Are you looking for the best STEM gifts of 2018 for your kids? Discover the newest and best coding kits, building sets, science kits, STEM books, cool tech, and MORE. I hope this helps you with your Christmas and holiday gift giving.
Almost all of these will help your children develop their knowledge and skills in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math. I love giving gifts that do double duty — both fun and educational. (Although, I’ve also included a few just-for-fun tech ideas.)
Scroll down to find STEM gift ideas for kids ages 1 to 16.
2018 Holiday Gift List: STEM Toys, Games, & Kits
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
Ages 18 months+ $14.99
Toddlers need to develop fine motor skills (more than ever before!). This cute and colorful toy gives little ones a chance to practice color recognition, sorting, counting, and those vital fine motor skills.
Magformers Log Cabin Magnetic Tiles
ages 3+ $59.95
Decorate your log cabins by clipping in balconies and walls. Add windows, ladders, lay turf and build fences and plant trees. Each geometric shape contains magnets that never reject, so you’ll always hear Magformers click.
A Place for Pluto by Stef Wade
ages 4 – 8 $10.70
Pluto used to be one of the famous 9 planets until one day he gets the worst news ever… he is too small to be a planet. He’s crushed. He searches the galaxy to find a place he fits. First, he learns about comets but he’s not a comet. Then he talks to asteroids and meteoroids but he’s not one of them either. Finally, he discovers someone who looks just like him — a dwarf planet. That’s him! The story skillfully entertains while educating readers about Pluto and other solar system elements.
Hape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run
ages 4+ $90.99
Kids will love this classic, wooden kinetic marble run for long-lasting marble racing fun. It’s a great mix of spins, drops, seesaws, and speed. Includes straightaway rails, three spiral funnels, and a seesaw for swift and exciting fun.
Botley the Coding Robot
Ages 5+ $61.43
We love Botley! It’s easy to use and does not require any other devices– NO smartphone or tablet required. It’s a fun, hands-on way to learn the foundational thinking concepts of programming in code (sequencing, looping, if/then). FULL REVIEW HERE.
Gears, Gears, Gears! Machines in Motion
Ages 5+ $39.99
The original Gears, Gears, Gears! is popular for good reason. This latest design is another fun, open-ended engineering kit filled with over 100 pieces of gears, a wrecking ball, propeller, and treads. This gift that will keep kids building and playing for hours.
How Does My Home Work? by Chris Butterworth
ages 4 – 8 $11.03
Inviting illustrations and clear wording make this book essential reading for kids to learn about the conveniences we take for granted like light switches, remote controls, water faucets, and so on. The book explains concepts like water treatment plants, how it gets cleaned in a process that goes out to rivers and seas or farmers. The book ends with ways kids can save energy. Love it.
Kano Harry Potter Coding Wand Kit
Ages 6+ $99.99
Attn: Harry Potter fans –doesn’t this look like a great way combine your favorite wizard with learning to code? It comes with wand parts, a step-by-step book, and more. Over 70 challenges will let kids make magic on the screen with activities like multiplying goblets, growing pumpkins, and flying feathers. I can’t wait to try this with my kids.
Ellie Engineer by Jackson Pearce
ages 7 – 10 $8.87
This is a well-written adventure that makes engineering seem enticing and creative! After a disastrous “french braid machine” tangles her best friend’s hair, Ellie plans to make her BFF a new birthday present — a dog house. She gets help from a neighbor boy and a group of girls. Ellie will help these two groups work together to build something amazing.
LEGO City Passenger Train
ages 6 – 12 $159.00
My kids can’t wait to get their hands on this remote control passenger train set with motorized engine, 2 cars, platform, signals and configurable circular track with this train set and tracks. Includes 4 mini-figures on their journey: 2 passengers, a train conductor and a train attendant.
ages 6+ $66.99
Get five different DIY toy and game projects like making a music simulator, a fishing game, or motorbike. This kit is meant to accompany Nintendo Switch. This kit makes technology hands-on & is very highly rated for 2018.
