As the kids get older and the more aware I am about the importance of STEM/STEAM education, I’ve been on the hunt for some fun STEAM gifts that keep the kids learning. I came to a realization very slowly as Jordan got deeper and deeper into design and design thinking with the help of Project Unicorn… She’s jumped deep into the STEAM world!
These days, I’m trying to find additional ways to expand her brain and learning. Project Unicorn wasn’t just something she worked on. It was fun. And she continues to have fun with it. Why not spike additional enjoyment. I’ve researched but not purchased items from all of this list. But when I have a pile of slush STEAM money, I will buy more. By the way, none of these companies paid me to create this list. These are just really cool products!
Born Just Right’s 2017 Holiday STEAM List
- KiwiCo – I have purchased KiwiCo Crate boxes through KiwiCo for a number of years as a gift to a couple of really cool kids we know in Washington, DC. I kind of wish I subscribed to the boxes for Jordan and Cameron as well! Not only can you buy boxes that encourage creativity along with STEAM concepts, you can purchase items whenever. There are fun items for a really wide range of ages.
- LittleBits – I’ve purchased LittleBits for a number of years for Jordan to invent fun ideas. She has created a doorbell for her room, superhero armbands and a bunch of other little inventions that she discovered by playing with the mix and match circuits. The electronic block company even teamed up with Disney this year to create a Star Wars droid kit. The creative options are endless. What I like the most about LittleBits is how as you continue to learn about what is possible, with the blocks, you can keep purchasing extra kits and build on top of the ones you already have. You don’t age out of these circuits, you just keep growing.
- Jewelbots – We discovered Jewelbots through the amazing STEAM communities out on the Internet. Jordan had a chance to be interviewed by the community and she had a chance to test out Jewelbots. It requires a basic understanding of Arduino. But in the end, you have the opportunity to code your bracelet to show whatever colors and patterns you want. You can even code it to react when you’re near another friend who is wearing a Jewelbot!
- SparkFun Electronics – The game Rock, Paper, Scissors will never be the same after I played with SparkFun’s electronic version of the competition. I learned about the company while attending SXSW. The company is producing a concept similar to LittleBits but you need to put a little more elbow grease into the build process and use a soldering kit. I am seriously considering snagging one of their kits for the holidays. (I hope the kids don’t read this!)
- Shapeways – This isn’t a kit but you can purchase all kinds of really cool 3D printed designs on the Shapeways website. I’m thinking of purchasing a couple so the kids can print them out on our 3D printer. We have a few different colors and they could choose the final look of the projects. Plus, I’m supporting other 3D designers when I purchase a design or three!
I know there are other great STEAM ideas out there. Let me know if you have other companies you like to work with to snag creative and fun gifts this year. I love learning about new companies and great ways to learn and have fun at the same time.