FAVORITE OVERALL GIFT
The Osmo is one of my favorite Maker Space tools because it is SO versatile! It is great as a maker-tool for creating drawings and time lapse video, but is also great for practicing math and spelling! It works with iPad 2 and up, and iPad mini.
Candy Craft Chocolate Pen
FAVORITE CRAFT GIFT
I haven't personally used this, but it seems really neat and I have heard good things about it. The candy craft chocolate pen is pretty much what it sounds like, a pen that writes in chocolate. It reminds me a lot of the 3Doodler that we have in our Maker Space, except that it writes in chocolate instead of plastic! At $30, it is pretty affordable and lots of fun. Great for spatial thinking and creativity.
GoldieBlox Ruby Rails
FAVORITE ENGINEERING TOY
All of the Goldie Blox sets are great, but this one is the newest. The kit is marketed to girls, but is really fun for anyone. Using the items in the kit, the kids have to engineer a parachute to help Ruby skydive! Search for GoldieBlox on Amazon and you'll find lots of other great engineering kits. They're around $20 per kit which is pretty affordable for an engineering kit.
Sphero BB-8 Robot
Sphero is a robotic ball that you control using an iPad or tablet. The cool thing about it is that you can actually write code to control it and it is compatible with a few different apps. If the BB-8 is out of your price range ($149) or you aren't shopping for a Star Wars fan, the regular Sphero is a little more affordable (~$100). This is great for learning how to code (good at reinforcing mathematical thinking too!)
- Geronimo Stilton Series
- Little House on the Prairie Series
- American Chillers Series
- Michigan Chillers Series
- Captain Underpants Series
- Big Nate Series
A few more favorites:
These little robots are pretty cool! They are controlled through color codes on paper or on the Ozobot app. The kids have loved playing with the ones in our Maker Space. They are great for building critical thinking skills.
There are TONS of Snap Circuit kits out there and they're all great! These are awesome for teaching the basics of electrical circuits, but also can teach more complex electrical concepts depending on the kit you get. Great for problem solving and critical thinking.
ALEX Toys Craft Giant Art Jar
This is a great collection of odds and ends art supplies! What I love about this is that it isn't a "kit". It doesn't tell the kids what to make or how to make it, allowing for creativity and exploration.