The BEST Holiday Gift Guide For Brilliant, Science-Minded Kids
The winter holiday gift-giving season is upon us…
… and that means shopping for the kids.
As a parent with curious children who like everything, you may not know what your kids want or need this year.
There are so many gifts and so little time, how do you come up with gift ideas?
This is especially true if you have a Maker in your life.
You know, the child who likes to disassemble your toaster oven and put it back together again just to see how it works?
That’s a Maker.
Unfortunately, a Maker can be difficult to buy for because you don’t want to buy something that may dampen your child’s enthusiasm for exploration.
You want your gift ideas to be fun, age-appropriate and exciting.
On the other hand, you want your gift to stimulate your child’s learning at the same time.
Where do you begin?
A gift card doesn’t do much good, unless your child is older, simply because you control what your child can and can’t buy based on the budget.
Plus, a gift card doesn’t solve the problem of a child who wants everything and anything.
Instead, why not research the best gift ideas for children who are curious, enthusiastic, hands-on types who love exploring the world around them?
There are tons of options from companies that specialize in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) toys.
There are chemistry sets, paper airplane kits, fort-building toys, model rockets, remote-controlled robots and plenty more.
The only difficulty you have is wading through the massive amounts of information on the internet.
You’re in luck.
Here’s a guide for some of the best gift ideas for your brilliant, science-minded youngster.
Not only are these gifts geared for children, but they also stimulate your child’s interest in STEM-based fields.
In this gift guide, we will show you different types of gifts for a child who has curiosity and intelligence.
These gifts are generally for children who have a grasp of basic knowledge of tools already, such as hammers, screwdrivers and the like.
We are going to differentiate among gifts by the characteristics of each purchase.
- stocking stuffers
- cheap gifts under $50
- expensive gifts over $50
- getaways and best gifts for learning.
Stocking Stuffers for Makers
Every Maker needs small tools to perform his or her craft. This is especially true with electronics, where fine-tuned work is a must for optimum performance. Check out this small tool for the tinkerer in your life.
Jameco’s Benchpro soldering tool with magnifying glass accomplishes several things for your budding electronics guru and science-based mind. The alligator clips hold the project in place while the magnifying glass lets your child see the project up close. This is perfect for when your youngster tinkers with small wires, tiny resistors on circuit boards and microchips embedded in computerized motherboards.
Alligator clips join two circuits together so your youngster can test the electrical current running between them. This set of 10 alligator clips makes it easy to run tests with an multimeter ahead of more testing to see if your Maker’s gadget works.
A desolder pump removes old solder from two wires as your Maker takes things apart. This allows an engineer to add new components to an exist circuit without building a prototype from scratch. Make sure you use this item in a well-ventilated area.
Cheap Gifts (Under $50) for Makers
Cheap gifts under $50 can fill in any gaps in your Maker’s collection. This can be a specialized tool, a measuring device or a small tool set. This type of gift can take your youngster’s making possibilities up a notch with just a small purchase.
Craftsman is one of the most impressive brands of tools for Makers. This 10-piece socket wrench set gets your little explorer on the road to taking apart toasters, refrigerators, televisions, car engines and more.
Socket wrenches provide more turning power compared to traditional wrenches. This makes it easier for your kids to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts of 10 different sizes. The tray allows for easy organization, portability and storage. These tools are backed by Craftsman’s guarantee that they will never break.
After you explore these questions, then it’s time to experiment. Buy some nuts and bolts to start putting things together. Purchase some older appliances to start taking things apart, with parental supervision, of course.
MegaPro’s ratcheting driver allows your Maker to adjust the torque as he or she tries to unlatch nuts, bolts and screws. When precision torque is necessary, as with motors, wheels and axles, your Maker can attach fasteners in certain ways to ensure optimum efficiency and maximum strength.
The only way your Maker can join wires together is through the ends of the wires that don’t have insulation. That’s why your child needs a good wire stripper. Stanley’s model has holes for different gauges of wire for precise and accurate stripping each time. Just clamp down on the wire, make a quick turn and pull the wire stripper through the end to make a perfect piece of copper at the end.
Best Expensive Gifts (Over $50) for Makers
Sometimes, your child needs items that take his or her making experience to an entirely new level. Think large sets, a fancy gadget, or something that makes noise, lights up and makes a job easier. Much like the soldering tool above, the best expensive gift also lets your child have a hands-free experience while tinkering.
Zebralight’s H502W headlamp has a single LED light bulb powered by a rechargeable AA battery. It weighs just 2.8 ounces with the battery installed. It’s also waterproof in six feet of water for 30 minutes in case someone drops this tool into a bucket, puddle or toilet. Even better, the headlamp goes around your forehead with a strap. That way, your child has both hands free to work on a STEM project. The battery lasts up to three months under minimum output.
Hakko’s digital soldering iron is a great way to make it easier for your Maker to adjust the temperature of the soldering iron. Temperatures range from 120 to 899 degrees, and the digital display shows precise how hot the soldering iron gets. If you Maker plans to doing some heavy-duty tinkering, this is a must-have gift!
A good, digital multimeter tests for current, resistance and voltage, among other electrical measurements. No tinkerer should be without a multimeter. This model is top of the line and easy to use.
Getaways (Camps) for Makers
It’s amazing what a week with like-minded individuals can do to your child’s imagination and inspiration when it comes to making things. A getaway or camp for your Maker provides an immersive experience that focuses on everything someone needs to know to work on science, technology or engineering projects.
Every summer, iD Tech hosts summer camps at more than 150 college campuses across the United States for kids ages 6 to 18. Choose from more than 60 immersive STEM courses, ranging from computer coding and virtual reality to 3-D printing and robotics. There are even online classes your child can take ahead of attending summer camp.
Maker State, similar to iD Tech, hosts summer camps all over the country. Campers finish two STEM-based projects per day, culminating in a robotics project on the last day. Kids can receive training in movie making, 3-D printing, robotics and rocketry.
NASA has several summer camps for explorers interested in digital media, robotics, building with Legos and creating simple machines. These camps are all over the United States, so check out each camp’s programs in your area to see if there’s one right for the Maker in your life.
Best Gifts For Learning
You want your child to have fun with the projects he or she wants to accomplish, but finding tutorials and components can be intimidating.
Luckily, Creation Crate created a simple way for you to get started in electronics – all from home!
Creation Crate sends you new DIY electronics projects straight to your doorstep every month.
Build things like a Mood Lamp, Memory Game, Distance Detector, and more!
Projects get more difficult each month as your skills improve.
What’s inside a Creation Crate?
Each month, we send you a new DIY robotics project that teaches you a new lesson about programming.
All you need to build is access to a computer!
Inside the box you get components and how to instructions on completing your project.
Don’t let another winter holiday season go by with boring socks, shirts and underwear.
Buy some of the best gift ideas for your science-minded, brilliant kid with some Maker gear, Maker camp and a boxes of projects from Creation Crate!