As a former science teacher, I’m a big believer in the S.T.E.A.M movement (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in education. Our boys’ school actually has “S.T.E.M” as one of their specials classes, along with a whole new coding curriculum. So, instead of just getting them “play toys” for the holidays and birthdays, we really like to give them some fun, yet educational toys/products. If you’re like us and looking for some good ideas for your own kids, this list of 15+ educational S.T.E.A.M gift ideas will hopefully give you some inspiration!
Note: Everything on this list falls into one of three “categories” – items we already have and love (some of the items are ones that we have received over the years for review), items we are giving our boys for Christmas, and items highly recommend to me by personal friends/educators who have the product. Affiliate links are included below. So, here are our top picks:
15+ Educational S.T.E.A.M Gift Ideas for Kids
Omano JuniorScope (Science)- The new Omano JuniorScope is a great gift for your budding scientist. The JuniorScope is a high quality, easy-to-use microscope built with kids in mind. Unlike other children’s microscopes, the JuniorScope has precision glass optics and gives a crystal clear image of what is on the slide! The #JuniorScope has all the power your child will need with 40x, 100x and 400x magnification levels – so you can look at larger, solid objects like leaves and insects at a lower power and look at transparent objects like blood cells and bacteria at the higher power. It comes with a whole bunch of accessories as well (The World of the Microscope book, stains, forceps, petri dish, blank slides, lens cleaning paper, dropper, and test tube) and it’s on-sale at microsope.com for just $89 for the holidays! LOVE that! So, this gift is one that’s approved by the former biology teacher typing this and one gift our boys are getting for Christmas!
Qwirkle (Math) – This is one of our FAVORITE games!!! We actually got it for the boys last year from Christmas and it has quickly become one of our favorites. It’s a game of strategy with different shapes and colors. So in addition to the strategy piece, it really builds some math-related skills for kids like patterns, sequencing, spatial recognition, and problem-solving! We highly recommend this one!
Contraptions Wood Plank Set (Engineering) – With 200 identical wooden planks crafted to be used as scaffolding, ramps, paths, and much more, this set is kids excited about creative building, problem-solving, and basic engineering. Your child can build a Rube-Goldberg type contraption (without worrying about the ball careening off or moving unpredictably), while learning some basic physics principles.
littleBits Droid Kit (Technology, Engineering, Arts) – read our full review about the littleBits Droid hereThis kit is PERFECT for any kids that love Star Wars (or even just the idea of robots). I’ve gotten to build one and play with it in action — and it’s SO cool! You can for more information. With the latest from the Star Wars saga coming out, it’s a great holiday gift (and one that my boys are getting this year)!
Travel Telescope (Science) – My friends have this telescope and recommend it! I love that a telescope like this could be a great gift for the kids or for the whole family. It’s a good size and price point for a starter telescope, perfect for family travel (which I especially love)!
LEGO Bricks (Engineering, Arts, Math) – I mean…is there really a better, more classic S.T.E.M. related gift than LEGO? This HAD to make the list for obvious reasons – creativity meets engineering and math! The possibilities are endless. We have tons of LEGO products…and the boys are getting more for Christmas!
LEGO Chain Reactions Book (Science, Engineering, Arts, Math) – And speaking of LEGO, how about a fun LEGO book that teaches your kids how to build 10 fun machines that can be combined to make dozens of different chain reactions?! This would be a really fun one for LEGO lovers. For even more LEGO book ideas, check out our LEGO Non-Fiction readers review here.
Steve Spangler Science String Slime (Science) – The former science teacher in me LOVES some Steve Spangler! So, really any products from there are great for S.T.E.M.! But, I’m not sure if anything could be more popular than slime. Slime is ALL the rage right now! So, change it up a bit with this string slime! Kids will LOVE this stuff!!!
Snap Circuits (Science, Technology, Engineering) – You can give kids a GREAT basic intro to electrical engineering with these fun Snap Circuits! Our friends have these and LOVE them! These kits give kids hands-on experience designing and building models of working electrical circuits. The Junior kit has 100+ different projects!!
Osmo Products (all areas, depending on set) – Our friends have been RAVING about Osmo products! Osmo works with your iPad, essentially as a unique gaming accessory. The unique, reflective artificial intelligence technology used, enables Osmo to span both digital and physical worlds. There are a variety of games and sets you can get (focusing on different things – like art, math, science, etc). Very cool stuff!
Yamaha Electronic Drum Kit (Arts, Technology) – Musical instruments are always a great gift idea if you have a little budding musician at home! Music was a BIG part of my life growing up (I’ve played many instruments over the years), and I’m so excited that the boys are old enough to start really focusing more on learning instruments. I’ve long known about Yamaha instruments (and have played MANY in my day), but I did NOT know about some of these electronic sets. If you’re too scared of the noise level with a classic drum set, try this electronic drum kit (it can be plugged in to HEADPHONES)! SOOOO cool! This is a present for Big Brother (so, stay tuned for a full review coming soon)! The former percussionist in me is so excited about this!
Boomwhackers (Arts) – If you like the idea of a music-related gift, but don’t have the money to drop on a full instrument (or if your kids just aren’t ready for that yet), Boomwhackers would be such a fun idea! Our friend is a music teacher and has these in his classroom. The kids LOVE them!
Ozobot Coding Robots (Technology) – Who doesn’t want a robot? This is a great gift idea for kids that have an interest in robotics or learning basic programming. If your kids are learning some basic coding at school, getting an Ozobot would be a really fun way to support that learning at home!
Magna Tiles (Science, Engineering, Math, Arts) – My kids LOVE these! With the magnetic building tiles, kids can create all kinds of interesting shapes and structures – in 3D! I love that there is still the creative, artistic component while experiment with science(magnetism), engineering, and math concepts!
InstaSnow Powder (Science, Arts) – We LOVE this stuff – seriously it is the COOLEST! This not only helps teach some science concepts like reactions and polymers, but it’s just SO fun (and perfect for imaginative play). Given that it’s “snow”, I think it’s the PERFECT gift during the holiday season. We used it to set up a whole FROZEN snow play idea (and the kids absolutely loved it) – they played for hours!
Crayola Art Case (Arts) – You can’t go wrong with a good old case of art supplies! This was one of my very favorite gifts as a good! I LOVE some brand new markers, crayons, and colored pencils! Swoon! So, I’m a BIG believer in giving kids art supplies to get creative with!
So there you have it – some great, educational ideas of varying prices and types, perfect for the kids in your life!
What are YOUR favorite educational gifts for kids? Any products we should add to our list? Leave your suggestions in the comments!