Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Stem Toy Ideas for X-Mas


19 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Stibalfamily

Stibalfamily

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 115 posts

Posted 10 November 2017 - 10:11 PM

I want to avoid junk toys this year as much as possible. Help me pick out some STEM gift ideas for 3 and 6 year old boys. Or educational toys, or really anything that isn't Spiderman, action figures or trading cards, lol.

 

They play with bristle blocks, knex, legos and wood blocks almost everyday. They love to build. 

 

What we already have:

Snap circuits (too advanced for them on there own)

Magnatiles

legos

Knex 

tinker toys

Lincoln logs

Wood blocks

 

If you have any suggestions, especially for open ended toys, I would love to hear them. 

 



#2 Caroline

Caroline

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5617 posts

Posted 10 November 2017 - 10:15 PM

Sphero bots
Ozobots

#3 wathe

wathe

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 251 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:02 AM

Kapla.  We got them when our kids were age 3 and 4.  At age 8 and 9 they still get regular use.  Deceptively simple:  what looks like a box of kindling can be used to build amazingly complex and stable structures. 

 

ETA: The more, the better.  We started with a box of 280.  They liked them so much that we also sprung for the box of 1000.  They will often use every single piece to build really big and tall.  Spendy but awesome!


Edited by wathe, 11 November 2017 - 12:04 AM.

  • Stibalfamily likes this

#4 AdventuresinHomeschooling

AdventuresinHomeschooling

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1054 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 01:54 AM

Barnes and Noble is a great place to shop for ideas as well as Learning Resource Center.  Last year, we got science kits (Magic School Bus ones are our faves) a Stem coding mouse game, puzzles, rockets, Lego idea books, and a great magnetic roller coaster building set for a magnetic white board from LRC.  



#5 theelfqueen

theelfqueen

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1598 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:24 AM

You can buy individual crates from the kiwi crate website

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  • ScoutTN likes this

#6 Heathermomster

Heathermomster

    Isilwen Meneldur of the Woodland Realm

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4589 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:31 AM

Brock Magiscope
  • SeaConquest and Stibalfamily like this

#7 happypamama

happypamama

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9557 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:51 AM

My 6yo loooooves his Kiwi Crates. My 4yo likes his Koala Crates too, but they’re more general learning and not as much focused on STEM.

#8 lovinmyboys

lovinmyboys

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1093 posts

Posted 11 November 2017 - 03:59 PM

Kiwi crates are awesome. My 7yr old loves magformers.

#9 rushhush08

rushhush08

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 285 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:26 AM

My boys used to love a marble run by haba at that age. 

 

 


  • okbud likes this

#10 Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11811 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:44 AM

some games for logic and visual spatial ...Connect 4, dominoes, moose in the house, mille bornes (use simplified rules), labyrinth, jenga, kerplunk

 

junk box -- cardboard, carboard tubes, tape, string, spools, balls etc  remember to supervise any pulleys or string use so no one chokes...

 

maze books

 

water play...a paddle wheel, boats, etc for bathtub

 

marbles (make marble runs with things from junk box)

 

stomp rocket (buy the air one , its about $10 )

 

light brite if your 3 doesn't put things in mouth

 

 

 


Edited by Heigh Ho, 12 November 2017 - 10:46 AM.


#11 sweet2ndchance

sweet2ndchance

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 50 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:28 AM

What about tickets or a membership to a kid's science museum or playcenter? We don't celebrate Xmas anymore but when I was married to my ex-husband and we still did, I would always ask all the grandparents for memberships or tickets for experiences rather than toys. I didn't care if they bought the membership or tickets for our family or for them and the grandkids to spend a day together doing something special but I always tried to stress that we had more than enough toys for them to play with and then some but if they really want to get them something, then use the money you would spend on gifts to pay for them to experience something. Thankfully most of them listened and took the kids to MLB games, Nascar races, bought us zoo and museum memberships, paid for subscriptions to magazines, websites and monthly boxes, took them out to fancy restaurants once they were older kids/teens.


  • Earthmerlin likes this

#12 athomeontheprairie

athomeontheprairie

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2237 posts

Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:42 PM

Kapla. We got them when our kids were age 3 and 4. At age 8 and 9 they still get regular use. Deceptively simple: what looks like a box of kindling can be used to build amazingly complex and stable structures.

ETA: The more, the better. We started with a box of 280. They liked them so much that we also sprung for the box of 1000. They will often use every single piece to build really big and tall. Spendy but awesome!


May I hijack? Are these the same as Keva planks?

