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Fledgling geniuses deserve gifts that match their geeky interests. With everything from puzzles and robots to model trains and DIY experiments, the educational toy market is bound to have something for the science-minded boys in your life. Here are 25 of our favorite toys and kits.
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion
Named a 2019 Construction Toy of the Year, this 116-piece gear set from Learning Resources introduces young engineers to basic building skills. They can follow instructions to create pre-designed configurations, or have the freedom to make up their own.
Motoworx Toy Rocket Launcher
Affordable, safe, and not needing batteries, this launcher will keep them entertained and running around for hours. It can shoot the foam rockets up to 100 feet in the air, and the whole thing folds up easily for storage.
Discovery Kids #Mindblown Wind Turbine Glider Kit
While we’re on things that fly, this model helps kids see firsthand how clean energy works. Once they build the turbine, it will catch the wind, turning it into electricity to power the glider through the air.
Coogam Wooden Blocks Puzzle
This wooden Tetris set is a great way to get your young ones thinking critically. Made of non-toxic materials, it’s meant for kids age 3 and up. And the millions of different combinations will keep your little guy entertained.
Homofy Dinosaur Toys Slot Car Race
For kids in their Jurassic Park stage, this race car set will make them feel like they’re in the movie. It features a flexible track that can be shaped to any course, as well as bridges and arches to drive through—and some dinosaurs, of course.
GeoSmart Flip Bot
Another build-your-own vehicle to take for a spin. With a wireless remote control, the TIA 2019 Construction Toy of the Year finalist uses rechargeable battery-operated motors to speed across the floor. And to keep it fresh, the bot works in multiple configurations.
Arres Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
Handy for your next family camping trip or backyard bonfire, Marshmallow Roasting Sticks turn s’more making into an art. The extendable tongs lend distance from the fire (and therefore safety.) Easy to clean, they’re helpful for hot dog prep, too.
Osmo Genius Starter Kit for Fire Tablet
If your kid already uses a tablet for gaming, the Game and Toy Award-winning Genius Starter Kit can help turn those digital amusements into tangible learning opportunities. It includes a Fire base (there’s also an iPad version), tangram pieces, and word and number tiles. The kit then captures what the user does live in front of the tablet, integrating those actions and pieces into five apps that help develop kids’ problem-solving skills through puzzles.
Wise Owl Outfitters Kids Hammock
Hung with ropes and carabiners, this kid-size hammock promises a sturdy place to lie down and simple setup. Bonus: It’s made with the same hardy nylon used for skydivers’ parachutes.
Original Stationery Ultimate Slime Kit
The kids have spoken, and they love slime. Take their gooey obsession to the next level by making it from scratch. This kit has everything you need for all kinds of colorful, sticky fun.
GoBroBrand Bow and Arrow Set
Let your kids live out their Robin Hood fantasies safely. The suction cup ends stick to the light-up target, so they can even play at night with no worry of flesh wounds.
Wingspan Optics NatureSport 8X32 Binoculars
Amateur bird-watchers will appreciate the crisp view of animals in motion these binoculars from Wingspan Optics afford. That 10x magnification makes them just as useful for seeing the action up close at sporting events and concerts.
9IUoom Fort-Building Kit
No more fretting over scuffed-up floors as the kids drag the furniture around. This set allows them to build the fort they want without also playing interior decorator. And the plastic stems have a bit of give in case there’s a bit of rough-housing.
Thames & Kosmos Solar Mechanics Kit
Learn about solar energy conduction and play with the power of the sun with the Solar Mechanics Kit. The 60-page booklet offers design instructions for 20 models, including vehicles, windmills, and robots—all the parts are included.
ThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game
A longtime favorite, Traffic Jam continues to challenge kids and adults alike by tasking you with maneuvering your way out of a series of increasingly tight spots. It’s great for long road trips and seemingly endless wait times, like when you’re actually stuck in traffic.
National Geographic Dual LED Student Microscope
This kit from National Geographic includes everything a kid needs to observe the life cycles of tiny creatures, including 10 prepared slides, a petri dish, an eye dropper, and a tweezer.
National Geographic Solar Model Kit
When your kid is in their (inevitable) astronaut phase, this Nat Geo set allows them to build wooden versions of the Mars Rover and Moon Buggy. Once built, they run on solar power and move around freely.
ThinkFun Domino Maze
Kids can choose to arrange this domino maze however they like in hundreds of different chain reactions or complete the increasingly difficult challenges laid out in the included cards. The goal is to build a chain from one point to another and hit the designated target. Challenges get harder as obstacles like stairs, walls, and blockers come into play.
Razor Dune Buggy
$429.99 (16% off)
They may be too young to get a license, but they can still drive this dune buggy across the lawn and in the driveway. It’s battery-powered and capable of supporting kids up to 120 pounds. And even though it tops out at 9 mph, there’s a seatbelt.
4M Water Rocket Kit
A physics lesson, science experiment, and toy combined, the Water Rocket Kit can fly 90 feet into the air harnessing water and air pressure alone.
MindWare Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Big Box
Think you have an aspiring Rube Goldberg on your hands? Get them the Q-Ba-Maze. This puzzle allows them to build maze sculptures in almost any size and shape that they want. They can then watch as marbles travel through their creation, taking a different route every time.
Vatos Building Sets
Or gift them the Vatos set if they might eventually become a future contractor or mechanic. It allows them to build either an excavator or drill car, which they can then either add to their toy collection or break down and start over.
Rokr 3D Wooden Puzzle Mechanical Model Kit
A fully functioning movie projector with a motor and hand generator, the 3D wooden puzzle kit comes with a 58-frame reel of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times. Following the instructions makes for simple construction, but there’s always the option to test logic and knowledge of mechanics by building the thing on the fly.
Let’s Start Coding Code Piano S.T.E.A.M.
Every musician needs a fallback, and there’s no better way to introduce your budding pianist to an alternative career path with the Code Piano. They can practice C++ skills through sound-based exercises, no prior coding experience necessary.
Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
With just a 15-minute construction time, the mBot doesn’t require hours of engineering. (Still, add-on packs allow for upgrades and personalization if they find the initial build too easy.) And once it’s up and running, kids can use a phone or tablet to program commands, which the mBot will respond to in real time.
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