Holiday Gift Guide For Kids

Did you know that 66% of parents say that parenting today is harder than parenting 20 years ago according to a study by Pew Research Center? And they point to technology as a big reason why.

Well, being part of the tech industry, we decided to employ the STEM field as a solution and show you how technology can be good for your children, when it’s not used just to spend time on social media.

We know many of you are busy parents, who work hard. To give you a hand this holiday season, we prepared a gift guide for kids to expedite your shopping. Below you can find 12 STEM-inspired engaging and educational toys you can get your chidlren. Maybe not all of your kids will follow your footsteps in STEM, but the skills these toys will give them will serve them nonetheless.

1. For Tireless Creators

Experts say that regular wooden blocks are a great introduction to STEM because they’re open-ended and encourage children’s problem-solving and creative-thinking skills.

Tegu’s 14-Piece Set of magnetic wooden blocks is an introductory building set, perfect for getting to know the Tegu magnetic wooden block system. It includes 14 blocks in 5 shapes: 2 medium columns, 4 long planks, 4 short planks, 2 cubes, and 2 parallelograms.

It can be played with by children as young as 1.

2. A Toy For Small Hands and Big Imaginations

Cubetto is a friendly wooden robot that will teach your child the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play. 

Via coding blocks, your children can program which directions Cubetto will take to create programs for the little robot to travel in space, at sea, and more.

The game is good for children as young as 3. 

3. For Adventurers Who Love Stories

Help your young engineers, inventors, and computer scientists learn 12 core STEM skills including coding, problem-solving, optimization, abstraction, sequencing, sorting.

QuestFriendz’s board book The Adventures of Lillicorn in WooWoo Land is the first in a series of interactive STEM educational books and activity sets for children.

The rhyming storybook inspires 4 to 8-year-old children to be adventurous and explore faraway places, by solving ten different STEM quests and earning charm tokens (provided in the book). The book is developed by parents and educational experts for use at home and at school.

4. For Budding Wizards Who Find STEM Magical

Kano’s Harry Potter Coding Kit turns magic into coding. Your children will get a programmable wand and 70+ step-by-step challenges to learn how to code.

They can connect code blocks, see the JavaScript, and learn about loops, logic, and variables. Then, all they have to do is wave the coding wand and see instant effects on the screen like making fire flow, pumpkins grow, feathers fly, goblets multiply, paint pictures, compose music, and more.

According to Kano, their youngest wizard was 4, and their oldest… 80. 

5. The Code to Fun

Kids as young as five can learn to code in an easy, friendly way - that's completely screen-free with Botley 2.0, the Coding Robot. 

Foster creative problem solving and computational thinking skills, while promoting social and physical development with a 78-piece activity set. Botley 2.0's memory lets you code up to 150 steps right out of the box in 6 directions, including 45-degree turns. 

Ideal for ages 5 to 10. 

6. For Young Artists or Fans of Video Games

DoodleMatic lets your children turn their drawings into a video game using an app on a phone or iPad.

Each color marker makes the drawing do something different. For example, whatever you draw in purple moves, and whatever is black stays still. In a sense, your children will code with colors.

Good for kids ages 5-12.

7. Cook Up Math and Business Skills

Not all screen time has to be bad time. The Pizza Co. by Osmo lets your young math geniuses and entrepreneurs run their own pizza shop, make pizza, serve customers, and make change.

The set comes with physical parts like the pizza base, toppings, and change which communicate with the virtual game on a tablet or phone. Children have to read the non-verbal cues of their customers about what kind of pizza they like, and they have to make correct change, fast enough, to keep them happy and the business going.

Good for children 6-12 years of age.

8. Boost Creativity

With LEGO’s Boos Creative Toolbox your child can be 5 different robots out of one set of LEGOs.

An easy, icon-based app will then let them control the robots they build. Thus, one set gives the basics of engineering, coding, and robotics. 

The set suits 7-12-year-olds.

9. For the Budding Chemists

The Foundation Chemistry: Beakers & Bubbles set by Yellow Scope comes with a detailed lab notebook that outlines dozens of colorful and surprising experiments for hours and hours of fun exploring chemical reactions, molecular motion, and temperature.

It's an updated take on the classic chemistry kit.

Designed for ages 8-12. 

10. For The Budding Engineers

Hydraulics are used all over, from airplanes to factories to theme parks. With KiwiCo's Hydraulic Claw your children can explore engineering and learn how to build their own hydraulic lifting claw and continue experimenting with bonus design challenges.

It includes illustrated blueprint instructions, materials, and a special-edition Tinker Zine magazine to learn more about hydraulic machines.

The toy is great for ages 9+.

You can actually find a lot of educational games, sorted by age on their website, so give it a spin if engineering is not your child’s forte.

11. For The Young Bioengineer In Your Home

If your kids like to play with dirt, don’t get frustrated. Channel that playtime into education with MudWatt.

The game allows your children to grow a living fuel cell running on muddy microbes. The MudWatt Explorer App lets kids measure their power, track their MudWatt’s bacteria growth, and unlock an educational comic book. There are different kits available.

More than a toy, this is an activity that can be enjoyed by your children in elementary school or even teenagers and college students.

12. Connect the World To Your Computer

The Makey Makey kit lets your children control any computer program with everyday objects.

They can build sensors with foil, pennies, and paper clips; make musical circuits with fruits and office supplies; design controllers with everyday materials like playdough or graphite pencils.

The kit was created by graduate students at MIT Media Lab who wanted to turn everyone into a creator.

This is a STEM gift that can bring joy to your kids of any age. 

Which idea is right for your children? Let us know or share awesome gift ideas that other parents can take advantage of. It’s been a long year, so let's encourage more festivity this holiday season!

And if you want to get something for yourself, we are already selling tickets for the WomenTech Global Conference 2021. Last year we untied 141 000 women, minorities, and allies in tech. This year we want to unite even more.

Until Dec.31, get a 2-for-1 ticket, and you can bring a friend or a loved one to the event on June 7-11.

Thursday, December 17, 2020 By WomenTech Editor