There isn’t a parent out there who doesn’t want to encourage their science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-loving child. The holidays are here, and it’s time to pick out the best STEM gifts for kids. And what better advice to listen to than that of a teacher when it comes to picking out the most educational items your little will love?
We’ve picked the best gifts for the 2019 holiday season (according to teachers) for kids of all ages to make your shopping extra easy this year.
Note: This post has Amazon Affiliate links. If you buy using these links, we receive a small percentage of the purchase price, at no extra cost to you. All items are hand-selected by our editorial team.
Best STEM Gifts for Kids Ages 5–7
This set of 100 colorful blocks will keep your young STEM lover busy for hours. These blocks are strong and sturdy so your builder can build any structure they desire. This kit comes with a one-year warranty and will encourage creativity and learning.
Real teacher review: “I love love LOVE this product! The shipment came earlier than expected and I couldn’t be more excited to wrap it up and give it to my nieces. I have similar toys in my preschool classroom and they are a huge hit. I was worried this brand would be less reliable and ‘cheap’ compared to the ones in my classroom but they hold their own!! Very pleased!!”
A large set of tinker toys to keep hands of all ages busy. This set is safe for kids as young as three but will keep nine-year-olds entertained as well.
Real teacher review: “I bought this set for my classroom, as you can see, it didn’t make it there. My boys love LEGOs and have played with these for hours!! It comes in a great carrying case, so they brought it with them to their nana’s house. It comes with a picture book of ideas but no building instructions. My boys didn’t mind that though, they just explored with them. At first my four-year-old had a little trouble connecting them, but after five minutes he got a hang of it. They also enjoy smashing their projects and so far none of the pieces have broken in that process.”
Regular blocks are fun, but these colorful 3-D blocks take building to the next level for your little STEM-er. Not only can little kids build, these blocks can withstand some rough play and help with counting, sorting, and boosting hand-eye coordination.
Real teacher review: “These are the most popular toys in my preschool classroom. I love how they came with a nice container for storage and my students love putting them into piles according to color when they are building. These things can take a beating.”
A toy that will help your child think ahead is always a good idea. This marble run has lots of challenges and will help your child think logically as they create different mazes and watch their marbles run through the maze.
Real teacher review: “Fourth graders and engineers love this toy. Follow the cards, create your own, make it big, make it long—it’s all fun. It is the most sought after game in my classroom and it engaged two very serious young adults until they were told to put it away.”
A balancing game is a great way to introduce numbers to your preschool-aged children. Of course, the monkey makes introducing your child to numbers extra special. It also improves their memorization skills.
Real teacher review: “I’m a math educator and I appreciate the design of this toy to support creative investigation of numbers and quantities. The balance is sensitive enough and the monkeys and numerals are calibrated well to read out equivalence of equations through 20. I’m surprised by how great the quality is for the price!”
This is a great toy for all the little builders in your life. They will enjoy using the drill to screw in the colorful bolts to the board, and can color coordinate and count as they build. A great way to work on fine motor and math skills, your child will love the freedom of creating their own design.
Real teacher review: “I didn’t know what to expect with this set. I didn’t know if my four-year-old daughter would have trouble getting the screws in or get frustrated because she couldn’t do it, but my girl LOVED this set. … Educational Insights always has such great products. I use them in my home for my kids and in my classroom for my students. Keep up the great work!”
Best STEM Gifts for Kids Ages 8–10
Your little engineer will stay busy while trying out all 101 projects they can build with components that simply snap together to make working circuit boards—no tools required. Each piece is color-coded and numbered, so your child can feel independent as they build away.
Real teacher review: “I use Snap Circuits Jr SC-100 in my K–6 technology classroom in a public school. My students absolutely LOVE them! The directions are simple enough for my first graders to follow after a short demonstration, and the projects range in difficulty to keep even the sixth graders excited.”
Your child can build (and paint) their own car without tools or batteries (YES!) and watch it zip away in the sun. Have peace of mind knowing your child is developing their fine motor skills with toxic-free material and real wood. And did we mention no batteries required?
Real teacher review: “So many of my kids were building these and bringing them into school, I decided to buy a couple for the classroom. The instructions are easy to follow, there are no tiny tools or plastic pieces to worry about. I found I liked building them even more than my students did.”
Your child will be deep in concentration while playing with this LEGO set. They can build their own powered car, robot, and nine other machines not to mention one of their own creations.
Real teacher review: “I love all the LEGO products as I grew up playing with them. Now, I love buying them for my 3rd grade classroom. They are always the most popular toy and the kids enjoy this one especially.”
If your child is a LEGO lover but ready for a bigger challenge, this 350-piece set of building blocks to create their own 360-degree rotating robot will keep them busy. It’s a great project for the whole family that will hone problem-solving skills and help with hand-eye coordination. The kit comes with rechargeable batteries which last for 40 minutes of playing time.
Real teacher review: “This is adorable! I actually got this to use in my classroom and we were able to use it today. It was a lot of fun to put together and easy to use.”
This is quoted as being “one of the most popular logic games ever made” with over 10 million being sold. Your kids will love it, and you might get hooked, too, as there are many challenges in this game, ranging from beginner to expert. It even comes with a great storage bag, which makes it an easy game to travel with.
Real teacher review: “One of the best logic games I have ever played. I use this game in my class to get their brains thinking. It’s such a popular game in my classroom that I needed to set up a checkout for it. Also, this game is not just for children, even adults will get hooked!”
Best STEM Gifts for Kids Ages 11–13
Give you older STEM lover a gift that keeps on giving all year. This monthly box will delight your child with projects that involve chemistry, physics, and engineering.
Real teacher review: “I have been very pleased with what I have gotten so far. Most of the things I have received have been something I have been able to use in my classroom in a small group. It is well worth the money!”
This kit contains 25 awesome hands-on experiments your kids will love. They get to blow things up, make rockets, and mix ingredients to create a colorful explosion, to name a few. It comes with detailed pages describing each activity and is sure to be one of a favorite.
Real teacher review: “We bought this for my six-year-old’s birthday and he loves it. It has plenty of great options for him to explore various scientific laws and gives us lots of observations to talk about. Coming from a science teacher, I love it!”
This is the perfect gift for your computer lover. It’s great for younger and older kids alike, and they will be learning about computer science as they delve into all the tools and ingredients this kit has to offer.
Real teacher review: “I will be using this in my middle school computer classes. I love that my students who are a little more intimidated doing coding on computers can begin learning the concepts of coding in meaningful ways that they are more familiar to them.”
Your child will be entertained as they grow friendly molds, make some fake blood, and learn about body chemistry with this kit that allows them to be as gross as they want. They can even make fake snot and educate themselves on why certain body parts are so smelly.
Real teacher review: “I’m using this kit in my classroom. The students are having a great time with the experiments. As a teacher, I love the interesting facts and the vocabulary.”
This award-winning kit comes with a 32-page book that explains chemical reactions, temperature, and molecular motion. With over 19 experiments, this is sure to not only keep your tween busy, it will also teach them all about the scientific concepts.
Real teacher review: “As a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom, I love this kit … I have two girls who love nature, asking questions and are little scientists. This is a great kit to fill the gaps in of their passion and what is lacking at school.”
What are your favorite STEM gifts for kids? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Deals Group on Facebook.