STEM Gift Guide
What IS the perfect gift? The perfect gift is the gift of STEM! The STEM Action Center has put together a short list of STEM gifts we like for students of all ages, with gifts colorful enough for kindergarten, and cool enough for high school. We’ve also included links to STEM-themed books everyone will love.
Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Wooden Moon Balancing Blocks – TOWO
The aim of this game is to stack and balance as many blocks on the moon as possible without them collapsing. A perfect and affordable early math game for young kids to enjoy.
Colorful Chemistry – KiwiCo
Add a little color — and a whole lot of science — to your day! Learn about the scientific method, then put together a bubbly chemical reaction in your own fab chemistry lab. Try other color mixing experiments, make some colorful art, and learn about everyday chemical reactions.
Engineer-A-Coaster Activity Kit – Lakeshore Learning
Kids love thrilling roller coasters…and now they can design their own. Through trial and error, students learn how the track position affects the disk—as it rolls and falls from track to track and into the goal box.
Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards – Melissa and Doug
Pattern Blocks and Boards let kids explore shapes and colors hands-on as they fill wooden backgrounds with sturdy wooden pieces! Follow one of 10 design templates or create your own mosaic using 120 colorful wooden tiles in six different shapes. Matching and mosaics–what a gorgeous way for kids three and older to develop fine motor skills.
Snap Circuits Classic – Elenco
Build over 300 exciting projects with this classic kit. Snap Circuits makes learning electronics easy and fun. Just follow the colorful pictures in our manual to build exciting projects such as AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and much more. You can even play electronic games with your friends.
IKOS 44-Piece Family Set – IKOS
The ultimate in creative building fun, IKOS features 44 identical rainbow pieces for snapping together endless creations. Help unlock that inner creativity in all kids and encourage engineering skills. The locking pieces can be connected into spheres and fun challenging shapes. Encourages kids to hone with critical thinking skills and open their imaginations.
3rd - 5th Grade
CHRISTMAS CANDLE CAROUSEL – KiwiCo
Discover the power of aerodynamics to build your very own spinning Christmas candle carousel.
Astronaut Starter Kit – KiwiCo
Build and launch a pair of model orbiter spaceships using the power of pumps. Paint a set of model planets, then construct a miniature solar system that really spins. Explore the ins-and-outs of space travel — from the history of space exploration, to the challenges of astronaut training, to amazing facts about life on the International Space Station.
Gadgets and Gizmos Invention Kit – Lakeshore Learning
The ultimate kit for every aspiring inventor. Our open-ended kit is packed with parts that children can mix and match to make tons of gadgets and gizmos. Kids just follow our step-by-step guide to create 8 inspiring projects, like a catapult, helicopter and hydraulic lift car…then make their own one-of-a-kind creations.
Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run – Ravensburger
GraviTrax is an innovative marble run and STEM toy for kids ages 8 and up. It comes with 122 pieces and is an ideal holiday or birthday gift for smart, curious kids. The GraviTrax interactive track system allows you to design and build your own race tracks and experiment with engineering, gravity, magnetism, and kinetics to propel your ball to the finish.
6th - 8th Grade
Walking Robot – KiwiCo
Use this robotics kit to build a walking robot. Play with mechanical motion through robot building and experimentation.
Hydraulic Claw – KiwiCo
Build with hydraulics. Hydraulics are used all over, from airplanes to factories to theme parks. Explore engineering and learn how to build your own hydraulic lifting claw and continue experimenting with bonus design challenges.
Lego Education Spike Prime Set – Lego
The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set is the go-to STEAM learning tool for grade 6-8 students. Combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch, SPIKE Prime continuously engages students through playful learning activities to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level.
MudWatt: Grow a living fuel cell – Magical Microbes
MudWatt engages kids in STEM in a whole new way, using the power of electricity-generating bacteria living in the soil beneath our feet. Kids experiment with different types of soil (and food from the fridge) to maximize their power output. The MudWatt Explorer App lets kids measure their power, track their MudWatt’s bacteria growth, and unlock an awesome educational comic book.
Bill Nye’s VR Science Kit – Abacus Brands
Explore science with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in this interactive science kit for kids, complete with over 30 hands-on experiments. This kit includes an 80-page interactive book with step-by-step lessons in augmented reality, as pictures in the book turn into videos! Then, place your smart device into the included VR goggles and teleport to Bill’s lab, in virtual reality.
Science Academy: Gross Body Lab – Mindware
Slimy brains, melty mucus, bulging eyeballs – GROSS! This hands-on Science Academy kit includes all of the materials needed to conduct six fun and icky experiments that teach children the fundamentals of chemistry and the disgusting side of biology. Activities include making soap eyeballs, severed soap fingers, and slimy soap brains. The full-color experiment booklet includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and is filled with gross facts about how our bodies function.
9th - 12th Grade
Raspberry Pi Zero – Raspberry Pi Foundation
A mainstay in the world of makers and electronics, The Raspberry Pi® is a single-board, low-cost, high-performance computer first developed in the UK. Now the Raspberry Pi Zero, a smaller, cheaper version of the original, is available at the bargain price of $5! Kickstart a love for electronics and coding with this pocket-sized computer.
Light-Up Wire Art – KiwiCo
Create two custom neon signs with EL wire. Choose from five existing templates, or create your own from scratch. Hang your creations or display one with the included wooden stand. Turn them on for an awesome glowing final effect.
Light-Chasing Robot – KiwiCo
Light up a love of electronics with this light-chasing robot. Wire up the motors, add the switch, and assemble your robot — all while exploring the science behind circuits and sensors
Makey Makey Classic – Makey Makey
Makes STEM Education fun! Turn everyday objects like bananas into touchpads. Start out easy with a banana piano. The first setup takes seconds. Then make game controllers, musical instruments, and countless inventions. Just plug, clip, and play! No programming knowledge needed. No software to install. Works with Mac and Windows. Advance to additional inputs and multi-key remapping up to 18 keys. Ages 8 to infinity.
Engineer an Apache Helicopter – Fat Brain Toys
Set it out as an amazing display of your engineering skills. Use it as the focal point of an imaginative play adventure. Or, if you want a real challenge, take it apart and try transforming it into a brilliant model of your own design.
Pictures of Math – DREME Family Math
Want to make math fun and exciting for the little ones? Check out these DREME Family Math picture books. With a wide variety of topics and illustration styles, each one comes with an activity you can do while reading the book. Math is everywhere, and these picture books do a great job showing it.
Additional STEM Book Recommendations –STEM Action Center
We have our own webpage compiling a list of STEM books we love, whether you’re a first-grader or a college graduate. Check out some of these books to find a great gift.