At this time of year, parents are often looking for that “perfect” gift: one that kids will enjoy opening and one that will get used and add value to their lives, instead of languishing, dusty, on the floor of their closet. APEGA (The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) brings you a gift guide for kids from toddlers to teenagers that is filled with ideas for STEM toys. These items, promoting science, technology, engineering, and math, give kids the freedom to explore and discover while having fun with new toys.
STEM topics affect nearly every area of our lives now and are found in many job fields. The foundational skills in STEM will benefit every child and kids learn best when they are engaged. This Christmas, you can promote problem-solving, logic, and hands-on learning, all with a Christmas gift your child will love!
Ages 1 – 4
This is a great age for which to buy gifts because the world is a wonderful place to discover. It’s easy to catch their interest (at least for a while!) and it’s the perfect time to start investing in toys that help them explore the life around them.
Fisher-Price Code‐a‐Pillar $49.99 CAD
The Code-a-Pillar has a motorized head and eight sections. The way kids put it together tells the Code-a-Pillar which way they want it to go. Lights and fun sounds bring this toy to life. As children grow, they can challenge themselves with navigating the toy to a specific target and explore how to reach their goal!
The Learning Journey Techno Kids Stack & Spin $34.99 CAD
Even the youngest toddlers will love the bright colours and hands-on fun of the Techno Kids Stack & Spin Gears Super Set. As they become more coordinated, kids can build their own toy, as the two gear sizes allow kids to stack and sort in any configuration they like. This toy is ideal for an open‐ended exploration of simple mechanics.
DIY ElectroDough Kit $31.00 CAD
Little ones love modelling dough, right? Now they can learn about electricity by forming amazing creations out of conductive dough! It only takes a few minutes to get started and then a child’s imagination takes over, for hours of fun.
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope $53.82 CAD
When kids are small, they often want to stop and explore the fascinating world. This GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope lets toddlers and preschoolers take a closer look with sixty beautiful full-colour slide images that are included and over 100 facts and quiz questions about animals, plants, and everyday household items will stimulate their interest.
Coding Critters Rumble & Bumble $49.99 CAD
Rumble and Bumble are your child’s new playmates! Kids can code along with their new pets’ playful storybook adventures, and bring challenges to life with their fun pet playset! Code the pets to fetch, hide, and seek. These STEM coding skills are 100% screen-free, too!
Coding Robot $89.99 CAD
Botley, the Coding Robot, is a great way to introduce younger children to coding and the thought processes behind it, as it focuses on step-by-step coding, programming, and critical thinking, 100% screen-free! Kids can incorporate collision detection, too.
Ages 5 – 10
Kids in this age range can really start identifying what they’re interested in and they are becoming so much more capable. It’s exciting to watch them develop new interests and build new skills!
Aftershock Earthquake Lab $54.99 CAD
Earthquakes are a fascinating, if frightening, natural phenomenon. With the Aftershock Earthquake Lab, kids can design a structure to withstand the forces of an earthquake. At least, that’s the goal! There are endless possibilities for houses and skyscrapers with the variable-lock girder system. Once the structure is built, it’s time to test it on the included earthquake table, with different types of quakes, magnitudes, and durations.
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit $129.99 CAD
Harry Potter lovers might want to splurge on the Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit. Witches and wizards can use their coding skills and knowledge to program their own wand and watch their spells come to life on‐screen. With more than 70 creative challenges and games, you can make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, pumpkins grow, and more.
Crayola Colour Chemistry Lab $32.99 CAD
Add the colour and ARTS to your STEM (making it STEAM!) and become a colour scientist with this creative box full of lab tests and experiments. The easy-to-read booklet offers more than 50 experiments, designed by real Crayola Scientists.
ThinkFun Gravity Maze Game $44.99 CAD
How are your visual perception and reasoning skills? Kids will soon find out as this gravity-powered logic maze is sure to put them to the test. It’s a marble run and logic puzzle all in one, and it helps develop spacial reasoning and planning skills.
That’s Gross Science $34.99 CAD
Sometimes the doorway science is through the ick factor! More than 20 experiments in this That’s Gross Science set range from making smelly bubbles to fake boogers. The experiments are amusing, with a realistic toilet bowl as the mixing station, and kids can learn more about the related scientific principles in the provided experiment journal.
Nature Explorer Kit $31.69 CAD
Do you have a budding biologist in the house? The Nature Explorer Kit is ideal for kids interested in learning about small crawling and flying animals. Among other items, this set includes a compass, flashlight, and binoculars to help kids discover the natural world.
Thames & Kosmos Structural Engineering: Bridges & Skyscrapers $69.99 CAD
Do you ever wonder how bridges span huge distances and how skyscrapers stay standing? Kids can learn the basics of structural engineering with this kit by conducting a series of 20 model‐building experiments. They can start with small models that demonstrate how structural elements can be attached together to maximize the strength of a structure for a fixed amount of material used, moving on to elaborate bridges and skyscrapers. The manual helps with step-by-step illustrated instructions.
Ages 11 +
As kids leave elementary school behind, they are developing and refining skills that will take them into high school and adulthood. Let them continue to play and explore. Soon, they may have interests and talents that outstrip yours!
Discovery Kids Underwater Volcano $14.96 CAD
Recreate nature’s fury with the Discovery Underwater Volcano! Kids can set the scene and watch the chemical reaction right before their eyes. Learn about the science behind submarine volcanoes and repeat the eruption over and over using household ingredients.
Dino Anatomics $26.97 CAD
Build your own T-Rex! This Scientific Explorer Dino Anatomic is a T‐Rex dinosaur model kit that provides hours of educational fun while your child learns about the anatomy of this prehistoric creature. Interlocking pieces make assembly easy and kids can take the dinosaur apart to examine the components more closely. This 51-piece anatomy kit includes 24 skeletal structure bones, 10 organs, 14 pieces of skin, a base, a stand and a 10-page instruction booklet.
Bath Bomb Lab $25.99 CAD
This kit makes understanding chemistry basics fun, easy, and safe and kids will learn about the unique chemical reactions that occur when making and using bath bombs. Experiment with colours, sizes, and scents and then enjoy the results! The colourful, detailed guide booklet includes step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips.
Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit + Code $99.99 CAD
Kids can create their own Star Wars droid and learn how to control electronics with block-based coding missions. The droid can be taught new skills and develop a personality through coding. It’s time to get creative with Star Wars!
AmScope Beginner Microscope Kit $52.99 CAD
There’s much more to the world than what you can see with the naked eye. Discover that invisible world with your own microscope kit! This AmScope Beginner Microscope Kit contains prepared slides and blank ones for you to fill and provides high magnification for educational applications. What will your kids discover?
Elenco Learn to Solder Kit $26.99 CAD
The toys kids play with and the hobbies they develop can evolve into real-life skills! Delve into the world of electronics by building your own! This kit includes solder, a soldering iron, and wire cutters. Easy-to-read instructions are included for maximum success.
There’s a certain look on a child’s face when they are deeply engrossed in an activity. It’s often a look of peaceful concentration, interest, and happiness, and as a parent, it’s a joy to observe. The hardest part is narrowing down what STEM toy is best suited to your child this year! But when you give the gift of exploration and discovery, everyone wins. For even more ideas, starting December 5, go to www.apega.ca/giftguide. While you’re there, enter to WIN one of the Gift Guide toys! (Find Peggy and Al, the APEGA elves and fill out the form at www.apega.ca/giftguide for your chance to win.
Look out, world, here comes the next generation!
Although we do our best to provide you with accurate information, all event details are subject to change. Please contact the facility to avoid disappointment.