If you’re like the parents of many gifted kids, you’ve got at least one shelf (or closet) full of toys your child lost interest in — or had no interest in to begin with. Stop filling those shelves and closets and get your child some toys they’ll love. Toys that fit into that group of toys are those that allow children to explore science.
1. Sega Homestar Original Black – Home Planetarium – Star Projector.If your child is fascinated by space and the stars, then he or she would love a home space theater. Space theaters project the stars and constellations on the walls and ceiling of a darkened room. This one projects 60,000 stars and even has a shooting star function. Two different disks allow you to see the stars in the northern hemisphere with and without constellations. Four additional disks are available, and this one has something many home planetariums don’t have – and AC adapater. While home projectors like this one do project stars and constellations, they aren’t real planetariums. Nevertheless, a gifted kid who loves space will really enjoy this “toy.” My son did!
2. Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop
From the manufacturer: Almost everyone has heard of a chemistry set. But until this kit was introduced, a physics set was almost unheard of. Physics is an essential science for everyone, and this kit provides a comprehensive explanation of mechanical physics. Through building 36 models and conducting subsequent experiments with the models, you will learn the fundamental laws of mechanical physics. Start by building small models, such as a fixed pulley, to learn about basic forces and simple machines. Then, work your way up to more complex machines, such as a pendulum clock, to learn more advanced concepts like work and centripetal force. This hands-on approach is both fun and effective because the principles of physics are demonstrated right in front of you. Ages 7-14.
3. GeoSafari Ant Factory
Your little bug lover will enjoy learning about the world of ants with this ant “factory.” It is made of clear, durable plastic, which not only lets you watch the ants as they create their habitat, but keeps the ants safely inside. Ages 3 and up.
4. The Young Scientist Club Nature Set
This nature set is perfect for kids who love nature. It’s also a great way to introduce nature to younger children. During the warmer months, you and your child can take this set along on nature walks and use it to conduct real field experiments. Here are some things you can do:
- explore real animal tracks in nature
- identify animal tracks and make casts of them
- learn about the animals that make the tracks
- play the tracking game
- create animal track prints
- design an animal track poster
For ages 3 yrs. and up
5.Thames & Kosmos Electricity and Magnetism
Magnets are so simple, yet so interesting! This kit allows kids to explore magnetism and the closely related electricity. There are 60 experiments that kids can do that will help them learn about the forces of magnetism and its relationship to electricity. The experiments are all safe and include on-off switches, spinning motors, push buttons. magnets, and much more.
For ages 8 yrs. and up
6. Leap Frog Odyssey III Talking Globe
This award-winning talking globe teaches provides thousands of world facts. It compares populations and land areas between locations, gives the distances between points, and even plays national anthems! But kids won’t just have to sit and listen to geography facts; they — and up to three of their friends — and play one of the six built-in, geography games.
7. My First Lab Ultimate Digital Microscope
Science loving kids who like to work with computers will be in heaven with this digital microscope. It was designed to be connected to a computer and comes with everything you need — except the computer! The kit includes software that allows you to view live color images from the scope, edit them, add text, save them, and even email them to friends and family.
8. GeoSafari Talking Microscope
Kids as young as 5 will enjoy this interactive talking Microscope. The microscope comes with 12 prepared slides that allow kids to see 12 insects and spiders magnified 5 times. As they look at the bugs, the microscope will tell them facts about insects. Kids don’t have to sit back passively, though; they can test their knowledge with the fun quiz games.
9. My First Chemistry Kit
Young, budding chemists will have fun with this chemistry kit. In includes a microscope (100x-200x-450x) and a science guide that provides instructions for easy activities to perform with the microscope. Kids learn about chemistry when they complete the many activities described, activities which include making an ornament and testing acids and bases. (The acids are rated as acids on the PH scale; they are not dangerous compounds.)