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12 fantastic STEM Christmas gifts for kids

21 November 2023

These awesome STEM gifts are sure to educate and inspire the child in your life this Christmas.

12 fantastic STEM Christmas gifts for kids
These STEM gifts will delight kids of all ages this Christmas. Image credit: Shutterstock

Believe it or not, Christmas is just a few weeks away.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday (24-27 November) sales soon to hit the shops, we’ve compiled a gift guide of our top 12 STEM educational toys of 2023.

Have you got a child in your life who’s already taking a shine to science and engineering?

These 12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) gifts are perfect for our little – and not so little – engineers of the future.

1. Kiwi Crates, by KiwiCo

  • Age: 0-16 years
  • Guide price: Various prices - see

Want your kids to have fun while unleashing their creativity? Kiwi Crates are the perfect gift to stimulate the imagination of the STEM-loving child in your life.

Catering for all age groups, Kiwi is a subscription-based service with exciting new projects to explore each month.

There’s something for everyone, with boxes ranging from the ‘Koala Crate’ for kids aged between three and four to a ‘Tinker Crate’ for those aged nine to 16.

Browse their range of holiday projects to add an extra sprinkle of magic to a child’s Christmas.

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2. Design and Drill See-Through Creative Workshop, by Learning Resources

  • Age: 3+ years
  • Guide price: £47.95

Do you know a child who already loves to build?

This ‘Design and Drill’ set from Learning Resources is ideal for the architects and engineers of the future.

The kit includes a working drill, screwdriver, and combination wrench, helping kids learn all about the basics of construction.

If they’re stuck for inspiration, there are also 10 activity cards included to get them inspired – and if they want to get extra-creative, they can even make their own.

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3. Artie Max, by Educational Insights

  • Age: 8+ years
  • Guide price: £79.99

Would you like the child in your life to learn how to program, but in a way that is creative, accessible, and super fun?

Enter Artie Max, the adorable robot who will have kids programming in no time.

They can program Artie to draw different designs – and Artie will bring them to life through dazzling works of art.

The best thing about this brilliant STEM toy is that it’s ideal for everyone, from complete beginners to more experienced coders.

Kids with more advanced programming skills can code Artie in Blockly, Snap!, JavaScript, Python and C++, while those new to programming can get started by using Artie’s pre-programmed codes.

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4. Thames and Kosmos CREATTO 3D Light-Up Puzzles

  • Age: 8+ years
  • Guide price: £12.00

CREATTO’s 3D puzzles seamlessly combine engineering skills, such as fine motor skills, with creativity and crafting to bring incredible creations to life.

CREATTO consists of just two primary components that can be woven into numerous 3D creations, with the plastic tiles simply interlocking together to form the design.

For the festive season, we love this Northern Lights Polar Bear and Pals set.

This set has 41 Creatto pieces and 20 LED lights which kids can craft into a polar bear, baby seal, snowflake or even a snowboarding polar bear.

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5. Washed Ashore: Making Art from Ocean Plastic

Angela Haseltine Pozzi's penguin sculpture made from plastic waste. Image credit: Shutterstock

Age: 6-10 years

Guide price: £16.19

With increasing concern about climate change and the danger it poses to our planet and its creatures, this book is as timely as it is creative.

After artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi discovered plastic waste at her nearby beach, she decided it was time to act.

She formed an organisation called Washed Ashore and created a series of incredible sculptures of wildlife created from plastic pollution.

This book by Kelly Crull exhibits the results of Pozzi’s work.

It showcases spectacular images of the sculptures, alongside fun challenges that encourage kids to uncover the debris hidden in each sculpture.

It provides the perfect introduction to sustainability by combining art with education.

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6. Roller Coaster Challenge, by ThinkFun

  • Age: 6+ years
  • Guide price: £40.27

If you’ve read our blog on 7 amazing jobs that you can do as a civil engineer, you’ll already know that building roller coasters is just one of the incredible jobs you can do in the engineering industry.

But kids needn’t wait until adulthood to start building roller coasters – this fantastic roller coaster challenge by Think Fun will have children becoming roller coaster engineers in no time!

