I have a confession. When it comes to gift giving, I am loathed to purchase a frivolous gift. Throw in a little “kiasu” and you get a gift list that offers multiple benefits in one. Lucky for me, it is possible to find something that is both “fun” and “educational” for a gift.
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
We love Kano. We have the Computer Kit and the Pixel Kit (and are waiting for the Camera and Speaker Kit we backed on Kickstarter which will also come with a Motion Sensor). This was something G1 made with the Pixel Kit for school:
I digress… back to the Kano Wand Kit which we got for G2 for his birthday. Here’s what you can do with it:
- Build a wand that responds to your movements. Comes with wand parts, PCB with codeable LED, button, batteries, step-by-step book, stickers, poster, and free Kano app.
- Learn to code with 70+ step-by-step creative challenges. Make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, pumpkins grow, and more.
- Wave your wand and see instant effects on screen. Create with creatures, sweets, spells, 200+ exclusive sounds, music, and Wizarding artefacts.
- Endless play with Kano world. Remix art, games, and music made by a creative community.
The Kano Wand Kit with most tablets and computers and requires no prior coding experience.
LittleBits have expanded quite a bit since we first came across them in 2014. Now they have:
littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit
Build your own super hero gear and code your own super hero powers. littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit allows kids to control their gauntlet with a smart device and give it new abilities using the accompanying Avengers Hero Inventor App. With over 18 activities, step-by-step video instructions and open challenges, kids can learn coding fundamentals like loops, logic, images, and sound.
- encourages creativity
- offers easy coding
- teaches STEAM skills
- has real world applications
- teaches circuit fundamentals
- develops lifelong learning skills
More littleBits Inventor Kits:
- Star Wars Droid – build and control your own R2 unit
- Electronic Music – build, customise and play an electric guitar
- Space Rover
- Gizmos and Gadgets
- Crawly Creature
- Arcade Game
- Base Inventor Kit
Osmo is a clever game design that combines the digital world with the real world. Kids use physical objects to interact with the game on the iPad.
New Osmo Games:
- Detective Agency
- Hotwheels Mindracers
- Super Studio – learn to draw your favourite characters:
The are many benefits for playing board games, among which is the development of executive functions – key to success in life. These are two card games that we have really enjoyed playing this year:
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Got ourselves a cool new card game to play… . Unstable Unicorns. Build a unicorn army. Betray your friends. Unicorns are you friends now. . G2 didn’t like it. He hates being the bad guy. That boy has a heart of gold. But also means he never wins ? . G1: bwahahahaha… I am the rightful ruler of all things magical. . Guess we know who’s the megalomaniac… . . . #figur8 #cardgames #unstableunicorns #familyfun #nurtureforthefuture #funandgames
Check out the following posts for more interesting board games and card games:
- Brilliant Science Board Games
- Board Games for Developing the Brain
- One Player Board Games by Smart Games
- Pokemon Trading Card Game
- Mah Jong
- Educational Themed Jigsaw Puzzles
Elenco Snap Circuits
Elenco Snap Circuits give children a hands-on experience to learning about electronic circuits. Kits come with color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. Recommended for children 8 and older, each set offers do-it-yourself projects that will give your child an entertaining, concrete education on how electronics work.
Magformers – for Fun, for Creativity, for STEAM Education
Innovators of the future are sure to love the building experience with the Magformers. Aimed at the architects of the future, kids can build large free-form structures from vehicles, castles, robots and more. Follow along with the wide variety of model structures available in the guidebook or come up with your own designs. Future mathematicians are able to enhance their STEM skills through 2D to 3D net building using Magnetic shapes and new RC Remote, Watch Remote and Power Blocks to create a huge variety of Magformers builds.
Goldie Blox – engineering toys for girls
Designed especially for girls age 5-9 with the aim to nurture a generation of girls who are more confident, courageous and tech-savvy.
GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit
GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit is the ultimate expansion pack for the most adventurous innovator! With more than 190 pieces, GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit offers hours of fun and endless possibilities. Goldie’s Diary of Inventions (included in the Builder’s Survival Kit), offers kids a wide-eyed perspective of Goldie’s world, her friends and family, and all of her secret inventions. From budding engineers to master architects, GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit gives inventors the freedom to chose their own difficulty level. With included prompts, kids can build simple and small or big and bold. Kids develop spatial skills through basic engineering principles while building their reading skills and confidence in problem solving.
Engino – toys for budding engineers
Cubetto – Coding for Little Kids
Teach young children how to code through adventures with Cubetto:
- Cubetto Gets Lost – A fast-paced ride through a bustling metropolis. Negotiate high traffic between dizzying skyscrapers, and take in the parks, markets and landmarks. Beep beep! What a buzz!
- Cubetto’s Class Trip – A historical journey to the Great Pyramids. Learn about long-lost civilizations and hieroglyphics. Unearth ancient treasures, and solve the Sphinx mysteries.
- Cubetto’s Deep Dive – A submarine voyage below the waves. From bubbling underwater volcanoes, to sunken treasures. Swim beneath the icebergs of the North Sea, and up again.
- Cubetto’s Polar Expedition – A heart-thumping Arctic race. Slick through icy plains, past polar bears and weather stations. Travel by starlight under the Northern Lights.
- Cubetto Leaves Earth – A trip to the fringes of our solar system. Visit the International Space Station, Mars, and Jupiter. Wave at our pale blue dot from the depths of our galaxy.
- Cubetto’s Swampy Adventure – Take an airboat ride through a misty marshland. A world filled with exotic plants and animals. Take in the sights, and make some friends along the way.
A gift list would not be complete without books. If you’re looking for book ideas, try some of our recommendations: