Top 16 STEM Christmas present ideas for 2020

I’m always looking for something different to give as a gift at Christmas – especially to my kids so that they will play with something for longer than 5 minutes!

STEM toys are fantastic as they are often open-ended; meaning the possibilities of play are endless. I now try to buy STEM-based gifts for friends and family too in the hopes it’s a bit different and inspires learning through play.

In this blog I’ve listed some of my favourite STEM toys that make great educational presents for kids and families. Not only are they fun and colourful – but there is so much rich learning that will come from playing with these STEM toys you’ll know it’s worth the investment! Simply click the image of anything you’d like to find out more about (some of the links are affiliate links which means weeSTEMs gets a few pennies if you choose to buy it).

I’ve included some nice budget options plus some more expensive items which could be a good investment for the whole family to enjoy.

If you’ve got any questions, or ideas you’d like me to share then please do get in touch! Alternatively, if you’d like weeSTEMs to make a How To… video using any of the ideas below then please send me a message.

Whatever you do this Christmas, I hope you make special memories with your loved ones.xx

First up, one of my all-time favourite toys that is great for any age is a box of colourful magnetic tiles.

Rainbow Shapes are beautifully made and are great for building and creating – the possibilities are endless. Simply click the image to be taken to their website.

To read more about this fantastic STEM resource see my review here.

Target age range: Toddler, pre-school, Primary school

I absolutely love these gorgeous colourful pebbles – they come in a range of bright colours and have cards that you can use to copy the patterns.

Great for fine-motor skills, counting, colour identification and pattern following.

Click on the image to buy them in the U.K.

Target age range: Toddler & Pre-school

I absolutely love these – not only are they colourful but I find them naturally intriguing because children can clearly see that there’s more to them than simply placing a wooden bar onto a stick. They require twists and turns which simultaneously works your brain’s problem solving centre as well as develops fine-motor skills (which is great for writing).

Being able to rotate shapes (especially in space) is an excellent cognitive skill to have and develop. There is also a wealth of language associated with these blocks (colour, shape, direction of movement).

Target age range: Toddler, pre-school, primary

Despite looking relatively simple, this pack is wonderful for all ages to either create or copy designs.

A child’s ability to rotate shapes and match colours helps in so many academic areas so this pack is money well-spent.

Target age range: Toddler, pre-school, primary

Who remembers K’nex?! A staple for creative free-play this pack is a great starter pack to encourage young engineering and problem-solving skills. It’s an oldie but a goodie!

Target age range: Pre-school, primary

I find most science kits are a massive hit in our house – and this one is a fantastic starting point. It comes with basic instructions and test tubes which can be used for your own creations for years to come. Definitely worth the investment to encourage your little one to start experimenting!

Target age range: Pre-school, primary

A slightly more advanced science kit which is targeted at Primary-aged kids. Another fantastic investment with loads of reusable and inspiring equipment. Definitely worth it and will inspire even the least enthusiastic of learners!

If you click the picture it will take you to this particular kit – but if you scroll down there will be lots of alternative and different themes of kits. Let me know which are your favourites!

Target age range: Primary

These interactive scales are an excellent way to develop children’s knowledge of number and also to advance to show how sums work. The pack comes with example cards for you to follow, or you can let your child lead or even test your own knowledge!

Target age range: Toddler, pre-school, early primary

Almost every kid I know struggles with the concept of fractions. This brilliant wee pack is a great hands-on resource to let kids see just how fractions equate to each other.

It might not seem the most open-ended toy but it is great to play around with as well as a great homework assistant as you can physically remove the pieces and measure them to see which match up. This is a vital tool for visual learners.

Target age range: Primary, early High school

I cannot resist buying children’s books. And this series is no exception – they’re all absolutely fantastic and well-worth the investment. I believe they were written to get girls into STEM, however they are brilliant for any gender of reader.

You can even watch this book being read on the International Space Station!

Target age range: Entire family

If your family like playing games then this is a great STEM-themed one. It’s a fun way to play either cooperatively (with younger players) or competitively to solve a problem.

Target age range: Pre-school, primary

Quite the investment but this game gets amazing reviews and is loved by so many for its constant changing challenges. A great game for all the family (although perhaps slightly older age range).

Target age range: Primary, secondary school

If you were following along with any of the lockdown themes you’d have seen just how amazing playdough (Playdoh) is when exploring STEM concepts.

Not only does it inspire creativity and develop fine-motor skills, its a great tool for building and making models (see our frogs or brains).

From pre-schoolers making shapes to high-schoolers making models of mitochondria, playdough has limitless uses.

Target age range: Entire family

Another staple from the weeSTEMs adventure pack – a headtorch. Kids absolutely LOVE night walks and getting to go on adventures and these are fantastic stocking fillers that promise to excite any child.

Target age range: Entire family

This is something that you see all the time on TV and now us lay-folk can own one and stage our own Winter Watch! There are a whole range of wildlife-capturing cameras so do have a look about to choose the one that best suits your needs.

We love this one because it’s extremely waterproof (great for a Scottish winter!), takes video and has high definition images so it’s clear for wee ones to see what has been spotted in our garden.

Having had such a successful summer exploring The Wildlife Around Us we managed to get this on deal and can’t wait to see what wildlife surrounds us at night!

Target age range: Entire family

Lastly (but by no means least!), and by far one of the favourites at weeSTEMs sessions is the interactive human body.

This is another STEM toy that caters to all ages and interest levels. Toddlers like to feel the squishy parts, whilst more advanced learners can place them accurately back into the body template.

Target age range: Entire family

I hope you’ve found some of these links useful – let me know if you get any and how you find them!

I’ll share on weeSTEMs Facebook page any good deals I see (bear in mind that Black Friday deals are fantastic and coming soon so do keep checking!) and make sure you’ve favourited the Facebook page in order to see the posts near the top of your feed.

Have a fantastic festive season!xx

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