Great gifts to foster STEM skills – 2018 gift guide

As well as being fun, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) toys and books are a great way to build skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness and critical thinking.

We’ve chosen a range of toys and books to help curious children everywhere develop an interest in science and discovery.

All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys “Toymark award” – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right.

Clive is a Nurse

Clive is very proud of his nurse’s outfit and nurse’s kit. He enjoys bandaging Amy, sponge washing Penguin, feeding pasta to baby and checking inside Crocodile’s mouth. Meantime, Anisa is busy driving her ambulance and Wilfred is happily wrapping up his own patients in a soft, pink-hearted, blankie. The latest addition to this fresh, every-delightful, series about Clive and his friends who role play, happily free of gender stereotypes and limitations.

Recommended age 1-3

£4.99 Letterbox Library

Super Structures

But how do they stay up and what are they built from? Super Structures has all the answers! Ever wondered how these wonders of modern engineering and achitecture actually stand the test of time? Here is the answer – and something to investigate as well. Looking at super structures from around the world, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Eiffel Tower, this fascinating kit explores how each of them have been built, the forces that are at play and the materials that have been used.

Recommended age – 8+

£14.99 Whirligig Toys

Adi’s Perfect Patterns and Loops

 

Best friends Adi and Gabi love to play with Adi’s toy train. Round and round it goes – choo choo! Watching it loop around the track gives the girls an idea. These scientific thinkers use their computer coding knowledge to put the train to work!

£7.99 from Nickel Books

Fossil Hunter Lottie

It’s the summer holidays and Lottie can’t wait to go to Lincoln Cliff Beach to look for fossils. With her special rock hammer and backpack full of useful gear, Lottie is ready for an adventure at the cliffs by the sea. It is so exciting to think that she might make her own scientific discovery! What will she find? An ammonite? A bone from a plesiosaur? Or maybe even a dinosaur…!

Fossil Hunter and Stargazer are special edition dolls designed to promote women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Recommended ages 3+

£18.99 from Rachel’s Toy Shop

Make Your Own Clock

Putting the cogs together creates a working mechanical clock; it even has a pendulum and a bell. The best part: no batteries required, it runs on science. The finished clock measures 21 cm across. This kit comes with illustrated instructions, so it can be used by children as young as 6.

Recommended age: 6+ years

£17.99 from GenNeu

Kidnoculars

These colourful binoculars have been specifically designed for children. They have focus-free, 2x magnification and are lightweight and durable. The eye pieces are perfect for small explorers with enlarged eye pieces and a neck strap with a quick release safety feature.

Measurements w.192 x h.203 x d.19mm

Recommended age 3+

£10.95 from Toys Will Be Toys

Melissa & Doug Wooden Cutting Fruit

 

 

Wooden set features a wooden knife and seven pieces of sliceable fruit that can be cut into a total of seventeen pieces. Food makes a fun “CRUNCH” sound when sliced. With so many pieces, it’s also a great way to introduce the concepts of part, whole and fractions!

Recommended age 3+

£18.50 from Buttercup

 

The Mae Jemison Astronaut Activity Box

The Mae Jemison box contains everything you need for the aspiring astronaut in your life. This box includes an astronaut hat, a 26-page activity book, paper dolls, a glow in the dark star and an experiment to create and decorate various balloon rockets including balloons, stars, tissue paper, string and a straw.

Recommended ages 3+

£25.00 from Ingenues

Our Solar System

Packed with information, this book opens before us like a tunnel through space, enabling us to make a fascinating tour of the planets in our solar system. Revised and updated, the new edition of this three-dimensional information book encourages children to study interesting data about each of the planets. Larger trim size and additional spread.

£7.99 from Child’s Play

Bright Creatures Kit by Tech Will Save Us

The Bright Creatures Kit is part of the Dough Universe, designed for children ages 4-7 to teach the fundamentals of how electricity works through play. Hands-on learning about electricity and circuits with electro dough. Create fire-breathing dragon and penguins with glowing wings!

Recommended 4+

Available In Store at Wellcome Shop, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE
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Little Wise Sea Life Kit

The Little Wise Sea Life Kit is an educational toy offering a fun and interactive way to support early learning for young children aged 3-6. Everything comes in a travel friendly A5 size box, including:
Everything you need to make a sea life collage (i.e. an A4 folding magnetic and board card collage background and magnetic shapes);
A colouring-in sheet of the completed collage;
A bag of fun facts about sea life; and
A very informative educational resource which is bursting with ideas of how the kit can be used to support early learning across the age ranges 3-5 and 5-6.

The box is designed with a tray lid, perfect for keeping all the different shapes safe while creating collages on the move! An ideal travel friendly toy.

Recommended age: 3 – 6

£13.99 from Little Wise Toys

How Things Work

How Things Work is a hands-on, action-packed book to share with young children. Join Koko and the explorers as they take things apart and see how they work.
• What makes machines go?
• What are sound and light?
• How do we measure?
• Make your own TV show!
• Play a glass orchestra

And much more.

Recommended 3+

£12.95 at Okido

Activity House

This is a unique multifunction activity house combining initial mathematical & shape sorting skills in a fun way. It comes with shapes including fish and duck for your child to master shape sorting. It has a clock on one side which allows a door to unlock and be opened when the minute hand reaches ’12’. The roof has a sliding abacus style colourful counting frame on one side and a basic mathematical number game on the other to start your little one on the road to elementary numbers and maths in a fun and motivated way. The set contains house shaped activity centre, shape blocks, learning clock, abacus counter and an elementary number game, with an approximate assembled size of 20 x 18 x 19cm.

Suitable for 3+

£18.85 from Wood and Wonder


For more stereotype-free shopping, check out our Toymark directory of great inclusive retailers.

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