9 Great Gifts for Building STEM Skills

The Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code-A-Pillar
Ages 3-8 (but we think this is more reasonable for the 5-7 crowd

The idea is simple, kids can use this slick toy to program simple commands and watch the caterpillar respond.  There are also add-ons you can purchase to get more functionality to the toy.  A great way to start laying the foundation for coding and developing analytical skills.

Osmo Starter Kit
Ages 5-12

* Requires an iPad version 2 or newer

Osmo is a complement to the iPad that enables children to take their exploration OFF the screen.  Osmo’s games (Newton, Words, Tangram, and Masterpiece) provides hours of educational games around engineering, language arts, mathematics, and art.  Fast company & good design best product designs 2016| toys-of-the-year-2015time’s best inventions of 2014| scholastic – teacher’s pick 2015

Kids First Robot Engineer Kit and Storybook
Ages 3-6

This great set is a finalist for the Toy of the Year Awards.  Read a tale of 2 friends as you build together with them!  On the way to a candy factory the characters build and fix robots, and your child will be building right alongside.  

Snap Circuits Beginner Electronics Discovery Kit
Ages 5-10

This is wonderful gift to get kids an early look at electronics.  There are 20 different activities to explore that are fun to accomplish and can be done over and over again.  My son has had this toy for 4 years and we still play with it!  

National Geographic Mega Crystal Growing Lab
Ages 6-15

Grow your own crystals in 8 gorgeous colors.  This kit also provides a light up display base to dramatically present the end products or to make your own night light!  

A wonderful and visually appealing toy to introduce your child to chemistry.

We love this toy because as far as chemistry kits go, it’s not messy.  It’s easy to follow and succeed in actually growing something, and the output is beautiful.

Laser Pegs National Geographic Dinosaurs Building Kit
Ages 5-15

Kids can build their own dinosaurs using brilliantly colored light up pegs and bricks.  The model plugs into a sound activated base that lets kids “direct” the light show emanating from the dinosaur.

We love toys that are multi-functional like this one . . . kids learn about dinosaurs (check), kids learn how to follow instructions and build (check), kids learn about cause and effect (check), kids have a variety of projects with same materials (check).

Picasso Tiles
Ages 3 and up

3-D building has a lot of inherently educational aspects to it, but it’s also really fun!  And Picasso tiles are not only functional, but beautiful.  And they don’t hurt when you step on them!  These are a great toy because they store easily, the options for their use are endless, and kids just adore them.  

Learning Resources Primary Science Mix and Measure Set
Ages 3-5

I don’t know about you, but my kids are always “borrowing” my measuring cups and spoons.  This set is built for little hands and will keep you from trying to hunt down that darn half-cup measuring cup every time you want to bake some cookies.  This set comes with activity cards to help you and your child make fun stuff (goo!  Puffy paint!) together.

Educational Insights Design and Drill Bright Works
Ages 3-12

There are a number of these kits, and they are all fabulous, but we chose this one in particular for the list because we love how it reminds us of our Lite Brite from back in the day.  With this toy, kids learn patterns and are able to use a kid-friendly drill to make them, and then boom – they light it up!

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