Recently here on the blog we’ve looked at Fun Gifts for Kids and Great Gifts for Babies—Or Those that Have Them. Today we keep the ball rolling with a look at some excellent educational gifts for kids. And I don’t just mean toys here either. Sure, some of what we’ll cover are toys, but there are other educational items out there aside from toys that also make great gifts for kids. If you have kids on your gift giving list this year and are struggling for gift ideas, today’s blog has got you covered. Moreover, everything you’ll find has wide-ranging appeal among both boys and girls, and the age range I cover is fairly broad. Read on for a variety of great educational gift ideas for kids.

 

Educational Gifts for Kids: Smart Toys & Robotics

One of the most popular areas of educational products for kids these days is the entire category of Smart Toys & Robotics, which includes the highly educational STEM (and even STEAM) based toys. STEM toys are those that encompass one or more of the qualities of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in some key way such that kids learn the foundational principles of that field during play (often without even realizing that they’re learning while having fun). STEAM toys also throw in Art, which is a less scientific, though often more creative, area of kids’ early education and development, making it highly desirable in its own right. Let’s consider a couple of examples of smart toys for a bit more context.

 

One of the absolute coolest smart toys around is, well, pretty much anything from Sphero, though in this particular case I was mostly thinking of their latest product—the Sphero BOLT Robotic Ball. The objective of the app-enabled Sphero BOLT is to teach kids the basics of computer programming (i.e., coding). With the BOLT, kids can code by drawing, using special scratch blocks, or through text by writing JavaScript via the free Sphero EDU App. The BOLT also features a built-in compass for easy directional control, a colourful and interactive illumination matrix comprised of LED lights that’s fully programmable, and infrared (BOLT-to-BOLT) communication capabilities for enhanced games and movements using more than one ball. When it comes to providing kids with endless possibilities for learning, creativity, and fun, you just can’t beat Sphero!

 

Another big favourite with me is the littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit. I won’t go as deep into this one, but I have one of these myself, and that should probably tell you just about everything you need to know. That is to say, this toy is both seriously fun and highly educational. Not only do you get to assemble it yourself from scratch, but you can also customize much of the process (such as subbing out the main droid body with a 2 litre milk carton if you wish), and the end result is a fully programmable and app controlled Star Wars droid of your very own. How cool is that? Once fully built, this droid can draw, dance, navigate mazes, make deliveries, go on missions, take selfies, and a whole heap more besides. It even has authentic droid sound effect and movements, just like the movie droids it’s based on. Now that’s fun, and educational!

 

Educational Gifts for Kids: Board Games

It strikes me that the first thing on people’s minds when thinking about educational items for kids probably isn’t Board Games, but those are exactly what I want to consider next.

Did you know that many board games are educational? That’s right, games like the Trivial Pursuit: Classic Edition Board Game are highly educational for people of all ages. Even (perhaps I should say especially?) when the questions are far too difficult for the kids playing the game to answer, the correct answer is ultimately revealed and everyone learns something new.

Although the recommended age for Trivial Pursuit is 16 years and up, my friends and I played it a lot when we were growing up, and we always seemed to have fun and come away with some interesting new knowledge as well. With 2,400 unique questions across 6 key categories (History, Geography, Science and Nature, Art and Literature, Entertainment, and Sports and Leisure), you can’t help but learn something new every time you play the game!

 

Educational Gifts for Kids: Telescopes

Another area of highly educational gifts for kids is bound to be Telescopes. After all, what child hasn’t looked up in awe at the nighttime sky and just wondered what it all meant? If the child in your life is in any way curious at all, then he or she is bound to enjoy a telescope, and today’s models are a whole lot more than just a long cylindrical tube with curved glass at each end. Let’s take a look and see what I mean…

Consider, for instance, the Celestron Inspire 80AZ Refractor Telescope. This light-bending telescope is perfect for those in the beginning or intermediate stages of the fascinating hobby of Astronomy. It is both easy to set up and use, and it comes with a variety of fun and educational features and extras.

For instance, it includes the Sky Portal App (essentially a free digital planetarium right there in your smart phone) as well as a 1 year SLOOH Astronomer subscription (basically an online community of astronomy enthusiasts as well as an educational program that allows members to look at and learn about distant astronomical objects through a network of special telescopes providing online viewing).

Of course, the telescope itself has a number of useful features as well, but I’ll direct you to investigate those on its Best Buy product page so you can get a more complete understanding of this amazing device.

 

Educational Gifts for Kids: Computers and Tablets

When I was growing up, computers were very expensive, and only the luckiest of kids had parents that could afford them. Today, however, computers have come down in price considerably. What’s more, today we have very inexpensive tablets available to us as well, which basically provide the full computing experience in a more compact and portable size. If you’re looking for a great educational gift for the child on your list this year, you really can’t go wrong with something from the realm of Computers & Tablets.

 

Since there are so many options in this very broad category, I thought I’d select just one example of a tablet and examine what it can do. So how about the Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6″ 16GB Android 5.0 Lollipop Tablet? Kids will not only have fun playing games on this tablet, but they’ll also scour the internet for their school research projects, relax with educational videos on a multitude of interesting subjects, or try out Kids Mode (featuring a variety of educational apps and other engaging activities created especially for them). Featuring a 9.6 inch WXGA TFT LCD Touch Screen (with 1280 x 800 native resolution), a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm APQ 8016 Processor (with 1.5GB of RAM), 16GB of internal memory space, and Android’s 5.0 Lollipop Operating System, this tablet is ready to roll for both fun and educational purposes. It even allows parents to monitor their child’s usage and activities, block inappropriate apps, and set time limits to keep usage reasonable and productive, just to name a few of its wonderful features.

 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of great educational gifts for kids available at Best Buy this year. Moreover, this blog is the place to be if you’re looking for some great gifts ideas for kids. Of course, if you’re having difficulty thinking of gift ideas for anyone else on your shopping list, Best Buy has you covered there as well. Just click on the image below to visit their amazing hub of Christmas gift ideas. And have the happiest of holidays!