These Gift Ideas Prove S.T.E.M Doesn’t Mean Boring
Even before I was a parent, I was torn on what types of gifts to purchase for birthdays, holidays, weddings and other celebrations. I seldom asked for a list of preferred items because it was more important for me to find a gift that showcased the way I saw the recipient or to fill a need they didn’t know they had. When my nephew was young, we bought a beginner chess set that showed the various movements on the base. it was one of many gifts we’ve purchased over the years that had more meaning than simply being another thing. Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between being practical and being stuffy. Never did I want to be *that* person who provided gifts that made the recipient shrug with disinterest. At the same time, I always wanted to provide gifts that offered quality and purpose in more ways than one. This gift guide is designed to be entertaining, fun, educational and inspiring. From science books and craft kits to games, puzzles and even programming kits, our STEM / STEAM / Educational gift guides has a variety of gift ideas for just about anyone on your gift list. As you look through the list, you’ll see some with the logo. These indicate products we have written about in more detail. Click through to see personalized photos and stories that bring those products to life.
If you still need more ideas, look over our list of gift ideas for younger kids as well as games for family night. These guides plus many others will offer you a wide range of ideas!
Bring history to life in ‘878 Vikings – Invasions of England’. This is the first title in the Birth of Europe series, following ‘1775 Rebellion – The American Revolution’ from the award-winning Birth of America series! Thunder across England as invading Viking Beserkers and Norseman searching for land and wealth, or gather Men-at-Arms as English royal Housecarls and noble Thegns to resist the onslaught of the Viking hordes! Strategic and interactive play promotes teamwork between the members of each faction, easy to learn rules get everyone into the game, and depth of strategy makes every game unique!
Meccano M.A.X. is the most advanced Meccano robot to date. Drawing on advanced robotics technology, M.A.X. combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning and customizable programming to create a one-of-a-kind personal companion. Infrared (IR) navigation and customizable apps bring M.A.X. to life with almost limitless potential for personalization and interactivity. M.A.X. also includes a built-in gaming platform for added fun.
Math Fluxx is really all about the numbers. Players use positive integers (whole numbers) and basic arithmetic in their quest to achieve mathematical Goals. Meanwhile, their opponents try to use special Actions and New Rules to stop them from reaching their Goal. With Math Fluxx, the fun is exponential!
Builder Activity Set
What can you do with a hammer, a screwdriver, some wheels, nuts, bolts, and a box full of fun components
in interesting shapes and sizes? With the BRIO Builder Activity Set, your child is limited only by her imagination. Designed to inspire open-ended construction play, this set encourages children to build their own ingenious creations. All wooden pieces are FSC-certified.
Smirk & Dagger Games
To gain scientific superstardom you must grow a culture of highly volatile microbes, while sabotaging the work of others, by pushing their populations to bio-react and explode in all sorts of fun ways. Featuring adorable microbe meeples!
Just Add Glue Science Kit
Use this cool new kit to create different forms of super stretchy polymers and make them bounce! By creating gluey gooey putties that can be picked up, stretched, and even rolled into a ball that bounces. Experimenting with the Just Add Glue kit let you mix separate batches of varying amounts of two main ingredients to witness the difference that consistencies can make. You can make fine or chunky crystals applied to objects like statues, strings or pipe cleaners. The product allows an underlying lesson about states of matter including liquids and polymers. A basic introduction to chemistry and material engineering
ION: A Compound Building Game is a simple card drafting game where players select from a number of available ion cards and noble gas cards, with the objective of forming either neutrally charged compounds or sets of stable noble gases.
Star Trek: Waypoint
A short story anthology that runs the gamut of Star Trek’s history, from the Original Series, Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, and more, featuring your favorite characters. These weird, wonderful stories may expand on rarely explored corners of the universe, or provide closure for forgotten plot threads, but they all remind us why we love Trek.
Collects all six issues of the anthology comic book series, Star Trek: Waypoint.
Roller Coaster Challenge
Roller Coaster Challenge is ThinkFun’s first thrill ride building game. Benefits? Engineering challenges that help players understand physics and logic concepts- all while watching a coaster glide down the track, complete with dips, curves and loops! Roller Coaster Challenge made Amazon’s Top 25 Holiday Toys list and has been featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine, USA Today’s All the Moms, Fatherly and more. It also earned a National Parenting Products Award and The Dice Tower Seal of Excellence. You can find it nationwide on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target and in neighborhood toy stores. (Ages 6+)
Einstein is a light co-operative/competitive abstract strategy game for 2 – 4 players who will each get points for completing their own theories, contributing to the theories of other players, and helping to finish major theories from Einstein’s life by placing tiles. New and experienced gamers of all ages are playing in minutes. Game time runs 15 – 20 minutes and takes you into the life and science of everybody’s favorite genius – Albert Einstein.
