23 January, 2021
Inspiring your child’s passion for STEM subjects is invaluable, but with school in an online format, science lessons easily lose their excitement. Don’t despair; it’s possible to bring the thrill back to STEM from the comfort of your own home! From exciting toys to engaging experiences, here is a list of great coding and STEM gifts for your kids.
If your child has a real passion for tech and tinkering, then the Kano Computer Kit will be right up their street. The kit includes all the parts and a book of instructions for them to build a fully functional computer powered by Raspberry Pi. What’s more, your kid can use their new creation to learn to code, with hundreds of apps and step-by-step coding challenges available to download. Whether they want to learn block-based or text-based languages, mod in Minecraft, or build their own website, they can do all of this and more – and share their creations with the Kano World community.
Suitable for kids aged 6+, though adult supervision will be required for younger children.
Price: From $149.99 for the standard kit, no screen included.
The marble run from the future, GraviTrax will introduce your child to important concepts of physics. Players can build their track according to the kit’s instruction booklet, and budding engineers can let their imaginations run free and design their own racetracks with 18 different kinds of construction element. By experimenting with different components, heights, and angles to push their ‘gravity sphere’ to the finish line, players get to grips with ideas such as gravity, kinetics, and magnetism. There’s even an app on which they can design and test their track and see the race from the marble’s perspective, before building their blueprint in real life!
Suitable for kids aged 8+.
Price: Starter kit costs $59.99.
Keen for your kid to learn to code, but not so keen on screen time? Then the Ozobot, named Evo, could be the perfect gift for them. It’s as simple as creating a route with coloured markers or stickers which the tiny robot will follow. Each colour corresponds to a certain encoded command that the Evo’s sensor reads, governing their speed, direction, and special moves. There is also an on-screen option which teaches coding through the visual block OzoBlockly language. By connecting the blocks, kids can programme their bot to move, light up, and even produce sounds. In comparison to many STEM gifts, Ozobot is fuss-free. The robot itself is just one inch tall and all that you need is a flat surface and a piece of paper to get going.
Suitable for kids aged 5+.
Price: Evo for home and home-schooling costs $99.99.
Whacky Wheels promises hours of fun for future engineers and inventors. A step up from your standard remote-control car, kids will design their vehicle from scratch by connecting the different cubes – motor, LED, battery – with wires, building the chassis, and customising their car with downloadable paper templates. Even better? The Whacky Wheels kit is compatible with LEGO and MegaBloks, so your kids can construct some really crazy creations! The Bluetooth kit allows kids to connect their vehicle to the Circuit Cubes app and control it from a smartphone or tablet.
Designed for kids aged 8+.
Price: $49.99 for the Whacky Wheels Kit – Lite, $39.99 for the Bluetooth Upgrade Kit
If you don’t mind a bit of mess, then the Crayola Color Chemistry kit comes with over 50 STEM activities to do at home – from creating a colourful erupting volcano and glow-in-the-dark worms, to making a tornado in a bottle and discovering chromatography. Alternatively, for something a bit more seasonal, try the Arctic Color Chemistry Set. Kids can keep it cool with experiments such as Rainbow Snow, Forever Snow, and Crunchy Snow, or make their own snow globes and festive decorations.
Recommended for children aged 7+.
Price: Both kits cost $24.99, and come with enough supplies to do at least 16 experiments, and instructions on how to do the rest.
If having more clutter around the house doesn’t appeal, then a STEM-themed escape room is the ideal gift that involves the whole family. For immersive experiences, The Panic Room is great: kids can enjoy playing the role of a forensic scientist in CSI: Deadline, using their tech skills for nefarious means in The Overseer, or investigating who has hacked the weapons control system in Hexcorp. These escape rooms can be played on multiple devices, so family and friends in different households can join in, too!
Suitable for kids aged 8+ with parent supervision.
Price: From £10.00 (it is possible to pay with international bank cards).
For a truly valuable gift, sign your child up for one of CodeAdvantage’s courses. Our classes don’t just educate, but inspire innovation and invention and give your kids a chance to bring their imaginations to life. Whatever they’re interested in – gaming, web design, robotics – there is an interactive, project-based course for them. Our flexible courses can suit their needs, whether they’d enjoy a coding summer camp, need some 1:1 tuition, or want to host a coding birthday party with all their friends!
CodeAdvantage’s classes are available for 6-13 year olds of all interests and abilities: