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Science is absolutely one of my favorite subjects to do with my kids. I love making science a hands-on experience for my kids. I love building on their natural curiosity to inspire learning. I love encouraging them to explore the wonders of this magnificent planet we love on.
So of course, it’s only natural for me to give my kids gifts that continue to inspire their love of science and their curiosity about the things around them.
Note: For more great gift ideas for kids of all ages and interests, see my gift guides page.
Below I have complied a list of 18 of the best gifts for kids who love science. On this list are ideas that would make awesome holiday gifts for the budding scientists in your life, whether they are 3 or 13.
Insect Lore Ladybug Land: Every year for the past three years we have raised some sort of insect in our home. The first insects we raised were ladybugs using this kit from Insect Lore (see my post here). The kit comes with a coupon you send off for some live ladybug larvae. When the larvae arrive, you place them into your Insect Lore Ladybug Land. After that, all you need to do is occasionally add some water. The ladybugs are very easy to care for, and it is fascinating to watch their life cycle unfold before your eyes.
Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden: After raising ladybugs, the following spring we decided to raise butterflies as well (see my post here). The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden is the perfect size for use at home. (Teachers wanting to raise butterflies in their classroom might prefer the larger Insect Lore Butterfly Pavilion instead.) The kit comes with a coupon you send off for some live caterpillars. You will then have the opportunity to watch the caterpillars form chrysalises, and then watch them emerge from their chrysalises as adult butterflies.
Toysmith Ant Universe Educational Kit: Our most recent insect raising adventure involved the Toysmith Ant Universe Educational Kit (see the post here). This was a very different experience than raising ladybugs or butterflies, since we filled the Ant Universe with adult ants and thus did not get to see them through their life cycle. Nonetheless, this Ant Universe makes it possible to closely observe how ants live and work. The kit comes with an ant order form that you can send off to receive your live Harvester ants.
Thames & Kosmos Little Labs: Botany Ð Greenhouse: This botany kit is recommended for ages 5 and up, but younger kids may also enjoy this kit with the help of an adult. This kit includes seeds, pots, potting material, greenhouse domes, a variety of tools, and instructions for doing a number of activities to learn about plants and seeds. Kids will enjoy getting their hands dirty while watching their plants grow and thrive. They will enjoy testing various soils and conditions to learn how plants grow best. There are so many great materials in this kit that they will keep budding botanists entertained for a long time!
Back To The Roots Mushroom Farm: Would your kids like to grow their own mushroom farm? This kit is super simple to set up (see my post here), basically requiring nothing more than a good soaking to get started. It may take some time for the mushrooms to spout, but once they do you will want to observe them often because they grow so quickly! Once the mushrooms are ready, your kids can also enjoy harvesting and preparing them for dinner!
Educational Insights Sprout And Grow Window: This kit gives kids an up close look at what happens under the soil when seeds sprout and turn into plants. With this neat sprout and grow window, kids will observe how roots develop. The kit includes a step-by-step activity guide for parents.
Learning Resources Early Science Explorer’s Set: Young scientists should spend a lot of time observing things in their environment. The Early Science Explorer’s Set from Learning Resources includes a child-friendly magnifying glass for observing objects up close as well as a pair of child-friendly tweezers for grasping items. I love that the magnifying glass includes a stand, so young scientists can simply stand it on the table and place objects underneath for viewing.
Educational Insights My First Microscope: Eventually, kids should move beyond the magnifying glass to using a microscope, since a microscope has a higher level of magnification than a magnifying glass. The My First Microscope from Educational Insights makes a perfect beginning microscope for kids ages 3 and older. It has two eye pieces rather than the typical one, which makes it simpler for young children to use.
My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope: If your child is ready to move beyond a starter microscope, the Duo-Scope Microscope from My First Lab would make an excellent choice. This microscope is the real deal, with magnifications of 40X, 100X, and 400X. The kit also includes an instruction manual, lens paper, test tube, petri dish, stains, droppers, forceps, and a variety of plain and prepared slides for viewing objects under the microscope.
