Holiday Gift Ideas for E (3rd-5th Grade Boy)
Look past the packaging or non-descriptive name, this STEM device encourages little scientists to explore their world and see it up close. My kids had a blast looking through microscopes at the Health and Science Museum in Houston. Now we can bring a little of that home with us. uHandy is a microscope that attaches to your smart phone or tablet, using the camera app. Simply apply samples onto a reusable sticker that you can apply to the lens. When the sample is not in use, you can apply the sticker to a book for documentation and to look again in the future. Our son had a great time with this… he even plucked his own eyebrow to examine!
For your art lover. Coco Color is a digital stylus ($35) that works for iOS and Android devices. This gadget has buttons that allow you to quickly change drawing and painting tools, along with colors and tip/brush size — making 768 combinations, to create colorful works of art. This was more difficult to use for younger children but our 9-year-old son got the hang of it fairly quickly. The best part are the two companion apps that the Coco Color work with, Voyages is filled with interesting art that could take one months to complete.
This is a surprisingly fun craft for boys (I would say 1st-3rd grade). I’m always looking to balance gifts that don’t involve a ‘screen’. The stylus is used to punch colorful fabric pieces into a premade football pillow that took our son about two total hours in three sittings.
Tinker Crate boxes are $20/month and are filled with projects that encourage problem-solving skills while kids create things like trebuchets and motors following step-by-step (and age-appropriate) instructions. While the projects sound complicated, they’re anything but! They’re designed to build confidence and encourage kids without frustrating them. Each month, a box will arrive with all of the materials kids need to complete the project and a blueprint for getting there. An accompanying magazine, called Tinker Zine, features cartoon strips, science-based stories, and additional activities kids can do with their completed projects.
The Aetherlight is a online action-adventure game for children 10-13 but our nine year old had no problems with it. We played this game on our home computer, the game retells Biblical scripture in a science fiction environment, where players work with the Resistance to overthrow the Emperor and his Automaton army. Craft new equipment and work with friends to aid the resistance in turn-based combat. In addition, The Aetherlight Bible is a companion Bible that connects players of the game to Scripture.
For purposes of evaluation, we were given each of these products to test and determine their eligibility for our Holiday Guide. All written opinions are our own.