This is the time of year when I sit down with a cup of coffee and a pad of paper in my warm slippers and brainstorm. I try to figure out what gifts I will get family, friends, the kids, our parents, etc., etc., etc. I quickly feel happy anticipation being taken over as my pulse begins to get a little faster and I feel tension in my shoulders.
Why? This is the point when I realize how long the list is and that somehow I have miscalculated time and money yet again. That list might suddenly turn into a doodle pad instead of the meticulous list I had planned. My perfectionist tendencies can totally taken over and become the Grinch if I let them.
It seems there always a few people that stump me every year. I have no idea what to do sometimes and I have turned with my last shred of hope to online gift guides. I will search for hours to try to get good gift ideas.
It just gets worse every year as the kids in the family are getting older and let’s be real teenagers are all about the cash. Gift giving is an expression of gratitude that this person is in your life. Cash doesn’t quite do that for me.
A Little STEM Help
If you have a person that is into science, technology, engineering, or math then you might want to check this out. This is a gift guide with a STEM inspired twist for the teacher, homeschooler, and/or kids in your life.
Prices vary from a few dollars to over a hundred. When it was possible, I tried to link to a list of possible resources to let you have more flexibility in budget. These are just ideas and because of the variety I haven’t used every single thing on the list, but I can tell you that if I got these under the tree I wouldn’t be disappointed. I have provided affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.
These are STEM inspired gifts for a teacher or homeschool parent:
- STEAM Kids (ebook editions)
- Hands-On Engineering
- compound microscope (quality isn’t directly related to price, but you aren’t going to get a good microscope for $30)
- dissecting supplies
- science coffee mugs
- stuffed microbes
- fun calculators This one in particular looks awesome.
- fun rulers
- gift cards: amazon, starbucks, target, etc.
- Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit
- Doctor Dreadful Scabs and Guts Board Game
- Let’s Start Coding Ultimate Kit: Learn Real Code, Build Real Things
- helicopters r/c
- Play-Doh Case of Colors, Pack of 10
- building blocks
- Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
- Make Your Own Slime
- Make Your Own Lip Gloss
- Insect Lore Original Butterfly Garden with Voucher
- Microbiology Kit
Create Your Own STEM Inspired Gifts
I will be talking about creating STEAM inspired kits over the next couple of weeks, but wanted to provide a list for the early shoppers.
Electricity and Engineering:
- Light UP: copper tape/led lights/button batteries/colored papers (any kind of paper is fine, but I like colored cardstock). This is a basic kit to create projects like the Spider with Light Up Eyes.
- Bridges: straws/paperclips/index cards/tape/100 pennies/ instruction Check out the Bridge Build DIY Kit
- Laws of Motion: Toy Car Tracks/Cars/Balls/Stopwatch/Experiment Ideas
- Math and More: Rubik’s Cube/ Tetris Type Puzzles/ Sumoku or Other Math Games
- Stethoscope/blood typing kit (simulated blood ) (real blood)/ and x-rays
- Owl pellet dissection/ Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
- Books on birds, tree, flowers, etc. / binoculars/nature journal
- Mentos /Diet Coke/ Goggles (I prefer ones that wrap around the eye and have an elastic back for better eye protection)/ apron
- Color tabs, baking soda, vinegar
I will be posting about these make your own kits and some of the other things mentioned on this list in the coming weeks. Hope you have a great rest of the week and if you are in the U.S. – Happy Thanksgiving!
Homeschoolers: The Ultimate Homeschool Organization eCourse from Kristi Clover is on sale today through Cyber Monday. You can grab it or (have someone else grab it for you as a gift) at a great deal- $37. You can read my review here.