EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: 2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Explore Science Concepts with Smithsonian STEM Toys! #educationalgifts

2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Explore Science Concepts with Smithsonian STEM Toys! #educationalgifts

As a former educator, STEM gifts are on my gift-giving list every holiday season. If you aren't totally familiar with what STEM stands for, it's an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Toys and kits with the STEM label on them indicate that they provide opportunities for kids to explore these areas as they play. 

This year I'm so excited to share about Smithsonian's line of STEM toys and kits! They are truly exceptional, providing hours of fun while allowing kids to learn about science concepts in engaging and developmentally appropriate ways. It's never too early to feed children's curiosity. Who knows what special interests will grow from it! Check out four of my gift suggestions below:

  • Smithsonian Wave Machine - We love this wave machine as an educational STEM toy. It's a fun way to get kids excited about science and think more critically about nature. Our family was able to learn about the physics of waves in our oceans and seas while putting it together (which was easy), and once it's built is so relaxing to watch and enjoy. Great activity to work on together. 

  • Smithsonian Prehistorian Sea Monster Kit - This kit allows you to hatch your own prehistoric pets and watch them grow to over 20x their size to learn about evolution of species millions of years ago. The instructions were super easy to follow and the kit comes with everything you need to create the aquarium of triops, just add the water. The color poster was deemed 'So Cool!' by the kids and it was fun to see them so into learning about science. We really like that it wasn't a one and done kit, but something they could watch and learn from over time.

  • Smithsonian Newton's Cradle Science Kit - This kit gave us such nostalgia! We loved playing with these as a kid and this week our family had a blast with it together. The quality is really nice and it looks like something you could display in an office. It was easy to talk about momentum with the kids and show the effects. Since it's a topic covered in elementary school, it was a great tie in to the science curriculum. We recommended it to the teachers as a great model for kids to explore with at a super reasonable price. It took literally seconds to put together, just stick the rods in the base. The pamphlet inside provides directions, if you need it and information about Newton and physics on the other side. 

  • Smithsonian Perpetual Motion Kit - We can't say enough about the quality of this model and the amount of opportunities it provides for kids to learn. Our family had a great time learning about thermodynamics, batteries, magnets, magnetic fields and the effects of force at age-appropriate levels. It was really fun to talk about how magnets were used long ago and compare them to how we use them today. If you're looking for Science-related toys for your kids, we definitely recommend it. It also looks nice as a decorative piece in the office or living room. 

In addition to children's gifts, these make excellent teacher gifts as well, to go along with their science curriculum.

Where to Purchase
Head over to to order these STEM toys directly to your door in time for the holidays! Be sure to browse the entire Smithsonian collection while you're there.

Disclosure: The products in this post were provided by Smithsonian. As always, our posts are our own opinions.