The Best Educational Toys and STEM Gift Ideas This Christmas
GIFTING| By Amy Vagne | October 29, 2020
We've found the best educational toys for kids and coolest STEM toys that are perfect Christmas gift ideas this year.
This year, look for gifts that do double-duty: as both fun new gadgets for kids to play with, plus valuable tools for imparting essential lessons. Our fast-changing world requires high levels of digital literacy and jobs in the future will likely require a raft of skills, so it’s important kids start to understand concepts such as problem solving, critical thinking, flexibility and communication as early as possible and have a strong grounding in STEM (that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Give kids a head start and nurture a love of all things science and tech by giving educational toys and STEM toys as gifts this Christmas.
Fun Educational Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
For little ones, look for gifts that enhance basic skills like counting, sorting, making patterns and building things. An abacus with colourful beads is an awesome idea for babies – it boosts hand-eye coordination while teaching kiddos to count – and wooden blocks are great because they can be used in so many ways: build towers and knock them down, or sort blocks into groups according to colour or shape. Anything that gets kids curious about numbers gets a thumbs up – we love this magnetic maths set for modelling addition and subtraction, and these cute number cards that make counting and sequencing a game. Budding engineers will love this junior construction set with 20 different build options, or introduce early science concepts with the Fandex My First Magnet Set. If they have access to a tablet device, this Osmo kit is amazing – it allows preschoolers to experiment and play games that explore all things literacy.
What To Try
Educational Toys for Primary School Kids
Looking for a cool prezzie for a primary school-aged kid? We recommend hands-on activities that promote exploration and creativity. A marble run is a childhood classic for good reason – kids love designing and constructing mini obstacle courses – as is a giant magnet, ideal for conducting experiments. Know a kid who loves to build stuff? The Build a Bot range is super clever, with each kit containing everything they need to assemble a robot with click-together pieces. Coding is now an important part of the primary school curriculum, so tap into what they’re already learning with Sphero, a robotic ball that kids can code and control. Inspire an interest in the animal kingdom with Aqua Dragons – this mini tank lets them watch the life cycle of these underwater creatures in action, plus they’ll learn a thing or two about being responsible pet owners. Turn a tablet into an amazing educational tool with Osmo – this kit is suitable for kids aged 6-10, and tackles topics like spelling, maths, puzzles and problem solving.
What To Try
- Aqua Dragons Deep Sea Habitat with LED Lights
- Osmo Genius Starter Kit for iPad Ages 6-10
- Sphero Mini Activity Kit
- Shaw Magnets Giant Horse Shoe Magnet
- Build a Bot Robotics Kit Tiger
- Galt Marble Run
Best Educational Gift Ideas for Tweens
A digital camera makes the perfect present for a pre-teen – this one is waterproof and dust-resistant, so it’s ideal for capturing their outdoor adventures. Another great idea? Construction sets are still a huge deal with this age group, so invest in a big one like this K’NEX Mega Motorcycle Building Set – it has a whopping 450 pieces. Or check out this Vex Construction Kit that comes with 800 mix and match components for building mechanised robots. Fun board games that challenge kiddos to solve problems and use logic are winners – Code Master is awesome because it introduces computer programming concepts as they play.
What To Try
Cool Educational Gifts for Teenagers
Christmas shopping for teenagers is all about tech gadgets. Wow creative types with a Wacom tablet, the perfect tool for digital drawing, painting and photo editing, while a GoPro can transform any cinephile into the next Christopher Nolan. This affordable Lenovo tablet can be used for school assignments as well as hitting up YouTube and this Vex activity kit takes their tech skills to the next level by challenging them to create a robotic arm that can actually lift and move things. For a budget-friendly gift option, opt for an old-school Rubik’s Cube – it’s guaranteed to keep the kids busy and boredom-free, plus it nurtures problem solving and fine motor skills.