Fun with Magnets by Lauri: Magnets are so much fun to explore, and this Fun with Magnets includes 14 fun and educational activities that will provide hours of entertainment and learning. (See my post with magnet activities using the materials from this kit here.) The manufacturer’s recommended age for this kit is 4 and up, but younger kids can still safely enjoy having fun with magnets as long as they are properly supervised by an adult. The kit includes four different kinds of magnets, a compass, and several different metal objects.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Kit: The manufacturer’s recommended age for the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Kit is 8 and up, but a motivated 4- or 5- year old could also really enjoy this product with some help from a parent to explain how the circuits connect. This kit gives kids hands-on experience designing and building electrical circuits to create more than 100 different projects including a burglar alarm, a doorbell, a music player, a photo sensor, a flashing light, and more. All of the parts snap together, so there are no tools required. This kit would make an awesome gift for any child who loves to tinker and build their own things.
Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Test Tube Wonders: I think this kit is amazing, because it includes small samples of so many different kinds of fun materials that kids will adore, including instant snow, magic sand, energy beads, superabsorbent crystals, true color tablets, and water gel. Kids will enjoy the materials in this kit for hours. At the same time, they will have an opportunity to explore the properties of each material and learn how each is different. This kit provides a fantastic opportunity to get all of these wonderful materials at one great price compared to purchasing them separately.
The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!: There are so many great science resource books. This book, in my opinion, is one of the best. The book is divided into sections that include biology, chemistry, physics, the planet earth, and the human body. The book is recommended for ages 7 and up, but my kids 5-year-olds have enjoyed many of the activities featured in this book. Some of the activities, however, are more advanced and would be better for older kids. The majority of the experiments can be performed using items found around the house, which will come in handy when kids receive this book and want to dive into the experiments first thing!
Uncover the Human Body: An Uncover It Book: We borrowed this book from our district’s home study program library, and we all just fell in love with it! Some of the factual information was a bit advanced for my kids, but they were fascinated by the layered 3D model of the human body. Basically, as you turn the pages you will go through physical models of the dermal (skin) system, the skeletal system, digestive system, urinary system, circulatory (blood) system, respiratory (breathing) system, muscular system, and nervous system. You can also get additional Uncover It books featuring sharks, frogs, dogs, dinosaurs, and many other animals. If your child is curious about how the body works, these books are sure to be a hit!
A one-year subscription to Zoobooks Magazine: Is your child an animal lover? How about a subscription to Zoobooks magazine, which turns a child’s love of animals into a love of reading. Zoobooks features great photographs and kid-friendly articles on different wildlife animals 10 times a year. Plus, kids love receiving mail!
Adventure Kids Bug Catcher Box Set: This set allows your bug-loving child to go outside and catch his or her own bugs to observe and examine. The kit comes with tools for catching bugs as well as tools for observing them up close. This kit is perfect for the child who loves an adventure in his or her backyard and who has a zeal for nature.
Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set: This lab set makes a fantastic starter kit for the budding scientist in your life. It has everything your child needs to begin doing science – a beaker, magnifying glass, funnel, eyedropper, flask, tweezers, googles, large test tube, and small test tubes. The kit includes activity cards to get your child started, but after that the possibilities are endless! We use many of these materials on a regular basis for all sorts of activities, so the only limit is your imagination!
Backyard Safari – Expedition One 3-in-1 Field Compass: This is a fun and relatively inexpensive gadget that would make a great stocking stuffer. This 3-in-1 field compass includes a compass, fold-out magnifying glass, and LED flashing signal along with a key for sending messages in Morse Code. The retractable carabineer makes it easy for kids to clip this onto their belt loops or backpacks. This is a fun gift for kids who like to explore in the outdoors.
This year I am working with a wonderful group of kid bloggers to bring you the best holiday gift ideas. This list of best gifts for kids who love science is just one over 75 holiday gift guides being compiled by parents and educators. After all, if you want to know which toys truly have staying power, you are more likely to get the real scoop from parents and educators than from the toy companies.
Looking for more great gift ideas? Check out my other gift guides:
- Best gifts for kids who love to build
- Best gifts for developing kids’ fine motor skills
- Best gifts for active kids
- Best gifts for kids who love arts & crafts
- Best gifts for encouraging sensory play
- Best gifts for developing math concepts
- Best gifts for teaching letters
- Best gifts for teaching shapes
- Best gifts for kids who love LEGO
Emma @ P is for Preschooler
I have to second the suggestion of the Learning Resources Science Lab. I got that for my daughter last year and it was a hit!
Alison - The Way He Plays
The sprout and grow window looks fabulous! I also love a good science experiment book!