Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve provided a variety of gift suggestions including puzzles as gifts for all ages, a list of games for the family, card games of various themes, stocking stuffer gift ideas, games to get teens and adults together at the table, games little kids could play and even one guide that’s all about dice games. While we provide some non-game ideas in these guides, there’s been no shortage of suggestions that put an emphasis on games because we feel so strongly about them. We encourage families to use games as an opportunity to bond, socialize and get offline but they also provide an educational aspect to them. Games help people learn to win (and lose) with grace, encourage interpersonal engagement and teach a whole host of subject matter.
This “edutainment” approach to learning was the inspiration for our article about sneaky education using games and ultimately the basis for this gift guide filled with educational games, kits and toys. Below, you’ll find ideas that teach about science, art, history, geography and more. You should be able to check something off your shopping list with these ideas!
Robotics: Smart Machines
A follow-up to the best-selling original Robotics: Smart Machines kit, this version focuses on wheeled robots. This kit also gives kids a simple, fun, and customizable introduction to robotics that lets them build eight motorized machines controlled by programs and an ultrasound sensor. Kids code the programs using an easy, visual programming app on a tablet or smartphone. Build a shy turtle that drives around and quickly avoids obstacles in its path. Experiment with altering the program of your sassy dancing robot so that it dances to the beat of a song. A slick helicopter model spins its rotors and then raises its landing gear when you lift it off the tabletop.
Just Add Sugar
Griddly Games, Inc. is sweetening its science activity craft line with the new Just Add Sugar kit. It’s the latest “ingredient” to be “added” to the company’s successful Just Add ______ product line. Just Add Sugar is the exciting new science activity kit that is a sweet way for science to be even more fun. Like all of the Just Add kits from Griddly Games, this kit comes with everything you need except for the adding ingredient. This time, add your own sugar for multiple organic chemical experiments and art activities. Enjoy making homemade candy, of course, and don’t forget to clean up with your new homemade sugar-inspired soap!
Subatomic: An Atom Building Game
Subatomic is a deck-building game themed around the intersection of particle physics and chemistry. Players start with a hand of Up Quarks, Down Quarks and Photon (Gamma Ray) cards, which they use to form protons, neutrons, and electrons. Players combine these subatomic particles to either build available Elements or buy even more powerful cards for their deck.
Keys to the Capitals
Unlock the fun of learning for your kids by letting them travel the United States learning the state capitals and flags. Take your unique airplane and travel the states, collecting knowledge and cards that will let you win the game! Included in the box is one giant United States Map board, 50 State Capital and State Flag Cards, scorepads, two 6-sided dice, two 6-sided Special Effects dice, and 6 custom airplane player figures.
Chem 1000 Chemistry Kit
Learn about reactions between solids, liquids, and gases. Discover the colorful effects of acids and bases. Perform astonishing “magic” tricks for your friends. Make fizzy and foamy reactions. Write messages with invisible ink. Investigate metals and salts in electrochemical experiments with a 9-volt battery! Learn for yourself how chemistry goes far beyond textbooks and laboratories to explain occurrences that happen around us every day. You can get even more into chemistry with more advanced kits (C1000 and C2000) that give you more advanced hands-on chemistry experiments with metals, soaps, and more!
Anatomy Fluxx is the newest addition to our education line and takes you deep into the human body. From Bones to Blood Vessels, Anatomy Fluxx is packed with all the body bits that keep you ticking. But be on the lookout for Virus, Mutation, and Bacteria Creepers! Plus, two Learning Rules will get your Brain in gear with anatomical trivia. Anatomy Fluxx – for external use only!
Illuminating Lamp Kit
Construct a 3D night light for your room. Paint the globe with water color paints in the LaurDIY colors and use a salt technique to create a cool texture on the globe. The color changing light radiates through the small triangles to leave an awesome design on the wall.
Mare Nostrum: Empires Game
Play as one of five leaders of the Ancient World: Caesar of Rome, Hammurabi of Babylon, Cleopatra of Egypt, Pericles of Greece, and Hannibal of Carthage as you strive for Cultural, Military, or Commercial dominance of the Ancient World. Recruit Heroes and create Wonders, expand trade caravans, build cities to collect taxes, construct temples, and build the Pyramids to display your stature in this world and the next!
Detective Agency is a first-of-its-kind, hands-on experience that takes budding sleuths on globe-trotting adventures to solve mysteries. It also stimulates their curiosity about the world. With this game, Osmo also introduces a platform that allows parents to monitor time played and view the skills learned on the Osmo system.
Demystify abstract physics phenomena such as light, sound, and heat like never before with this highly innovative, gamified sensor physics lab that brings physics to life! The core of this science kit is an app-based video game in which you use real-world sensor data that you collect from your environment to generate a diverse array of creatures. Create, collect, play with and care for your creatures in the app. You will gain experience in measuring light levels, volumes, and temperatures with the three sensor pods, and learn about the physics behind light, sound, and heat. Sensors Alive works with a tablet or smartphone operating on recent versions of iOS and Android.
Trekking the National Forest Game
Trekking the National Parks is a spirited family board game that lets players experience the U.S. national parks in a fun and competitive way. Players compete for points by claiming Park cards and collecting trail stones as they travel across the country experiencing the wonders at each of these magnificent landscapes. Grab your walking stick and hit the trail!
Boxer is an interactive robot with a lively personality with dynamic moods that evolve over time. He has tons of play right out of the box as well as a lot of awesome tech features including multiple IR sensors, internal rechargeable battery, touch sensors and so much more!
Discover the animal kingdom with the HyPar Giraffe kit! This kit is great for intermediate or advanced builders. The Giraffe comes with enough parts to make many of our other kits as well as any creations your imagination comes up with! Kids will love putting this animal kit together and parents will love watching their kids imagination and creativity grow!
Just Add Glue
Sticky Situation from Griddly Games with its Just Add Glue STEAM Kit, the exciting science activity kit that is sure to stretch the imagination! Use this cool 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. The product allows an underlying lesson about states of matter including liquids and polymers. It’s a basic introduction to chemistry and material engineering
Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure
In this story-based STEM kit, Pepper Mint visits her aunt who is a scientist researching primates. She lives in a treehouse in the rainforest on the island of Borneo. The treehouse is not connected to the electrical power grid, but Pepper Mint and her aunt devise mechanical inventions to accomplish various tasks. They equip the treehouse with mechanical equipment using pulleys, winches, and gears, and learn lessons in physics. Projects include a rope ladder, a pulley to lift heavy objects into the treehouse, a rubber band-powered lift, a rotating palm leaf umbrella, a zipline, a catapult, and a trap door.
Some of these ideas will also be showing up in our Mega Giveaway so keep watch for ones that might interest you. Also keep watch for more great gift ideas coming soon!