#13 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30867 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:26 AM

Personally, I wouldn't buy them any other toy sets. You've got a lot of good systems. For my ds what brings those to life is having stuff to use WITH them. Like I went to Dollar Tree and got him tons of supplies. You can get 

 

-twine

-rope

-duct tape

-clamps

-clothes pins

-tools

 

Just walk through there and think creatively. They have little hack saws (dangerous obviously, don't do that), all sorts of stuff. My ds LOVES their colored rope stuff. He loves the twine. The duct tape is kinda cheap. Masking tape is good. So he'll tape blocks together to create things and use rope. There's synergy with more supplies to use what he already has, kwim? Then it's all in sort of a maker bin.

 

Also consider investing in figures they can use with their blocks and systems. Playmobil people were HUGE for my ds. He has scads of them. He likes the intricate details, and they work well with blocks, etc. You can buy them in the little bags for $3 each, so instead of investing in another system, get them each like 10 or 15 people, kwim? Way more fun. We have lego people too, but the playmobil ones are bigger and nicer, I think. Or go army figures or whatever they're into. My ds is crazy into army figures now, so he combines all the pieces he owns from all these systems and builds the tanks, recreates the wars. It's pretty cute. 

 

Also consider pictorial encyclopedias in their areas of interest to drive their designs. They might like books of bridges, books of airplanes, etc. DK/Smithsonian is a place to start, then in a few years they can get more specific.

 

Btw, have you seen the K'nex education sets? You can pair the bridges set with books on bridges. None of that's independent though. 

 

You might try a class or a maker camp to inspire them. There is an org that sponsors maker camps during the summer. You could see if they have them in your area. Your 6 yo would be old enough maybe.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 14 November 2017 - 12:29 AM.

  • Earthmerlin likes this

#14 Earthmerlin

Earthmerlin

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 527 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:57 AM

I like the previous 2 posts of giving experiences, books or extension materials. We also put a premium on experiences and 'going further' with what we have. I do have a kids' maker book of ideas and a kids' wood projects book to fuel inspiration. In a different thread, I got a Nick & Tesla book, which is a mystery science-tech book series that has kids making STEM projects that go along with the storyline. Pretty cool!
  • OhElizabeth likes this

#15 athomeontheprairie

athomeontheprairie

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2237 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:43 PM

May I hijack? Are these the same as Keva planks?

Quoting myself just because...

I was curious about this, and since I haven't seen an answer, I did a google search. Which, of course, brought me right back to the Hive. Crazy. Yes, similar enough that I feel "safe" calling them the same. Just in case anyone else is wondering!

 

 



#16 Earthmerlin

Earthmerlin

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 527 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:24 PM

Quoting myself just because...
I was curious about this, and since I haven't seen an answer, I did a google search. Which, of course, brought me right back to the Hive. Crazy. Yes, similar enough that I feel "safe" calling them the same. Just in case anyone else is wondering!

LOL! Too funny!

#17 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30867 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:55 PM

I like the previous 2 posts of giving experiences, books or extension materials. We also put a premium on experiences and 'going further' with what we have. I do have a kids' maker book of ideas and a kids' wood projects book to fuel inspiration. In a different thread, I got a Nick & Tesla book, which is a mystery science-tech book series that has kids making STEM projects that go along with the storyline. Pretty cool!

 

Oh my goodness, way cool!!!



#18 wathe

wathe

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 251 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:51 PM

May I hijack? Are these the same as Keva planks?

 

More or less.  Kapla are the original, Keva the copycat.  Kapla is made from pine, Keva from maple or pine, depending of the set.

 

The pine Keva sets (those that come in the "contraptions" and "brain builders" sets) are inferior to Kapla:  We have both.  The Keva planks weren't precisely cut and some were warped.  I got rid of planks from the contraptions set, and keep the planks from the brain builders set strictly segregated from our Kapla.  I don't have any experience with the maple Keva sets.  



#19 mamakelly

mamakelly

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1265 posts

Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:23 PM

My 9 year old absolutely loves Kiwi crate. We did Tinker crate for a little while, but they were more difficult, and he had trouble doing them by himself.

#20 Homeschoolmom3

Homeschoolmom3

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 778 posts

Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:11 AM

Sounds like our boys would get along well.  :)  Here are my ideas that my son has loved and he is now 6. 

 

Citiblocs

If you are crafty - great idea to make (we are doing this for our 6 yr. old for Christmas- DIY wooden blocks

Lego Crazy Contraptions (for your 6 yr. old)

Thames & kosmos remote control machines (6 yr. old)

 

There are so many different kits for k'nex we have quite a few of those which you can expand on for normal kits.


  • Stibalfamily likes this