Christmas is right around the corner. This year instead of giving the kids a fad gift that will be forgotten about by New Year’s Day, how about giving gifts that will fuel the love of science in your home? Give quality gifts that will stand the test of time. Here are some of my favorite science education gift ideas. (This post contains affiliate links.)
The Discovery Scope is one of our very favorite science tools. We use it everywhere. It’s easy for the kids to handle. It is small enough to fit into a backpack or even my purse, yet powerful enough to see microscopic organisms and structures. The Discovery Scope would make a great gift! Learn more at DiscoveryScope.com.
We keep our binoculars in our kitchen/dining area that has lots of windows overlooking the backyard and the woods. They get used several times a week, whether it’s to identify a new bird in the yard or to spy on deer across the meadow. We take them on hikes and car trips, too. I have owned a couple pair of Bushnell binoculars (similar to THESE) and have really like them. Both pair have been compact and light weight, so I can slip them into a backpack or carry them around my neck and not really be bothered.
Science kits are great for sparking a love for science in kids and adults. These all-in-one projects can be fun for the entire family. Each Christmas, we get one or two kits for the kids. Snap Circuit kits and simple chemistry kits are always popular.
For those who are really serious about science experiments, a lab coat is essential. They keep clothes clean and unharmed, plus they make you feel like a real scientist! I have one from Apologia Science that I really like.
I have a slight obsession with field guides. In our homeschool area, I have a shelf (or two) dedicated to field guides. I tend to pick them up when we are in a new area. Museum and historical landmark gift shops are great places to pick up new, interesting local guides. These make great gifts for the backyard naturalist or student. Of all the field guides I have, my favorites are….
Peterson Field Guide To Eastern Birds Of North America. I have had this book since college. It is well-worn and had traveled with me near and far. This guide has helped me identify lots and lots of bird species. Peterson has a Western Bird Guide and a combo North American Bird Guide available, too. If you aren’t into birds, there are lots of kid friendly guide books available.
Pocket Naturalist Field Guides – These are great folded guides that fit into your back pocket or pack easily. We have guides for bugs and animal tracks. We even have a tree and wildflower pocket guide for our state.
Museum And Zoo Memberships
Although I love gadgets and tools, experiences still rule. A membership will let your family visit your local museum or zoo as often as you would like for just one fee at the beginning of the year. These usually pay for themselves in just a couple trips. Most museums and zoos have a reciprocal program which means them membership at your local facility will get you into similar facilities all across the country!
Books are always great gifts. We like living science books. They are books about science that teach without the kids really realizing it. They are just enjoying a great book! Applie’s Place , Penny Gardner and Our Journey Westward have all put together great science living book lists.
I love the message of Girls Can’t What?. “Girls Can’t WHAT? is dedicated to inspiring and challenging girls of all ages.” This design shows that girls can do science. It can be made into shirts, bags, hats, mugs and more. Check out their site for tons more Girls Can’t What? designs.
Give a gift that will fire your kids imagination and let them test their hypotheses about building and structure. Building toys timeless and great for all ages. They are open-ended with limitless potential!
Keva Contraptions are simple planks that can be made into ramps and chutes for the balls that are included. Kidscantest balance and proportion as they build.
K’nex are great. This K’nex Intro to Bridges set allows kids to create seven different types of bridges. Excellent engineering activity!
What are your favorite science gifts for kids?