Updated: Jan 8
Having holiday gifts which can be played with kids is a good way for both parents and kids to have fun, especially during COVID-19 pandemic time, the whole family have to stay at home. The gift ideas include LEGO Robot Building Set, Science Experiment Kit, Board games, Marble Run set, and Biological Compound Microscope.
(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Fun Robot Building Set and Educational Coding Kit for Kids, Award-Winning STEM Learning Toy
We bought this set half a year ago as a big reward to our son. It took us one month to build the robot with spending half hour each day, three days a week. Both our son and 3 year-old daughter participated in this big project. We taught our son how to follow the instruction and let our daughter put together simple pieces. After we finished building the robot, we let our son do the coding on ipad and see the robot going forward, turning back, and so on. One thing is for sure that it is fun to review the STEM knowledge learned from school in old times with kids.
This kit contains 11 activities. Our son likes the Activity 6 (Create Giant Jiggly Crystals) best. He got blue, pink, and purple crystals and left the crystals dry in the air (with his everyday watching & playing). This kit has everything you need for experiments, and some of the pieces can be substituted with house supplies such as baking soda. Doing all these experiments with kids reminders me of my junior high chemistry classes, so long time ago though~~ Anyway, it is fun to dig out old chemistry knowledge from memory and share with children.
Enjoy dad-kids time! Since I am not good at border games, dad is for the rescue! Our son heard from his classmates that Blokus is one of the most classic & popular & basic border games in US, so he was curious and requested it. This is a fun strategy game, similar with chess, requiring a lot of thinking. In the next three months, we had to bring the game with us everywhere even when going to a picnic in the park one mile away from home. The whole family were then involved with our 3 year-old daughter handing over pieces to others. This situation ended one day after our son defeated dad three times in a row. We still play Blokus now, just not as often as before, and plan to have our son playing chess~~
Marble Run is similar to lego. Kids can use pieces to create a big or small construction(s). However, it is more difficult than building legos. First, kids need to build tunnels instead of simply putting pieces together. Second, funnels need to be put in the right places so that marbles can roll through them. We tried tall constructions first. It took awhile for marbles to go down. After kids built tall ones for several days, we encouraged them to try wide constructions. It is also fun. When they saw marbles rolling from the top to the bottom, they laughed and cheered. We also had a competition to see who could build a construction with more pieces / funnels.
AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student Biological Compound Microscope
With kids growing up, they are more and more curious about biology world. Questions like how do cells looks like, and how many legs does a ladybug has are often asked. We did a research about what kinds of microscope are better & found that compound microscopes with all metal frameworks are better used for science purposes. We also bought glass slides and covers. Then we practiced our old knowledge of biology classes with kids. Kids loved it.