Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

19 Gift Ideas for Kids Who Love Science

 

Primary Science Outdoor Discovery Set

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Learning Resources
Price: $29.99

This kit uses common household ingredients, pebbles, twigs and bugs, and craft items to conduct and complete 10 different experiments. It includes three plastic plant pots, watering can, bug jar with vented lid, ten activity cards, three plant stakes, sprouting jar, solid lid and handy scoopers for creating the projects. The “extra” items needed to complete the experiments – such as craft supplies, carrots (preferably with greens), popcorn kernels, seeds (flowers and beans) and blue food coloring – are inexpensive and easy to find if not on hand.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Kids First Science Laboratory

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $50.00

Packaged in a clear storage/carrying case, this hands on introduction to science kit includes 25 pieces (large six hole disk, small test tube, 2 small lids, 2 large lids, large connector for the large sieve disk, 2 funnel vessels, small connector, 2 measuring spoons, magnetic rings with stand, magnifying glass, large test tube, test tube rack) a 16-page instruction guide for parents, and 10 laminated experiment cards. Common household ingredients are needed for the experiments ranging from Sour Milk, to Making Rain, to Bending a Pencil.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

DIY Electro Dough Kit

Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: Technology Will Save Us
Price: $27.00

What could a kid love more than playing with dough? Playing with dough that lights up and makes noise, of course! This kit contains a recipe and instructions to make conductive dough as well as a cookie cutters, a variety of LED lights, wires, and a battery pack.

The purposefully minimal manual explains important electrical concepts and vocabulary. It also gives basic instructions and diagrams on how to wire the components to light LEDs, create a buzzer, button, and even a tilt switch. The kit is an engaging, hands-on way to teach children the basics of electricity while encouraging imagination, creativity, and experimentation.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

GeoSafari Jr. Subscope

Ages: 3 – 6 yrs.
Manufacturer: Educational Insights
Price: $27.99

The submarine-shaped water-resistant light up magnifying scope lets young aquatic explorers see what swims and lives in the water without submerging their heads. Colorful, durable, and easy to use, the 2-eye viewer fits comfortably around a child’s small face. There’s even a notch cut out for the scope to rest on the bridge of a nose. The 2x magnification and the LED lights illuminate what lurks beneath the water’s surface. Our testers, from bubble bathers to pond pioneers and sand/water table surveyors, were delighted by their discoveries.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Smartscope

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Ravensburger
Price: $44.99

This microscope allows children to view magnified objects through their smart device (e.g., phone, tablet, etc.). The kit includes pieces to build the scope and a variety of tools for collecting and examining specimens: tweezers, petri dish, pipette, object holder, cover plates, tablet support, storage/carrying pouch, and a 33″x23″ poster with ideas for observations.

The scope gets children excited about microscopy as well as nature as they explore various environments to find specimens to examine. This innovative blending of screen and real world, introduces a variety of scientific topics, vocabulary, and observation techniques.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Discovery Kids: Dinosaur Skull Dig

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Horizon Group USA
Price: $19.99

This kit includes: one earthen block with dinosaur skull encased, a wooden chisel, wooden mallet, paint brush, display stand, sticker sheet, poster, and instructions. Children use the enclosed tools, which mimic those sometimes used by real paleontologists, to remove the dinosaur skull from the earthen block.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Science Academy Volcano Lab

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: MindWare
Price: $24.95

While a volcano kit is not original, we appreciated that this one is based on the twin crater volcanic island Little Sitkin near Alaska – and we could easily find it on a map.

The manual was informative and the instructions for eight different experiments were clear and included pictures, making it easy to follow along. Kids can make fizzing lava bombs, three different types of eruptions, a mineral spring, crystallized mineral salts and learn about detecting mineral gasses.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Circuit Maze™

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: ThinkFun Inc.
Price: $29.99

This game combines the challenging fun of logic puzzles with the educational experience of building electrical circuits. In a series of sixty increasingly difficult puzzles, each building on the experience of the earlier levels, players have to place circuit pieces to light the LED units while meeting the restraints of the puzzle card.

