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Ultimate STEM Gifts for Kids

by Stem_ED

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is all the rage and kids love that these STEM gifts are hands-on and engaging and grown ups love that they prepare students for their STEM-filled future. Whether you’re on the hunt for a birthday gift, holiday present or just-because treat, these STEM gifts are sure to be a hit!

This post contains our favorite Amazon affiliate links.

When it comes to STEM, my kids and I can’t get enough. So pulling together a list of our favorite STEM gifts was a true labor of love. Every one of the goodies was kid-tested and strongly approved.


STEM Gifts

1. Want tons of kid-friendly activities in one spot?! Grab the Christmas STEAM eBook! Build Christmas trees out of nuts and bolts, paint tie dye snowflakes, print and play North Pole Dominoes and so much more.

2. LEGOS are one of those gifts that keeps giving and giving. Kids use the instruction book to build the included design and then stretch their imagination to create brand new projects.

3. For a STEM gift with some serious “wow” factor, give kids their own robot: Dash! Using simple Apple and Android apps, young engineers program Dash to move, dance, make sounds… it’s limitless.

4. Kids who love to tinker LOVE Snap Circuits. (It’s my 5 year old’s hands-down favorite!) Using the snap together parts, children build light circuits, radios, doorbells and alarms – learning about electricity along the way.


5. Do you love homemade gifts?! Grab some supplies at the Dollar Store and make a DIY science kit!

6. Or build and rebuild marble rolls. The easy to use kits combine into infinite combinations so the possibilities are truly endless.

7. And speaking of building, Magna-Tiles are a fun way to work on engineering skills and learn about the force of magnetism at the same time. Kids can even make magnetic cars that really roll using this car set.

8. Learn about outer space with a new telescope that magnifies the sky by more than 90X.


9. Grow dozens of dazzling crystals as young scientists learn about the structure and geometry of crystals.

10. Build a spinning ferris wheel and then use the K’nex pieces to design rolling cars, playful monsters, soaring skyscrapers and more.

11. The perfect STEM gift for preschoolers is this science kit. It includes everything they need to set up their very own science lab – goggles, a lab coat, beakers… even simple experiment cards to get them started.

12. Use a batch of pattern blocks to learn about shapes and then piece them together to design bright and colorful pictures. Our roll and cover pattern block mats are the perfect way to add in some counting and addition practice too!


13. Build engineering skills by challenging kids to a game of Jenga.

14. For scientists who are ready to take a closer look at the world (literally!) give them a beginner microscope.

15. This set of challenges is perfect for children who love brain teasers. (Watch out Einstein! You’ve got competition.)

16. Animal lovers will go wild over watching real caterpillars grow their chrysalises and then emerge as butterflies with this kit.


17. Do you have young detectives in the making? They will love solving real mysteries with these 8 activities.

18. Work on counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with Head Full of Numbers.

19. Learn all about animals with the National Geographic Kids Almanac.

20. And finally, create and crack codes with the addictive and fun game of Masterminds!

The post Ultimate STEM Gifts for Kids appeared first on The Stem Laboratory.

Christmas Escapes

by Stem_ED

Oh, how we love the month of December! And it’s a perfect time for a Christmas Escape event! The first time we tried an escape room the students were hooked and when I started creating these events for holidays I was hooked.

The engagement is high because students love the escapes and the competition. And we are secretly practicing skills with every Christmas Escape!

Christmas Escape Rooms are a great way to keep students engaged at a busy time of year! Three different escapes are featured in this post.

Three Versions of a Christmas Escape!

I have three different escapes for December. Each has fun components and a different level of prep.

Escape for Christmas- a locked box event that includes puzzles to solve to unlock each box!

The Christmas Escape

This is a typical escape room with locks and boxes to open.

Students complete three tasks to find the lock code numbers for three boxes.

They will solve math problems, track a path through a maze, and complete a word search puzzle that reveals a code word.

Best news about this one is that it includes a STEM Challenge.

The STEM challenge is to build a sleigh that will carry toys down a zip line. This is a STEM Quick Challenge that can be set up and used in a short amount of time. 

Yes, a zip line! This is such a fun STEM Challenge- all kids love zip lines!

Escape the North Pole- a paper/pencil escape room with a minimum of prep! Just copy and go!

Escape the North Pole

This Christmas Escape has students completing 4 tasks. Each task will lead to an answer- either a number or words. When students show the answer to you, they have “unlocked that task” and will be awarded a “cookie’” The paper cookies are included in this resource. After getting through the last task the team has escaped the North Pole.

Best news about this Christmas Escape is the low prep- just make copies- no boxes or locks!

Escape Santa's Toy Shop- a digital breakout with no copies to make, no locks, no boxes.

Escape Santa’s Toy Shop

In this Christmas Escape students will tackle four tasks in a Google Slides presentation. Each task focuses on a different skill.

