Best Science Gifts for Kids

Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Craft Kit

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Klutz)

Your little engineer can design and build 10 moving machines that can swing, pivot, roll, lift and drop with this Klutz kit. Kids can then connect, rearrange and experiment with the machines to create a chain reaction. An 80-page instruction book will guide them through the process. (Recommended ages: 8+)

AntWorks Illuminated

Fascinations AntWorks ant farm

(Image credit: Fascinations)

If your youngster wants a pet, why not get 60 of them? The illuminated AntWorks ant farm will teach them how to care for these six-legged arthropods, as well as learn how these insects tunnel and work together to survive. The ant farm comes with a removable LED light and power adaptor, nutrient gel, magnifying glass, zoom lens, ant catching and tunnel starting tool and an instruction booklet full of facts about ants. 

The ants are not included (there's an order form in the booklet), but you can also buy the insects online in tubes. (Recommended ages: 3+)

Chem C2000

Thames & Kosmos Chemistry set

(Image credit: Thames & Kosmos)

Light the fire under your little scientist — literally! The Chem C2000 comes with an alcohol burner for experiments that need heat. The burner is just one of the 50 tools that come with the kit, along with a 128-page manual, that will help budding researchers do a total of 250 experiments. (Recommended ages: 11+)

SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Smartlab)

What's inside the human body? This human model with removable squishy organs helps answer that question as it teaches kids about anatomy. The kit has a book that takes children on a tour of the human body and encourages them to dissect away with the included tweezers and forceps. (Recommended ages: 8-16)

It's Atomic! Periodic Table Brick Tower Stacking Game

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Wood Expressions)

This block game looks surprisingly like Jenga, but it has a special science twist: The elements of the periodic table and their abbreviations are printed on each block. Playing this game can help kids become more familiar with the different elements and their symbols — a real boon for whenever they start studying chemistry in school. (Recommended ages: 10+)

Puzzle Pod Junior

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Scientifics Direct)

Do you want to give money or a gift card to a kid, but you think an envelope is too boring? The puzzle pod allows you to put cash or a gift card in the back, and then set a password with clues that the kid has to crack to open the puzzle and get the prize. This game will help the little sleuth practice logic and exercise their problem-solving skills. (Recommended ages: 8+)

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Q-Ba-Maze 2.0: Big Box

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: MindWare)

Your kid might spend the whole afternoon constructing a giant 3D maze, tweaking it and then dropping handfuls of marbles into it. The Q-Ba-Maze comes with 72 colorful plastic cups that can be connected and rearranged into winding mazes. The child will also get 20 steel marbles and a design ideas booklet that will help him or her develop visual perception skills, strategic thinking and hand-eye coordination. (Recommended ages: 5+)

New Otamatone Touch-Sensitive Electronic Musical Instrument

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Maywa Denki)

This musical instrument may look like an alien music note, but don't underestimate how much fun a kid can have with it. It "sings" with a compelling monotone voice and can be adjusted based on where players place their fingers on the music note's stem. YouTube is awash with videos of people playing Otamatones to famous songs, such as "Take On Me" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's an activity that any musical kid would enjoy. (Recommended ages: 5+)

Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: SET Enterprises)

Gather 'round the table to play Set. It's a card game that lets players make a "set," or three-card combo with cards that have similar shapes, shadings, colors or numbers on them. The constant stream of cards will train kids to look for patterns in different ways to best their opponents. (Recommended ages: 10+)

Roller Coaster Challenge

gifts for elementary school kids

(Image credit: Think Fun)

Build an amusement park in the family room with this Roller Coaster Challenge. Players can build their own roller coasters by selecting one of the 40 challenge cards, which instruct you how to set it up. Then, you have to figure which missing pieces are needed. Celebrate your creation by sending a marble down the coaster, and watch it speed around loops and hurtle down the tracks. (Recommended ages: 6+)

Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.