Its an excellent next step for a child who already enjoys logic games and is interested in learning some science while trying something slightly more advanced.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $99.99

This science kit contains all of the parts needed to assemble approximately 10 different remote control cars (one at a time), a simple, front-back, left-right controller and an instruction manual which outlines experiments to test skill and simple physics.

Children with any interest in cars or in building machines will be mesmerized for hours on end building and testing model cars.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Wind Power 3.0

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $54.95

This kit includes components to build and power models, and a well-designed 32 page manual with experiments, lessons, and information about wind as power.

Building the models can prompt discussions ranging from science and weather to politics, and road infrastructure to kitchen appliances. Extended learning at its best.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Koantum

Ages: 5 – 12 yrs.
Publisher: Koantum
URL: www.koantum.com

Koantum is colorful, friendly, interactive, science website for elementary students that proves useful tool for parents or teachers who want to complement and bolster the science curriculum kids are learning in their classrooms.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

The Big Book of Dinosaurs

Ages: 5 – 8 yrs.
Publisher: DK Publishing
Hardcover Price: $14.99

This big book containing lots of big illustrations of big (and a few small) dinosaurs is an updated edition of DK Publishing’s 1994 Big Book of Dinosaurs.

Dinosaur books for kids are hardly rare, but that doesn’t mean kindergarten and elementary-school aged dinosaur lovers won’t find these long-extinct and mysterious monsters totally mesmerizing.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

Ages: 6 – 10 yrs.
Author: Gwendolyn Hooks
Illustrator: Colin Bootman
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Hardcover Price: $17.95

A biography of Vivien Thomas, an African American man who designed tiny needles and instruments to facilitate infant cardiac surgery. He was a life-saving pioneer but did not receive the credit he was due until late in his life.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Dr. Bonyfide Presents: Bones of the Rib Cage and Spine

Ages: 7 & Up
Publisher: Know Yourself
Hardcover Price: $18.00

This colorful workbook is no Gray’s Anatomy, but it does flesh out the parts, positions, purposes and pronunciations of the 51 bones in the spine and rib cage for youngsters willing to bone up on the human frame.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. Magazines

Ages: 7 & Up
Publisher: National Wildlife Federation
Newsstand Price: $4.99
Subscription Price: $19.95 / 10 Issues

Ranger Rick offers excellent reading material for children who are interested in wildlife and who enjoy nature writing. Each issue offers a variety of articles, including nonfiction features on particular animals, brief news blurbs about conservation issues and initiatives, and a running cartoon strip about the fictionalized adventures of Rick and his animal friends.

Ranger Rick Jr., offers nature-themed stories, photographs, and puzzles for children not yet ready for Ranger Rick.

Click here and here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards reviews and click here to purchase.

 

 

Eco Kids Planet

Ages: 7 – 11 yrs.
Publisher: Eco Kids Planet Limited
Newsstand Price: $5.00
Subscription Price: $46.00 / 11 Issues

Each issue of the advertising-free publication focuses on a different biome: sample issues included the African Savannah, the African Congo Rainforest, the Eastern Himalayas, and India. The heavy-duty pages (made from environmentally-friendly paper and inks) are meant to be read, saved, and re-read.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Brainspace Magazine

Ages: 8 – 13 yrs.
Publisher: Brainspace Publishing Inc.
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $32.95 / 4 Issues

Each issue of Brainspace is full of stories and short items, contests, fun facts and compelling visuals, all well done. Its topics include science, history, geography, language arts, and music-all of it going beyond the textbook approach.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Owl Magazine

Ages: 9 – 13 yrs.
Publisher: Owlkids Publishing
Newsstand Price: $5.25
Subscription Price: $34.95 / 10 Issues

This magazine is packed with great facts and articles from a range of S.T.E.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, all conveyed in a dynamic and student-friendly manner. Its also loaded with non-fiction text features-abundant photos, captions, sidebars, diagrams, as well as fun games, crafts, comics, and brainteasers.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Muse

Ages: 9 – 14 yrs.
Publisher: Cricket Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

This S.T.E.M. focused magazine contains a high caliber of  intelligent, informative content, and includes the  recent subjects:  “100 Years of General Relativity,” nanotechnology, a teenage cancer researcher, the future of biofuels, and developments in clean water technology.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.