Blue Orange Games
Help Dr. Microbe complete her research with your tweezers, a petri dish, and the colorful microbes. Using logic, race your fellow scientists to figure out which microbes are missing from the incomplete challenge card, and snatch them up! Find the answer using this key: the Superbug must always be a different shape and color than the other three microbes in your dish. Be the fastest scientist in the lab to impress Dr. Microbe and win!
Remember the LEGOs you played with as a kid? Brixos are the building blocks you wish you had. They’ve got LEDs, motors, and even sound, light and motion detectors — all powered by low-volt, Bluetooth-controlled battery bricks, coated in shiny (non-toxic) chrome. Together, students can string together series of circuits, switches and sensors to create machines they can control via mobile apps. While playing, children are teaching themselves basic concepts of science, engineering, coding and more.
Best Treehouse Ever
Green Couch Games
In Best Treehouse Ever, players compete to build their best treehouse, outfitting their treehouse with cool rooms, while also making sure that their tree doesn’t tip over.
Building takes place over three weeks/rounds, and in each round, players use card drafting and spatial reasoning to add new rooms to their treehouse. Players must pay attention to the other treehouses being built since they take turns determining which types of rooms score for everyone at the end of each round. At the end of the third week, the winner is the player with the best treehouse ever!
The unique design of Q-BA-MAZE cubes allow for a limitless range of configuration options. The 7.5-inch straight-away rails connect easily to any cube or to each other to create tracks that send your marbles zigzagging through the maze of colorful cubes.
Science Wide Open
The Science Wide Open series invites your child into the breathtaking world of science! Science Wide Open tells the stories of influential women scientists throughout history by weaving together the questions of a spunky young protagonist whose curiosity leads her to investigate the world around her.
Author Mary Wissinger crafts fun, engaging text that taps into a young child’s questions and concerns, giving context and meaning to each science concept presented. Brazilian artist Daniel Pioli’s atmospheric visual world glows and pulses with life.
In The Scholastic Brainiac Game, players spin the SMART Spinner, then compete to answer questions in five subject areas: Science, Math, Arts, Reading, and The World. Each Question Card has six different questions tailored to grades 1 to 6, so that players answer questions corresponding to their grade levels. The first player to fill his or her brain with SMART Tokens wins! For 2 to 4 players, ages 6 and up.
MasterPieces Works of Ahhh all-natural wood craft kits – The Nutcracker craft kit includes everything you need to create a classic holiday work of art! It’s the perfect winter project for every art loving kid! It includes 1 wood nutcracker soldier, 12 gem stones, white fur, 1 sticker sheet, 1 non-toxic metallic finish, 5 non-toxic acrylic paint tubs, 2 artist-quality paintbrushes, and 1 instruction sheet with painting guide. A FREE Bonus App is included with this purchase! Download the Works of Ahhh app to digitally paint and plan out your project before you ever pick up your paintbrush!
Have you joined our 150+ Days of Giveaways yet? You’ll find many of these items along with LOTS of others over the course of the promotion. Surely you’ll find something you want to win!
31 thoughts on “These Gift Ideas Prove S.T.E.M Doesn’t Mean Boring”
I would leave the dice on display I really like them alot
I like to buy at least a few educational toys and games for the holidays. My kids would love the Science Kit! We are always trying to have messy fun that teaches a lesson.
Oh my goodness! I always love your game recommendations. We’re a big game family and I’m always on the lookout for new, fun and educational fun. I use to have my kids play several games every week so they would learn how to loose graciously. One one could be the winner so everyone else congratulated them with a smile. Ha!
A really great range of options here for the children. It really gives me a bit of a much needed prompt to get on with completing my Christmas shopping – and you certainly have given me a great place to start with this post.
Thanks for the great gift giving ideas!!
My girls are great readers, but it is like pulling teeth to get them to do anything math-based. STEM is a great way to get them to engage with math and science. They think they’re playing, and I’m smiling knowing they’re learning.
I want to try Meccano Max! My nephew will definitely like it. Perfect Christmas gift!
Great ideas! To many to pick. lol
I am buying Brainiac for our family. We are very competitive with these types of questions and games so this will be fun over winter break!
Our neighbors have the Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 and we all love it and talk about it, I’m thinking I just getting it for our house.
I agree STEM does not have to be boring, it can be a lot of fun! My daughter is really into games like this and her birthday is comming up so I will have to add some to the list to pick up!
This post is very useful for those of us who don’t have kids but want to gift what is in style.
These are all gift ideas for the holidays. I know my niece’s kids would the Roller Coaster Challenge and so would other nephew. Thanks for sharing the gift ideas.
A games aesthetics are part of the overall experience and have a definite impact on the interest level that it may get. An ugly game that is not visually appealing may distract from otherwise innovative and enjoyable game play.
Those are a lot of great gift ideas. I bet many younger people would have hours of fun with them.
I don’t know who mentioned that stem games were boring, but whoever did has not played one! Games can be challenging and fun at the same time! My grandkids love these kind of games.