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STEAM Gift Guide

It is that time of year again. Time to find the perfect gift for the children in our lives.  As a STEAM Educator, I am always looking for gifts that use STEAM skills to build the 21st Century Skills that children will need to succeed.  I look for products that allow kids time to explore their world and try new things, and activities designed to encourage children to try again when they are challenged.  

For the past couple of years, I have gathered a list of items that I think do just that.  The items I have selected are all reasonably priced (under $75) and currently available on Amazon.  

Building Blocks (Ages 2 and up) 

Building blocks are a classic toy. They provide endless opportunities for creativity. The sets that I have listed below are not standard blocks. By using irregular shapes and circles/triangles, they provide more opportunities for critical thinking, problem-solving, and perseverance. Their unique designs and colors engage children to use them over and over again.

Building Sets (Ages 5 and up) 

When selecting building sets, I recommend kits that allow for creativity. While following instructions to build a kit might give children a sense of accomplishment, sets that encourage children to use their imagination to come up with their own designs will strengthen their spatial, critical thinking, and creative skills. (Always be careful with kits that contain magnets around pets and small children.)

Next-Step Marble Run Type Sets (Ages 8 and up)

Children of all ages enjoy the challenge of creating a marble run or maze.  These kits challenge older children (and adults) by adding unique building components, challenges, and concepts.

Exploration Kits (Ages 10 and Up)

Another aspect of good STEAM gifts is that they encourage children to be inquisitive.  They encourage them to ask why or how. Technology can add another level of exploration to these types of gifts.

And younger kids can explore their world with the Orboot Interactive AR Globe.

Board Games

However, good STEAM gifts do not have to be tech gifts.  Board games often use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  These board games not only do that but also about STEAM topics such as math, coding, and artificial intelligence.


Lastly, books are always a great gift.  The National Science Teachers Association came out with its list of 2022 Best STEM books. A few books from the list are highlighted below.  

These are just a few of the countless STEAM gifts available this year.  Check back as new items may be added. 

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