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My Primary Tutor's Top STEM Christmas Recommendations!




Christmas is well on the way now, and if you're anything like us you might be beginning to panic about making sure that some of the gifts we give to our children are educational as well as fun!


Fortunately, we've done all the work for you, and have come up with a list of gifts we love - this week there is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths focus.



Stocking Filler


Horrible Science - Perilous Planes.


There's so much to love about this set - it includes a few different flight-types including a parachute and a model aircraft, and kids will love making them and then playing with them! There's so much to be learned about here - lift, forces, all sorts of physics!


Even better, it's very wallet friendly at £7.50!




Crystal Growing


Some chemistry here!


The way to get crystals to grow is by getting a supersaturated solution (usually salt or sugar) and this kit with help your kids to grow some fantastic ones. It's always fascinating to see the shapes that crystals grow in - such a creative way that nature works in!


Potato Clock


This one is a bit retro but the science behind it never gets old!


A potato clock is powered by acid within the potato reacting with a positive and a negative electrode. When the reaction occurs, electrons flow between the materials, generating an electric current. The kids will absolutely love it!



A bit more expensive


Code and Go Robot Mouse


Before children can be ready to code computers, they need to be able to see the principle in action on a larger scale. This codeable mouse can be given a set of directions before being told to go - at which point it will perform the list of commands it was given!


It helps children particularly with the language of position and direction, as well as building up the ability to hold more than one instruction in their head at once, which is surprisingly hard!



Pepper Mint Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure



Problem solving, engineering and electronics - this toy covers a lot of bases. Even better, it's got a female character at it's centre and we've said before, we NEED more girls in STEM fields! It tells a story as the learning takes place, and we love the combination of creative with science.




Introduction to Engineering



This kit is AWESOME. Science-wise, its focus is on levers, forces and pulleys. Fun-wise, it has several projects to work on - wind up cars, parachutes, helicopters and even a diving bell!





Budget Busters


LEGO Mindstorms Robot Builder Kit


I mean...at a hefty £330, this is likely to be several birthdays and Christmases combined, but there's no denying this kit is amazing when it comes to STEM skills-building. Engineering goes into the build, and once it's finished it can be coded and controlled from a smartphone. Definitely for the older in the primary age group, this robot is expensive, but we think it will be played with for years.


Osmo Coding Starter Set




Not quite as eye-poppingly expensive as the Lego, Osmo Coding sets are well reviewed and generally known to be a great entry-level piece of kit for kids learning to code. You *do* have to have an iPad or a Fire tablet as well, though, and you should check carefully to make sure that your version is the correct one to run the software.




Sphero BOLT



This codeable robot is a bit like a swizzier, more functional version of the mouse mentioned above. It's a transparent sphere which can move and which is controlled from an app. The coding can be as simple as drawing a shape in the app which the robot then follows on the ground all the way up to full Javascript code.

There is also a second app that can be downloaded which allows you to play games with the robot (be warned though - one of them involves the robot going faster and faster the more your child screams at it - definitely not parent friendly!)

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