugenie Clark is fascinating! We also really liked Jason Chin’s Coral Reefs, which is a very meta book exploring coral reefs.
The Professor Astro Cat series are so much fun – they cover a multitude of science topics, all taught by the smartest cat in the alley – Professor Astro Cat! We have loved Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, which covers topics like gravity, extraterrestrial life, and time. This series is very well done, and the illustrations are really fun and vibrant!
In the next article, I’ll share some History/Geography themed gift ideas!
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