This includes a logic puzzle, multiplication word problems, figurative language, and irregular verbs.

When they have solved the four puzzles, they use the lock codes and click through to the Unlock page in Google Forms. If they have the correct codes, they will Escape Santa’s Toy Shop!

The best news about this Christmas Escape is that it is all digital! No copies to make, no laminating, just add to Google Classroom and go!

So, if this busy upcoming month has you worried, just click on any of the images and get more details about these three fabulous Christmas Escape events!

You might also enjoy these Christmas blog posts:

Christmas Escape Rooms are a great way to keep students engaged at a busy time of year! Three different escapes are featured in this post.

The post Christmas Escapes appeared first on Teachers are Terrific.

Two Books for the Win!

by Stem_ED

Roommaid and Objects of My Affection

Are you ready for two books being reviewed? I normally (or at least for the past three months) review one book each Tuesday. As I was reading these two at the same time I noticed some similarities and decided they would work perfectly as a comparison review. Two books for the win!

Two books for the win reviewed on this post- Roommaid by Sariah Wilson is the story of a disinherited wealthy young woman that takes a job as the housekeeper for a man who offers the position in lieu of rent. Review on this blog post.

In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that with your purchase of items Amazon will pass on small percentages to me. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!

Roommaid by Sariah Wilson

Madison Huntingdon is a wealthy young woman that decides to forgo joining her family’s business even with her parent’s threat of disowning her. She graduates from college with an education degree and takes a job as a teacher. Her parents carry through on their threat and Madison finds herself sleeping on a friend’s couch and trying to survive on a teacher’s salary.

Her aunt Frederica comes to the rescue and they go apartment hunting. Every apartment is woefully small or infested with bugs or just painfully dilapidated and then Frederica offers a tempting plan to Madison.

Would Madison be willing to be the housekeeper for a man that has a lavish apartment- in exchange for not paying rent? Hmmm…. what do you think?

Madison meets Tyler Roth who lives in a penthouse style apartment overlooking the city and by all appearances he is wealthy.

Of course, she takes the job and then things go awry.

Has Madison ever done any cleaning in her life?

Of course not! Her home had a butler and countless housekeepers and cooks. Madison has never even loaded a dishwasher or done her own laundry. Somehow, she is supposed to take care of this apartment and Tyler’s dog.

I’m guessing by this point you know exactly what is going to happen next in this book, so let’s move on to the second book!

Objects of my Affection by Jill Smolinksi is the story of a woman hired to clean out a home who finds more than just a mess. Review on this blog post about two books you will love!

Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinksi

Lucy Bloom has just been dumped by her boyfriend, she’s flat broke, and has had to sell her house to support the care of her young adult, drug-addicted son. She is trying to start over and pull herself together.

And then she finds out about a job that is right up her alley. Lucy is a personal organizer and it seems that Marva Meier Rios, a wealthy artist-painter, needs help with her home. It needs to be organized.

Well, not so much. It is not organization that Marva needs. The elderly woman is a hoarder and her home is cluttered in every room with piles of her belongings and things she has purchased for no particular reason. Lucy has her hands full with this prickly older woman that really does not want to turn loose of any of her belongings.

Marva, however, has asked for her home to be cleared out and it must be done by a certain date. With this strict deadline, Lucy dives in and begins the job.

Lucy, unfortunately, is distracted by many things as she tries to clear the rooms of Marva’s treasures.

Her son, Ashe, is in a rehab facility and she wants to hear from him, but rarely does.

Lucy’s helper in Marva’s home is Nico, an incredible handsome younger man that Lucy is attracted to.

And there is Daniel- the boyfriend that broke up with her. He appears one day to the scene of Marva’s home because he buys objects of art to resell. He is also enamored with Marva and her painting background. He wants to meet her and help her find a missing painting that was done many, many years prior. And, of course, he and Lucy might still have a ‘thing’.

I’m also guessing you know exactly where this book is headed!

Winning with both Books

Let’s just get this out there right now- both books are chick-lit. Both are lighthearted and funny. Both involve wealthy people that have lost everything and fight back. Both have the inevitable conclusion you can usually guess in a chick-lit book! But, both were very good. I enjoyed them and I think you will, too. Two books for the win indeed- 4 stars for each!

You might enjoy these books, too:

My rating system: 5 stars means perfection- the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it. This might include the way it ended. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.

Two books for the win reviewed on this post- Roommaid by Sariah Wilson is the story of a disinherited wealthy young woman that takes a job as the housekeeper for a man who offers the position in lieu of rent. Review on this blog post.
Objects of my Affection by Jill Smolinksi is the story of a woman hired to clean out a home who finds more than just a mess. Review on this blog post about two books you will love!

The post Two Books for the Win! appeared first on Teachers are Terrific.