10 Gifts for Kids With Big Imaginations
With another holiday season quickly approaching, you might be feeling the pressure to start checking names off your gift list. With this in mind, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) has put together an awesome gift guide jam-packed with ideas for fun STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) books, toys and activities to light up the holidays for young creators and innovators! Organized by cost, these STEM gift suggestions cover a variety of ages and interests to bring creativity and excitement to the holiday, no matter your budget.
As you browse the list below and continue shopping throughout the season, remember that a gift does not have to be labeled “STEM” to encourage STEM learning, creative problem solving and design thinking!
Free STEM Activity Guide (Ages 3-plus)
This collection of STEM activities incorporates easily found materials from around the house and turns them into fun activities that families can explore together! Featuring 10 easy-to-follow challenges, complete with step-by-step instructions that encourage creative thinking, problem solving and persistence, our free guide is fun on its own or as an addition to any STEM gift.
The Plan for the Gingerbread House: A STEM Engineering Story (Ages 4-plus)
This book, written by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by John Joven, gets readers involved in a gingerbread competition! Teams must think like engineers by overcoming problems and executing plans for a sturdy gingerbread house.
Kate the Chemist: Dragons vs. Unicorns (Ages 8-plus)
Written by Kate Biberdorf, science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, the first chapter book of this series follows main character Kate the Chemist through a science-filled journey to discover who is sabotaging her school musical. This story includes science concepts, problem solving and even a related experiment to try after reading!
Battat Take-Apart Roadster (Ages 3-plus)
Future engineers, tinkerers and all-around curious kids can use a battery-powered drill that rotates in both directions while developing fine motor skills as they put together this toy car. After assembly, they can take it apart or take it for a spin!
National Geographic™ Herb Growing Kit (Ages 6-plus)
For young scientists who enjoy caring for living things, this herb growing kit allows them to watch their hard work grow into something special! Kids practice hands-on science as they raise their own herbs from seeds to plants and learn botanical facts, helping them understand the “how” and “why” of the process. Crafty kids also get to stretch their creativity as they decorate their plant pots.
$25 - $49
Thames & Kosmos Mega Cyborg Hand (Ages 7-plus with help | 10-plus on their own)
With this awesome kit, kids can build their own wearable, working mechanical hand as they learn about hydraulics and robotics — no batteries or electricity required. Once built, children can put it on and try using the hand to pick up, hold and grip various objects to test the strength of their creation.
Squishy Circuits Kit (Ages 8-plus)
Encourage creativity and let their imaginations go wild as children combine art and circuitry. The possibilities are endless as kids use the dough to sculpt their ideas and then complete the circuit to light up their masterpieces with colorful LED lights.
National Geographic™ Amazing Reactions Chemistry Set (Ages 8-plus)
Explore the science behind cool, colorful and crazy reactions with more than 15 experiments. With step-by-step instructions and materials, kids can be introduced to chemistry through safe, hands-on experiences!
$50 - $99
Learning Resources® Botley® the Coding Robot (Ages 5-plus)
This small robot can provide big STEM fun! Botley teaches an early understanding of coding while promoting problem solving and critical thinking — without the need for a tablet or screen. The set also includes interactive obstacles and engaging challenges for children to explore as they teach Botley new commands.
LeapFrog® Magic Adventures Microscope™ (Ages 5-plus)
Calling all future biologists — explore parts of the world too tiny for our eyes to see with games, quizzes and experiments! This microscope comes with several slides equipped with educational images and videos on interesting topics from flowers to foods! With two empty slides, kids can even gather their own samples, view them at up to 200 times magnification and save images of their coolest finds.
$100 and Up
Summer 2023 Camp Invention® (Grades K-6)
If you’re looking for an exciting, experiential gift idea that is sure to inspire young innovators, give the gift of Camp Invention. Campers learn fundamental STEM concepts through hands-on fun! With four all-new experiences led by qualified educators, this nationally acclaimed summer camp invites children to explore and collaborate while building confidence and important life skills like creative problem solving. Learn about the Give the Gift of Camp Invention Sweepstakes to save $35 and be entered for a chance to win your 2023 registration for free if you register before Dec. 31!
Find Out More
Stay tuned to our blog for more fun ways to bring STEM learning to life this holiday season!