Although I'm naturally drawn to words, I am raising some very mechanical and math-minded kids. My 11-year-old has long held that one of her favorite subjects is math. My 8-year-old is crazy (check-out-fifteen-research-books-at-a-time-and-take-copious-notes-crazy) about science. My 5-year-old wants to be a doctor and is wishing for a dog this Christmas.
All that to say, all three of our girls are drawn to exploration, adventure, and the natural world.
If your kids are interested in astronomy, anatomy, biology, chemistry, robotics, and/or numbers, the following gift picks may spark their interest.
The new Omano JuniorScope is a great introductory microscope for a young scientist. With the JuniorScope, your science-crazy-kid can look at everything from plant cells to bug legs. Unlike many other microscopes that are designed for children, the JuniorScope has precision glass optics, has magnification from 40-400x, is easy to use, and gives a clear image of what is on the slide. The box also includes "The World of the Miscroscope" - an introductory book about microscopes by Usborne.
Your child can build his or her own robot + learn basic coding skills with Tinkerbots' My First Robot. This adorable, LEGO-like robot gives young children (ages 5+) a hands-on introduction to programming. Use drag-and-drop touchscreen development tools to "teach" your robot to complete a set of tasks. Created in Berlin, this is a new product for 2017 and is sold exclusively at Barnes & Noble. Watch our instagram and twitter accounts for fun shots of this robot in use in the coming weeks!
National Geographic has some very cool science kits to choose from, including an Elements of Science set, which introduces kids to the wonders of biology, chemistry, and physics. The 75-piece set gives kids the chance to learn about water, air, heat, sound, forces, magnetism, electricity, electromagnetism, light, optics, plants & animals, colors, the human body, chemistry, & the sun through 100 experiments. With the included manual as a guide, kids can get answers to questions like: "Why does a plant grow toward the light?," "How heavy is air?', and "Why does a metal ship float?" Designed for ages 10+, but curious 7-9 year olds could complete the activities with adult guidance.
A perfect corresponding present for any aspiring scientist! MindWare's Science Academy Lab Coat fits ages 4-10 and is a fun addition for imaginative play, dress-up, and/or experimentation.
Counting practice! MindWare's Extreme Dot-to-Dot posters and books are a fun way for kids to strengthen their counting skills, learn about history and geography, and enjoy an art project. As an avid traveler, the "Famous Destinations" poster set caught my eye. The set includes seven big posters: Venice, Moscow, Africa, London, China, New York, and Central America.
Just released in 2017, your science-loving kids will be drawn into "Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story." This well-written picture book is an introduction to the life and career of little-known naturalist and artist Anna Comstock. Paired with lovely watercolor illustrations by Jessica Lanan, this new release will encourage and inspire your young naturalist to see the world with wonder.
My only critique of the story is that the author neglected to include Anna's husband in the story. A young reader might presume that Anna lived and died a spinster when, in fact, her husband John Henry played a pivotal part in both her personal life and her vocational endeavors.
What are YOU getting for the math & science kids on your list this Christmas?
BROWSE the complete 2017 Christmas Gift Guide to get ideas for everyone on your list!