6 STEM Gifts for Smart Kid Middle Schoolers

If you’ve been around Great Peace Academy before you know my son loves all things science, technology, engineering, art, and math. In other words he loves STEM activities. Below I’m sharing 6+ STEM gifts for kids who are enthralled by these areas of learning.

6 Awesome STEM Gifts for Middle School Smart Kids | GreatPeaceAcademy.com #ihsnet

His mind is constantly active and it’s hard even for him to fall asleep at night because he’s always thinking about engineering, or drawing something.  Even when he’s processing an activity he’s whistling, humming, snapping his fingers in rhythm because his active, creative mind simply must have an outlet for the many prolific thoughts that are zooming through his brain at any given moment.

Finding something that isn’t digital to entice him into creative play, well, is sometimes super hard to-do. He’s currently sort of obsessed with Minecraft. Which is fine on the one hand, it’s an engineering minded kids dream. On the other hand, I don’t want him staring at a screen all day. 

I received some of the products listed below for free in exchange for this review post. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. This post contains affiliate links to 3rd party sites where products purchased may result in paid compensation for this blogger. 

When I want to challenge my son in kid-friendly way, incorporate strategy, STEM, and fun and is NOT digital, or involve screen-time. I turn to Mindware.com. If you aren’t familiar with Mindware they make brainy toys for kids of all ages, 2 years through adults. They carry educational toys like robots, chemistry sets, brainteaser puzzles, STEM toys, and so much more. These are items the whole family will love. 

  • Keva Structures – These simple wooden planks offer children of all ages a chance to explore their creative side. Whether your child is interested in engineering, architecture, or simply likes imaginative play, these planks make creativity come alive in 3 dimensions. Just think of your child building a bridge, a tunnel, a house, the Sear’s tower, the Eiffel tower, or any engineered structure they can imagine.

6 Awesome STEM Gifts for Middle School Smart Kids | GreatPeaceAcademy.com #ihsnet
These planks allow a child to explore, hands on, theories of force, gravity, balance, foundations, dimension, shape and structure. Made from 100% natural maple wood, these planks will last so long that you’ll be passing them on to the grandkids in 20 years.Combine this set with Keva Connect, Wrecking Ball, Catapult or others for even more STEM Studies.

  • Keva Maker Bot Maze – Taking the idea of Keva Structures a bit further this kit allows children to build creative mazes and use the two provided mini-bots to find their way through the maze.This STEM activity helps children in creative, strategic thinking, construction and engineering.
  • Perplexus – This has been a family favorite for years. In fact you’ll sometimes find me playing with it! It’s a challenging maze inside a ball. The goal is to roll a tiny ball across, around, up, down, ledges and tracks from start to end with 100 landing spots between. It’s much more challenging than you can imagine. My son loved it so much that we ended up getting him Epic Perplexus, and Perplexus Twist as well.
  • Qwirkle & Qwirkle Cubes – These strategy games are both simple and complex. Simply, your goal is to match either shapes or colors and get six in a row, which is a Qwirkle. Sounds simple right? But, it’s harder than you think because you can’t mix a row of colors with a row of shapes, and you can’t repeat the same shape within the row.

Add to that you are playing against others you’ll soon discover there is a lot of strategy at play. My young man loves to play with the strategy of blocking. He likes to block paths that might lead to a Qwirkle. My husband likes to play with the strategy of bating someone into playing a row of 5 so he can swoop in and get the Qwirkle.

Me? I love to find ways to get a double Qwirkle by playing tiles that form a cross, L-shape or parallel. There are so many ways strategic ways to play Qwirkle or Qwirkle Cube, this game will soon become a family game night favorite. 

6 Awesome STEM Gifts for Middle School Smart Kids | GreatPeaceAcademy.com #ihsnet

  • Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 – This build your own marble maze is super easy to put together but can be as complex as the child can imagine. Each colorful cube directs the marbles, right, left, or, forward, back, or funneled down.They interconnect with each other to create an endless possibility of maze type combinations. The 2.0 kit comes with 72 cubes but there are other cube kits available and they can all be interconnected. Q-Ba-Maze encourages, STEM, physics, basic engineering, strategy & fine-motor skills, creativity, and logical thinking.
  • Science Academy Kits Eco Forensic Kit, helps kids to explore forensics, chemistry, and earth science. This kit helps kids to learn about water pollution, and how the sun plays a vital role in keeping our water sources clean. Don’t worry mom if you aren’t a science professor, the step-by-step instructions will walk your kids in the how-to of forensic science study.

Are you familiar with Mindware? Their educational toys, games, and other products are super easy ways to encourage your children in sneaky, hands-on learning when they least expect they’re learning. They’ll laugh, they’ll be amazed, and they’ll be thinking strategically and be building logic and reasoning skills all while spending an afternoon or evening having fun. 

Tell me which Mindware product you have used in the past or are looking to try out in the near future.

 

 

 

 

This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s Gift Guides.

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