If your goal is to give the gift of knowledge this year, we’ve got the perfect selection for you. We looked through the plethora of awesome gifts in this years guide and selected the ones that stand out as perfect items to inspire learning. Here is our selection, to make your holiday a smarter one.
This starter kit gives you everything you need to start observing science in the microscopic world. The microscope itself ranges from 120x to 1200x magnification. It offers a built-in light source (powered by two AA batteries, included) as well as a mirror for using natural light. The ABS carry case stores the microscope and supplies — blank slides and covers, tweezers, eye dropper, Petri dish, and more.
What better way to learn about how computers work than to build one? The Piper Kids Computer Kit takes you through the process of building an actual computer out of a Raspberry Pi. Once it’s built, you can play Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition or even learn to code. You don’t simply plop the parts together based on instructions. There is a fun process of following the story mode in Minecraft to have you assemble things, ultimately resulting in your own computer.
Learn to solder while building a mini racing robot with this kit. Practice your skills by mounting 18 components to the PCB body, as well as the integrated chip, motor, and mechanical assembly. Plug in a 9V battery and watch it run wild as its LED lights flash.
LittleBits magnetic connectors are easy enough for younger kids, while the color coding is straightforward for older kids. The acrylic droid body is sturdy, and holds up to hard hugs from a 4-year-old. The kids will love the included missions, digging deep into the intuitive Droid Inventor Training App to learn how to control and manage their droid, though there were a few dropouts related to poor cell coverage. As with all littleBits kits, everything is interchangeable and you can keep adding more parts from the ecosystem to extend your droid’s abilities.
Build vibrant science experiments with this set — erupting volcano, glow worms, rubber goo, and more. Comes with inks, fizzy tabs, graduated cylinder, brushes, slime mix, and all the other pieces needed to do 16 projects right out of the box, and 50 projects using everyday items from around the house.
Many of us makers started out cobbling together radios as children. That crackle when you hear the first of the broadcasts that your very own radio picks up will stick with you forever. Share that moment with this DIY FM radio kit. Unlike finicky old radios, this one has the ability to auto scan, pinpointing broadcasts to listen to.
Learning how to brew your own beer is easy with this classic beginner’s setup — food-grade plastic buckets for fermenting and bottling, fermentation airlock, hydrometer for testing your beer’s strength, and bottling gear. Our resident brewmaster learned with a similar kit 20 years ago and is still homebrewing today. This kit is nicely documented, affordable, and stocked with a few extras including Star San sanitizer (indispensable) and nylon mesh bags for dry hopping or full grain brewing (when you’re ready to up your game from malt-extract beginner brews). Just add barley malt, hops, and a big old pot for your stovetop and you’re all set.