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mBot robot kit
The mBot is a STEM Educational Robot Kit that gives you hands on experience in programming, electronics and robotics. It contains 38 assembly parts that can be assembled in 10 minutes and color-labeled RJ25 ports for convenient wiring. A drag-and-drop graphical programming software makes it quick and easy for the user to learn programming, control the robot and realize multiple functions of the robot. $99.99
R2-D2 by Sphero
R2-D2 by Sphero is controllable with a smart device has it has front and rear LED lights that are fully functional and an integrated speaker so that beeps and boops come out of R2-D2. Artoo can interact with other Star Wars App-enabled Droids by Sphero. $179.99
National Geographic dinosaurs with VR mode
National Geographic has four different dinosaurs available with a virtual reality mode that uses X-ray vision to view its bone structure, learn fun facts and take photos. Choose from T-Rex, Triceratops, Velociraptor or Spinosaurus. $24.99 for the T-Rex, Triceratops or Spinosaurus, and $14.99 for the Velociraptor.
The Sphero Mini is a tiny, app-enabled robotic ball that can be driven with the Sphero Mini app or with facial expressions with the new Face Drive feature. $49.99.
Awesome Women Who Changed History: Paper Dolls
A great way to encourage children to pursue STEM fun is with Awesome Women Who Changed History: Paper Dolls. This empowering paper doll collection includes famous women from history and modern times, such as Sally Ride, Harriet Tubman and Jane Goodall. $12.99
littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
The littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit is for ages 8+ and it allows kids to create their own custom Droid. By using the free Droid Inventor app, they can teach their R2 unit new tricks and take it on more than 16 different missions. $99.95.
The Merge Cube is only $14.99 and it allows a child to hold and interact with holograms in the palm of their hand. It merges the physical and digital worlds using augmented reality in conjunction with a smartphone. By launching VR mode, it allows the use of virtual reality goggles such as Merge VR Goggles.
Snoopy Snow Brawl Game
codeSpark Academy is an award-winning educational subscription service for kids ages 5 to 10 to teach them the fundamentals of computer science and coding skills. Every child can receive access to coding for free with the debut of Snoopy Snow Brawl. The game is available now through Jan. 15, 2018 as part of code.org‘s Hour of Code initiative. Service is $7.99 per month.
Comprised of the Techno Sounds Kit, Bright Creatures Kit and Electro Machines Kit, Dough Universe teaches kids ages 4-7 about electronics through good old-fashioned messy play. The kits use conductive dough and basic circuits to teach the fundamentals of electricity through light, movement and sound. Each kit retails for $49.99.
Science Expeditions kit
Little Passports’ science subscription Science Expeditions is for ages 9 and older. Each month kids are sent a comic book story from characters Max and Sofia, who are looking for help to solve real-life scientific mysteries. The mysteries can be solved through science experiments, hands-on STEM activities and more. Monthly themes include rockets, forensic science, vision, caves and crystals and hydrology. The experiments encourage interdisciplinary thinking — widely thought of as STEM activities — which include science, technology, engineering and math principles. $18.95 to $21.95 per month.
RoboticsU by Ablix
RoboticsU by Abilix is a self-driving robot kit that features more than 400 pieces and components, including motors, gyroscopes and more. There are a variety of games and robots to design in each kit, with five complete projects and a guide to creating your own. There’s an app to teach and guide a child using the kit. $199
Structures, buildings and bridges discovery kit
This STEM construction kit introduces mechanical engineering to kids with complex bridge and building concepts easy to understand. $33.98
Through Dec. 11, 2017, Bayer is donating the full value of each STEM toy sold on Hearthsong to Toys for Tots. Here is the full list of STEM toys eligible for this donation.
Parrot Swing Minidrone
The Parrot Swing Minidrone is a supersonic plane with autopilot and a vertical take-off and landing mode. With the Parrot Flypad controller, kids can use it to fly like a pro. $59.99
Soft Circuits Kit
ChickTech’s Soft Circuits Kit is a fun combination of electronics, software, and art. Using the materials in the kit, kids will learn the basics of electronic circuits and coding with Arduino and create a LED bracelet and a unique and interactive tote bag. $99
KIBO robot kits
Designed for open-ended play, KIBO from from KinderLab Robotics will allow kids to create anything from a character in a story, to a carousel, a dancer or even a race helicopter. A child creates a program using the wooden KIBO blocks. They scan the blocks with the KIBO body to tell the robot what to do. They press the button and the robot comes alive. Kits range from $229 to $499.
Marbotic's learning system
Marbotic’s learning system blends classic wooden blocks with iPad apps to teach reading, counting and basic math. Set-up is simple; place the wooden blocks shaped like letters and numbers on an iPad, which will receive them like a sheet of paper. Kids can then use those blocks to play a variety of games, complete puzzles, or form words on their own in free-play mode. For children ages 3-6. $89.99
- 2017 Gift Guide: Best tech gifts for adults and teens (TechRepublic)
- Raspberry Pi gift guide: The best choices for Christmas 2017 (TechRepublic)
- Gallery: 20 bad tech gifts to avoid giving during the 2017 holiday season (TechRepublic)
- 2017 holiday buyer’s guide (CNET)
- Best gifts: Practically indestructible gadgets (ZDNet)