The Christmas season is fast approaching and I know many of you are scratching your heads trying to come up with creative gift ideas that will surprise and delight that special someone. If you are like us, you also want a gift that is educational and perhaps inspirational, not one that will likely end up in the rubbish months later. Today, I share with you 10 awesome science gifts that will surely inspire your science minded loved ones.
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Gifts for a Young Scientist
Groovy Lab in a Box
One of the most exciting popular gifts available today is a subscription to an activity kit. One of my favorites is Groovy Lab in a Box – a monthly box overflowing with science experiments for you and your child to explore together. Recommended for ages 8+, older students may find success in doing the activities independently.
Every month, Groovy Lab in a Box sends a 20+ page lab notebook and everything required to complete the STEM-based experiments inside. Each box is just $26.95, less for longer subscription options.
For the Chemist
Crystal Growing Kit
The 4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit is a lot of fun and a wonderful introduction to the study of crystals. The steps are simple and all you need is boiling water. Everything else is provided in the kit. Be careful to follow the instructions carefully and crystals start growing immediately and are full size in just 7-10 days.
Salt Water Monster Truck
We received the Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck in our #NYE01 box from Quarterly. My kids were excited to give it a go and enjoyed taking it out for a spin our driveway. The kit is well designed and easy to assemble. I think this would be a fun project for any child with an interest in science and engineering.
For the Engineer
Build it Yourself RobotiKits
Another gem that arrived in #NYE01 was a Solar Powered Grasshopper Kit, also by OwiKit. The parts are very small and the enclosed instructions are graphics based – a child versed in Lego should not have difficulty putting it together. The grasshopper is a build-it-yourself educational solar hobby kit specifically suited for the first time science experimenters. Kids with little or no experience can explore the potential of solar power – opening a world of possibilities. I’ll write a more detailed review soon – again, we’ll be pulling these out in the next few days while visiting family. Best of all, this cute little critter is only $7 – the perfect stocking stuffer!
Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit
Many homeschoolers are familiar with Snap Circuits. Are you aware that an Alternative Energy Kit is also available? Since the previous two kits are all about alternative fuels – this is a great kit for kids with some prior experience with circuits and alliterative fuels. Like other Snap Circuits kits, the parts are all clearly labeled and easy to snap into place. This green kit includes an FM radio, voltmeter, and a fan/windmill, which are all favorites.
For the Naturalist
Keeping a Nature Journal
Nature journaling is a major component of our homeschool science curriculum. My kids love recording their observations using a variety of art media (colored pencil, chalk pastels, watercolor, pen and ink, etc.). Much of our inspiration for tying new techniques comes from the book, Keeping a Nature Journal. Clare Walker Leslie and co-author Charles E. Roth offer easy techniques, exercises, and prompts for all ages. This is not a drawing technique book but inspiration. If the child’s goal is to draw nature and record what she sees/experiences, this is a book she’ll treasure and refer to often.
Monocular Pocket Spotting Scope
Lastly, it is difficult to journal a bird you observe when it is so far away you can’t see details. For the budding naturalist, consider a monocular pocket spotting scope. The Bushnell Monocular Scope has a rugged, waterproof design that is perfect for kids. The 9 X 32 mm size is compact, lightweight, clear and easily handled. It’s great for birdwatching and fits easily in your young naturalist’s pocket.
Cell Phone Macro Lens
Another idea for nature lovers is a macro lens designed to clip onto a cell phone. We have several of these on hand at the marine learning center where I volunteer and the visitors have a great time using them as they engage with the live exhibits. For under $15, you’ll want to put one in everyone’s stocking.
For the Computer Programmer
Piper is by far my favorite gift for kids interested in computers and computer programming. It is a complete DIY kit that provides young children with the chance to not only build their first computer but also learn about electronics along the way. Best of all, the kit grows with them. Included is the popular Raspberry Pi computer that budding makers can use in a variety of other projects. They are limited only by their own imagination.
Another exciting subscription box is Creation Crate, designed to help you learn about electronics. Surprisingly, this box isn’t just for kids – it’s suitable for anyone age 12+ who wants to learn or enhance their electronics and coding skills. The subscription costs $29.99 per month, and you’ll get to learn how to build simple electronics project without any experience required. It’s fun and definitely educational!
I hope you’ve found inspiration for your young scientist. If you have other ideas – please leave a link and comment below. 🙂