If that’s not exciting enough, the structure is transformed into a game, combining learning with fun. A series of challenge cards will provide them with everything they need to get started.

After designing a 3D roller coaster, complete with curves, loops and drops, they have the satisfaction of sending the coaster car spiralling down the track and seeing all their hard work pay off.

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7. Over the Moon: The Novelization, by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

  • Age: 8-12 years
  • Guide price: £6.99

If you’re worried that the kids are going to spend too much time staring at the TV this Christmas, here’s another brilliant book to get them excited about engineering.

Over The Moon is based on Netflix’s animated film of the same name. It tells the story of Fei Fei, a young girl who builds a rocket ship to the moon in the hope of proving the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess.

Packed with magic, science, and adventure, Over the Moon: The Novelization is a heart-warming and educational gift for aspiring engineers.

Want to discover even more incredible books that will get kids excited about civil engineering? Check out our blog on 11 inspiring books that teach children about engineering for even more gift ideas.

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8. Magna-Tiles, by Valtech

  • Age: 3+ years
  • Guide price: £29.99

Magna-Tiles were the brainchild of a Japanese professor of mathematics, who thought that the best way to teach kids maths and STEM was to let them experience it hands-on.

The magnetic tiles click together, creating two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects.

When it comes to Magna-Tiles, the sky is the limit – kids can create everything from houses to skyscrapers!

With sets ranging from jungle animals to glow-in-the-dark sets, there’s something every mini-engineer can enjoy.

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9. Turing Tumble

Age: 8+ years

Guide price: £65.40

Named after Alan Turing, who pioneered the machine behind the first computer, Turing Tumble helps kids combine logic and engineering by building mechanical computers using marbles.

Sound intriguing? The goal of the game is to solve logical puzzles.

You’ll go on an adventure with space engineer Alia, whose story comes to life through an anime-style comic book.

Alia has crashed into a desolate planet, where she discovers a mechanical computer that she must fix.

Here’s where real-life engineers come in. If the switches are set up correctly on the board, the marbles should follow specific patterns, unlocking the power of logic and mathematics – engineering superpowers!

For kids who want to explore more, there’s also a handy educator’s guide.

This guide will help you learn more about the key concepts and how Turing Tumble can introduce kids to coding and the basics of computer science.

There’s also a Turing Tumble practice guide, which is stuffed with extra challenges for even more fun.

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10. The Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar 2023

Advent calendars can be about so much more than sweet treats. Image credit: Shutterstock

Age: 8-99 years

Guide Price: £45.00

Who says advent calendars must be about chocolate? Kids can get stuck into 24 days of delicious science experiments during the countdown to Christmas.

Unlike chocolate, which tragically tends to disappear in seconds, the Crazy Scientist advent calendar provides hours of fun, with exciting experiments from diverse fields ranging from mechanics to optics.

Grab one now before 1 December!

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11. Let’s Start Coding: Ultimate Coding Kit

Age: 10+ years

Guide price: £212.78

STEM toys that incorporate coding into a game are a fantastic way to get kids engaged with coding from a young age.

For those interested in more advanced coding, the Let’s Start Coding kits offer them the chance to get stuck in creating programs in C++ from the outset.

The kit is a treasure trove of 23 parts, including an LCD screen, LED strip, speaker, sensors and more.

It includes access to over 100 free online projects on your desktop or laptop computer!

These kits are an invaluable way for young minds to delve into the fascinating world of coding while fostering creativity, problem-solving and hands-on experience with coding technology.

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12. Learning Resources 1-2-3 Build It! Rocket-Train-Helicopter

Age: 2+ years

Guide price: £21.99

It’s never too early to start learning, and this STEM toy for toddlers is the perfect gift to stimulate an early interest in engineering.

As you might have guessed from the title, this vibrant toy helps young children build their favourite vehicle: a rocket, train, or helicopter.

The variety this STEM gift provides is perfect for engaging young minds, while the construction of the vehicles will develop toddlers’ fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

Future transport engineers of the future, you heard it here first.

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  • Jessica Beasley, communications executive at ICE