Make a list and grab your wallet: what are you doing for Christmas shopping? Life is busy with kids and work, and who really wants to mask up and aimlessly wander the mall with hordes of other tense shoppers? It’s been a crazy year and we really just want to enjoy some special holiday moments this season, where we can forget the stress of 2020.
But now it’s the stress of shopping for gifts! How do you find the “perfect” gift? You want one the 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 STEM skills 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! Christmas shopping = done!
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 $47.98 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!
Little Tikes STEM Jr Quake Challenge $26.21 CAD
Rumble, rumble . . . will it tumble? Build your tower strong, amp up the shaking, but don’t let the egg fall! This fun toy introduces your child to engineering in a fun, hands-on way! Designed for one or two players, there are 11 challenge cards and different structures to build. Crank the lever and test the strength of your building; the possibilities are endless!
Educational Insights Design and Drill Activity Centre $55.97 CAD
Little learners can power up their imagination and get building with this drill activity centre. They’ll build coordination and fine motor skills as they drill & play with a toy drill and chunky, kid-sized bolts on a sturdy activity board. Children will sort and count the colourful bolts, map out all kinds of designs, and develop critical preschool math skills, too.
Kids First Boat Engineer Science Kit $65.99 USD
Read the funny story of two inquisitive young engineers, Ty and Karlie, and their family’s robots, Huxley and Remus. Kids can build simple models of the boats they encounter in the story and the boats actually float on water, making for fun and easy experiments around the sink or bathtub! This kit helps develop fine motor skills, science and math skills, visual-spatial skills, and reasoning and concept development skills.
GeoSafari Jr Ladybug Garden $30.97 CAD
Raise and study ladybugs, from larvae to adorable adults, in this bug-safe garden habitat! You mail in the included certificate for your ladybug larvae, then observe their amazing growth process. Three magnification spots provide an up-close view and the twist-off top makes feeding safe and easy. Support STEM learning and encourage a lifelong love of science and nature with the GeoSafari Jr. Ladybug Garden!
Coding Robot $82.46 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.
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!
MudWatt: Grow a Living Fuel Cell $39.99 USD
Can you make a battery using mud? Discover the power! MudWatt engages kids in STEM in a whole new way, using the power of electricity-generating bacteria living in the soil beneath our feet!
Scientific Explorer Crime Catchers Spy Science Kit $32.90 CAD
Kids will have to use their detective skills to analyze the evidence and solve 2 exciting mysteries. They will match fingerprints, DNA, test powders and liquids and decode secret messages; think like a real forensic scientist!
Crayola Colour Chemistry Lab $29.96 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. You can explore the chilly side of colour science with the Arctic Edition. The easy-to-read booklet offers more than 50 experiments, designed by real Crayola Scientists.
Wall Climber RC Car $44.99 CAD
Race your remote control car anywhere you want! This durable high-tech car races on walls, ceilings, or glass and it’s lightweight and easy to handle. Kids (of any age!) will love to race around this house with this toy.
Gross Clean Science – Soap $24.97 CAD
Sometimes the doorway to science is through the ick factor, but this set teaches junior scientists new ways to get frighteningly clean! (Seems appropriate for 2020.) Make 8 boric acid-free DIY soapy creations including Soapy Slime, Putty Monsters, and Gelly Monsters.
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.
Littlebits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit $94.99 CAD
Splurge on this inventor kit for your Avengers lovers and start Super Hero Training! Kids step into their hero training with customizable inventions like night vision, speed tracker, and light powers. Gain STEAM with instruction videos for over 18 activities, plus easy block coding in-app.
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 Crystal Growing Kit $14.96 CAD
Grow your own beautiful crystals and learn about the chemistry behind this reaction. Your kids will enjoy discovering the natural world at their fingertips.
Horse Automata Kit $54.95 CAD
A simple turn of the crank brings this mechanical horse to life! This collection of laser-cut wood pieces offers an artful, clever, and creative challenge. Kids will build the automata and then turn the crank and watch with wonder as the unique curves, hinges, and shapes all begin to move in perfect unison to recreate the smooth, majestic motion of a galloping horse.
Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit + Code $69.99 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 $56.99 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, go to www.apega.ca/giftguide. While you’re there, enter to WIN one of the Gift Guide toys from November 15 to December 4, 2020! (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!