Math Toys and Science Toys

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I know it’s hard to believe, since I come across as dumber than dirt, but I was something of a math whiz as a kid. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but I actually sort of liked math, and I certainly appreciated a good hearty round of Spirograph.

Science, not so much. I think our school was on a mission to make science as boring as possible, and when it wasn’t numbing our minds, it was presented in the form of a repulsive, formaldehyde-smelling frog. No thank you, science.

Do we even know how lucky our kids are nowadays that they have opportunities out the veritable wazoo to interact with math and science concepts in fun ways? And do we even know how lucky we are that these kids are going to grow up to cure cancer, clone our beloved pets and keep us alive forever?

I present to you a roundup of some really, really, super-duper, nerdy-cool, STEM-riffic math toys and science toys.

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This body magnet puzzle says it’s for ages 7 and up, but my 5 year old is obsessed with the innards of humans. This little item will be ours. Oh yes it will.

Nerd alert! Start exposing your wee little kiddos to math and science concepts as they’re learning the alphabet. In no time they’ll have absorbed enough information to get a full ride to MIT.

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I’m always a sucker for projecting stars or moons or other space items into the room of a child. I can’t think of a more magical, awe-inspiring way to fall asleep each night. And this is even cooler, because you build the projector yourself!

Tessellation templates for exploring all sorts of animal patterns in wonderful, Escher-esque ways.

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Um, every family in the whole world should own Spirograph. I was so excited when this came back on the market a few years back, and it’s not lost any of its obsessive, design-making goodness.

Green Kid Crafts has a science pack kit. This is freaking cool, it’s 3 boxes that each explore a different science theme, and you end up with fun finished products to keep- (bath bombs, a magnet friend, etc.)

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Going OLD SKOOL with these wooden blocks, but every single child should have these to play with. There are all sorts of mathy concepts kids can explore with blocks.

The Inventions Kit by Science Whiz is all sorts of sciencey fun packed into a box. They have lots of different kits to choose from, but this one boasts that you can:”Build a spinning motor, a clicking telegraph, a light flashing generator and a real radio!” HOLLA!

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Art meets science as you watch ants set up a home in this weird blue gel substance. This is much prettier than the nasty dirt-filled ant farm I had as a kid.

And then there’s Geometric Origami. I am in love with this- you get to learn how to make cool geometric shapes using one or multiple folded pieces, and it comes with a DVD. Brilliant.

Coolest science and math toys for kids

See all of the gift guides in our 12 Days of Shopping:

Day 1: DIY or Buy Advent Calendars – see Pragmatic Mom’s post on a DIY gratitude Advent calendar.

Day 2: Gifts That Give Back – Mine • Mia’s

Day 3: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids – My post on Gender Neutral gifts • Mia’s post on Gender bending gifts

Day 4: Gifts for Those Impossible to Shop for – My postMia’s post

Day 5: Gifts for Reluctant Artists- My post on Gifts for Reluctant ArtistsMia’s post on Gifts for Reluctant Artists and Gifts for Reluctant Readers

Day 6: Oops, I Did It Again; Worst Gifts Ever – My tacky gifts post • Mia’s post on ugly Christmas sweaters and other terrible gifts

Day 7: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones – My postMia’s post

Day 8: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts- My postMia’s post

Day 9: Gift Ideas for Clients (mine) •Gifts for Those Easily Forgotten (Mia’s post)

Day 10: Gifts for New Year’s Resolutions – my postMia’s post

Day 11: My post: Easy Holiday DIY Gifts • Mia’s post: Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts

Day 12: The Art of the Thank You Note- My post and Mia’s post

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2 Comments

  1. 11/09/2014 / 6:55 am

    You really find the coolest stuff on the planet. I love that you have STEAM toys too like the Testellations, Spirography and Geometric Origami. CREATIVITY is the root of math and science problem solving, which is probably why you are great at math. As for your science experience, the old school way of teaching science was memorization — so boring. Thank goodness science is taught as enquiry problem solving these days so it’s much more like science if it were your job and much more interesting!

    • 11/09/2014 / 12:48 pm

      I’m so thrilled about the approach switch to Science teaching. Fen is actually finding Science fun, because it’s actually interesting! Isn’t it so wonderful how art and math and science can all be integrated beautifully together to create fantastic learning experiences for our kids?

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