PEG Holiday Gift Guide 2015: STEAM Edition
This week we’re sharing some of our best ideas for holiday gifts for kids of all ages! Be sure to check out all of our holiday gift guides!
Today we’re sharing our favorites for the ever-popular STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) category.
1. Ozobot Bit 2.0 ($59.95)
It’s no secret that we LOVE the Ozobot 2.0. Our love for it cannot be contained in just one paragraph, so be sure to read our review!
What do you do with all of your crazy ideas? Why sketch them, of course! This great sketchbook is filled with sketches of strange inventions– a dry land swim machine and a dress that inflates into a chair so you can sit anywhere (I mean, that sounds awesome!). It provides some brain juice to get your kids’ ideas flowing, as well as provides opportunities for young inventors to think outside the box and design both practical and fantastical designs in response to various prompts. I love that it gives kids some practical insights into recording ideas, sketching inventions, and even a little bit about patents! My kids have been really enjoying this book- lots of laughs and also the beautiful sentences that start out “what if we…..?” I love books that encourage the kids to think outside the box!
3. PicassoTiles® 60 piece set ($30-$40)
These off-brand magnetic tiles are nearly identical to MagnaTiles and even work interchangeably with them! It looks like I’m not the only one who loves them– they’re sold out on Amazon as well as on Picasso Tiles website. In hopes that they come back before the holidays, I’ll leave you with the link that has astronomical prices (a 60 piece set is typically somewhere around $30-$40). Another off-brand that looks like it’s also really great is Magnetic Stick N Stack.
4. Number Ninjas ($19.99)
The goal of this game is to successfully complete 4 Ninja quests and then race to get the golden dragon. There are 2 levels of playing, those who are ninja beginners (and do addition and subtraction) and masters (multiplication). Both beginners and masters can play against each other, making it a good game for siblings as well. It’s really fun to play– the kids have been loving it!
5. Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late ($8.92)
Bedtime Math is a GREAT book to help kids do a little math a day, while also having fun. Each night before bed (or before dinner or whenever is good for you), families can cuddle up in bed or on the couch and talk through a math word problem. For each problem, there are different levels of difficulty so that kids little kids through big kids can all join in. There are now a few other books in this series, along with a (free) Bedtime Math app that teachers at our kids’ school HIGHLY recommend.
6. Super Genius Math Cards ($11)
Think Spot-It game meets addition flashcards. Out pops Super Genius Math Cards. While it’s a bit of a stretch to include the on the list (math facts are not really “math” in my opinion), I like these because they are a fun way to practice math facts for kids who may otherwise not really want to (Um, because very few kids are all like, “Yay! Let’s do some math flashcards!”).
7. Snap Circuits ($20-$80)
Snap Circuits has been around awhile, and I’m sure you’ve seen it on every other STEAM holiday gift guide out there, but I include it on here because it’s such an affordable way for kids to begin to learn about circuits in a developmentally appropriate way. We have the jr. discovery set that we play with a lot, but I think we’re ready to start adding on some of the other kits soon to take our learning to the next level.
One of my favorite blogs is Tinkerlab because its purpose is to help equip parents to encourage and equip parents to raise a family of tinkerers. We believe that creativity is embedded in all of us, but sometimes as we get older the creative impulses get stifled and we get less curious. Creating and tinkering is a fun way for families to come together and learn. Tinker lab recently wrote this great post about building your own tinkering box, with their book, Tinkerlab: a Hands-on guide for Little Inventors, as a sort of centerpiece. This gift option can be really inexpensive, especially if you go in with a few other families, buy in bulk and split the cost!
9. Robot Turtles Game ($18.49)
So this game started out as a kickstarter project and has totally taken off. Robot Turtles is a way for kids to start learning the idea of computer programing, but without a screen. Instead, kids write programs using playing cards. Kids as young as 4 years old can play this, and it’s again, a game that is good for the whole family.
10. Bitsbox – Once Upon A Time Kit ($39.99)
Did you know that kids as young as 4 can learn how to code? It’s true. We had the opportunity to review this monthly coding subscription box and fell in love with it. You can read more here about all of our feelings for it! You can go their website to subscribe (you can choose the whole box or just .pdf), OR, you can buy one of their boxes through Amazon to try it out!
What are your family’s favorite STEAM toys?
**This post contains some affiliate links.**