LEGO Friends Heartlake City Resort
ages 7 – 12 $99.95
This beachside hotel, with a roof terrace, water park, slides, monorail, water scooter and windsurf playset includes 1017 pieces and 4 LEGO Friends mini-dolls: Stephanie, Andrea, Olivia, and Mason plus a dolphin figure! Build a moving monorail to explore the resort, slides, a water park, and tons of fun accessories. My kids love the LEGO Friends sets.
National Geographic Mega Slime & Putty Lab
ages 8+ $29.99
Do your kids love slime like mine? This is a great starter kit for kids to make 8 types of slime and putty including magnetic putty, fluffy slime, and glow0in0the-dark putty. Includes storage tins and accessories and a 16-page guide. Non-toxic.
LEGO Creator Skate House
ages 8+ $31.99
Build a cool skate house with skateboard, scooter, skate ramp, monkey bars, and a climbing wall. Rebuilds into a Games Arcade with game room machines or a toy Skate Park.
The Ultimate Book of Sharks (National Geographic Kids) by Brian Skerry
ages 7+ $13.51
Gorgeous photographs, eye-catching displays, and tons of informational insets make this book a must-own for shark lovers. Kids will read about different shark species, shark life cycles, myths vs. reality, and shark fossils.
ages 8+ $39.99
The Alexa Dot was our successful compromise with our teenager who still wanted to listen to her music when we would let her have screens in her bedroom. But, it’s become a favorite way to play music for both our kids. It’s voice-controlled and you can use it as an alarm, speaker, timer, and more.
Sphero BOLT Robot
ages 8+ $149.99
This is the latest Sphero app-enabled robot. Isn’t it the coolest looking one yet? Learn to code through hands-on activities to program infrared, compass, light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, and motor encoders. Drive BOLT and play games. 2+ hours of battery.
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
ages 9 – 14 $99.99
878 pieces to build Hogwarts Great Hall complete with house banners, movable spiral staircase, potions room, treasure room, and magic items. It features 10 figures, too: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Susan Bones, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Albus Dumbledore and Nearly Headless Nick and Professor Quirrell.
littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit
Ages 9+ $149.95
Marvel fans, make your own gauntlet! Snap together the electronics to build circuits the customize your gauntlet. Videos for over 18 in-app activities, wearable Tech sensors, in-app block coding, customizable LED Matrix light design, and authentic Marvel Avengers sound effects.
National Geographic Rock Tumbler
Ages 8+ $69.99
Get your kids into geology! Start polishing your own gems with the included half lbs of gemstones, rock information, and jewelry fastenings. (Try this with the National Geographic Mega Gemstone Mine!)
Creative Cosmetics Lab
Ages 8+ $32.49
Mix personalized soaps, bath bombs, salt scrubs, and more. A 32-page guide shows the science, history and step-by-step directions. Safe chemicals and substances, jars and stickers included.
Gravitrax Starter Set
Ages 8+ $54.99
It’s an educational marble run like you’ve never seen! Kids design race tracks to use gravity, magnetism, and kinetics to propel the ball to the finish. 100+ pieces.
LEGO Millenium Falcon
Ages 9 – 14 $169.95
Star Wars fans — Han Solo’s infamous plane is a must own. Now you can build this newest version with 1414 pieces. You’ll also get the figures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, Lando Calrissian, and Quay Tolsite plus a Kessel droid and DD-BD droid.
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit
Ages 8 – 12 $11.72
This is National Geographic’s first fictional book series with full-color illustrations that hits the spot with an exciting mix of science, technology, adventure, and mystery. Newly accepted into the prestigious Explorer Academy for science and exploration, Cruz realizes that someone is trying to kill him; someone who doesn’t want him finding out about his mother’s mysterious research and untimely death. There’s tons of cool tech, amazing friendships, plot twists, plus an intriguing premise! It will make a great gift for any child who is reading chapter books.
LEGO Forest Machine
ages 10+ $149.16
Build a durable Forest Machine with motorized pneumatic crane boom and grabber with this advanced building set. This is a 2-in-1 model that can be rebuilt into a Log Loader both logging equipment toys are powered up with LEGO Power Functions.
Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker
Bose high-quality sound with a waterproof, silicone exterior. Charge up to give yourself 8 hours of play time on the go. It’s compatible with Google Now and Siri.
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!