by Debbie Talbot
I am a forty something year old mummy to twins aged 7. I have always been proactive in doing activities with my children both at home and outside our home to help promote their learning and supplement what they are being taught at school. While there are lots of toys and games to help with maths and English, science toys sometimes get overlooked. I think that the range of STEM products available these days to help encourage science topics is fantastic, and they are not all chemistry sets! We have been trying out some of the more fun and engaging sets.
National Geographic can always be relied upon to provide real educational opportunities for kids, and in a way that makes the subject matter fun and engaging. For budding geologists, Nat Geo’s range includes some fabulous excavation kits, and there is something in there to suit all interests. These kits include a dig brick with three genuine samples to excavate, 2 excavation tools, a magnifying glass and a learning guide. We tried out the Gemstone Dig Kit and the Shark Tooth Dig Kit, both of which we thought were fabulous.
Because the kits are so hands-on, they really encouraged the kids to get involved with the subject matter, and digging deep into the learning guides to learn as much as they possibly could about their excavated samples. These are great quality, super fun and, as you would expect from a National Geographic product, genuinely educational. They are a complete bargain at £9.99 and I’m sure we’ll be treating the kids to more of their sets in future.
I remember Sea Monkeys from my own childhood, and they make a superb present for the little biologist in your life! The kits contain everything you need (bar a bit of tap water) for the kids to create their own little eco-system! The set contains your Sea Monkeys tank, a feeding scoop and three sachets – Sea Monkey eggs, water purifier and feed.
The kids loved the process of purifying the water and waiting for their new little pals to hatch. After a few days, you can really start to see them grow and develop more refined features, like little legs, before starting to feed them. They allowed us to talk about evolution, growing up and the importance of feeding, as well as algae growth and more. Whilst they’re not the most engaging of pets, the process is an engaging one and the kids enjoyed them immensely. They’re not an expensive choice at £9.99, and make a lovely educational present. Available to buy from Amazon here.
Discovery Digital Walkie Talkies
These are so much fun and bring back memories of a set of walkie talkies I had as a child. The reach is really impressive too making them perfect for outdoors fun. I can see us having hours and hours of fun with these. I think that they are fun for adults, teenagers and younger children alike. We loved using them to talk about the beauty of nature and the things we discovered in our garden. These can clearly stand up to robust play and I can see them being part of our household for many years to come. You can read our full review of this product here. At £24.99 they are affordable and would make a lovely gift.
My twins love anything construction or arts and craft related. This product combines both of these things and so is perfect for them. The 3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set is so much fun. The booklet is really easy to follow and gives ideas of projects from easy to more complicated. The only limit to this fantastic product is your imagination. I love the fact that it is designed to be safe for young children as it does not get too hot when in use. You can read our full review of the product here. At £49.99 this would make an excellent gift for a special occasion.
Xtrembots Smart Bot
My twins love anything robot related. They also enjoy problem solving toys. This Xtrembots Smart Bot is therefore perfect for them. How cool does this bot look! I was a little worried that it would be too complicated to figure out, but I need not have worried. It offers an excellent introduction to coding/programming. The facial expressions are so much fun. You can read our full review here. At £29.99 this would make a perfect gift for a special occasion.
We have thoroughly enjoyed trying out these science themed/STEM products. A sign of a good educational product is when children have so much fun playing that they do not realise they are learning.