Being a science-minded person myself, my wife often searches for gifts that might appeal to my nerdy side. For our 5-year wedding anniversary, she found a website that printed and framed an image of the night sky with the stars positioned as they appeared on our wedding night that now hangs in our living room. Similar examples can be found here and here. Other examples in this vein include companies that will print an image of the position of the planets at any moment in history; examples include printing on metal, wood, acrylic, or onto t-shirts.
What if you could hold every element in the world in your hands at the same time? Or at least the ones that are safe to hold! You or your geeky loved ones can with a special periodic table that encapsulates little bits of each element in an acrylic holder. It’s a visually interesting conversation starter when displayed in your science friends’ home or office, see here.
Another go-to source when I’m looking for science-y gifts (or something fun for myself!) is Geek Wrapped. This site constantly finds new and interesting science products that range from incredibly useful to comically silly. Examples on sale now include an “Unbreakable Mechanical Pencil” to a “Giant Bag of Marshmallows”. Get lost in all the nerdiness here.
For those naturally curious kids, there are many ways to satisfy the science bug or to encourage it in those who may need a nudge in the science direction. National Geographic is always an excellent source to inspire kids to act like real scientists and Explorers. They feature a wide variety of interactive STEM toys, projects, and books to activate busy hands and minds. Kids can crack open real geode rocks to reveal the crystals inside or build their own solar-powered mars rover. Get in on all the action here.
Some of the big toy manufacturers have embraced STEM versions of their traditional toys. Lego™ has included scientists and engineers in several of their City series including a Volcano series featuring National Geographic Explorer and Geoscientist Andrés Ruzo; although ‘retired’ by Lego, Amazon has it in stock here. Many of the Barbie™ Career Dolls are actually scientists including Entomologist, Astrophysicist, and Robotics Engineer dolls as examples, find them all here.
Several companies have hit on a subscription service which sends a different science activity in a box each month to various age kids. There is a wide variety of these science subscription kits and you can see some of the best options summarized here.