Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Science Toys, Activities, and Equipment

 


2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Camryn and Skateboard Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned stretch tights, glitzy patterned shorts, a chartreuse knit top, and patterned headband on her long glorious red hair. Camryn, is a beauty who also likes science and the thrill of skateboarding. She comes with blueprint paper that magically reveals the directions for assembling a skateboard she will be able to use. Like the other dolls in this line she’s more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Goldie Blox Craftstruction Box
(Goldie Blox $39.99 Score:)

With this 275-piece construction set, kids can use the goodies in this box for all kinds of building possibilities; kids can build a Spring Car that really zooms, a flower with a stem that expands, a Leap Bot that actually leaps, a flyer that flings through the air and several other devices. They have a sense of humor as well as a basis in science, helping kids discover how many basic machines actually work. We like the poster that shows various models to build as well as proper names for many of the building parts. GoldieBlox pieces are compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys, as well as special craft items like pipe cleaners, string, and pretty papers. Add other items from around the house to extend the play and recycle materials. A great STEM toy that will enhance understanding and play. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Roominate Amusement Park
(Roominate $60 Score:)

Everything you need to build your own amusement park comes with this 282-piece set along with clear instructions for building a Ferris Wheel, a pirate ship that swings, a tea cup ride, concession stands, and more. The kit includes columns, wheels, axles, lights, wall panels, connectors, battery packs, screwdriver, stickers, a doll, a pet, and motor. It requires 6 AAA batteries, not included. The focus of Roominate sets is not just building but learning how to build circuits that will power the rides! The set can be made to work by remote control with what they call rPower (you control via your smartphone or tablet). rPower is sold separately. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Creativity for Kids Macrame Terrarium
(Creativity for Kids $23.99 Score:)

A little bit of crafty action combines with science in this winning kit. It comes with all the ingredients to make the macramé sling that will hold the plastic terrariaum and all the decorative stones, potting mix, sand, and quick-to-sprout chia and wheat grass seeds. Before long a little garden will be sprouting where young gardeners can add the decorative little mushroom and deer. Clear directions are included. A great STEM product for future botanists with an artistic twist.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Nancy B's Nature Keeper and Tree Diary
(Educational Insights $16.99 Score:)

A science kit that comes with a leaf/flower press, tweezers, and punch for doing crafts as well as science. It comes with a 22-page activity book with science experiments to do through the seasons along with space for keeping a diary of leafy finds along the way. Be sure to see the Black Light Illuminator kit in this collection that is directed to girls. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Nancy B's Black Light Illuminator Journal
(Educational Insights $16.99 Score:)

Part book/part black light this is a fun activity combo with a working black light, an invisible marker and a book full of do-able experiments that will challenge and hold their interest. Part of the Nancy B's Science Club collection, the packaging features girls doing the experiment and a picture of a Women in Science story; a great way to spark early interest and connections to science for young girls. We also like the Nature Keeper and Tree Diary in this collection. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Seedling Let's Rock Kit
(Seedling $29.99 Score:)

Our in-house tester has loved geodes for ages and this kit was an absolute hit. It comes with secure safety glasses, four good sized geode rocks and a magnifying glass for examining the crystals inside the geodes.
It does not include a hammer and you will absolutely need one. They also suggest doing this with an adult and out of doors. They did not mention putting the rock inside a towel or cloth to catch the possible debris. Our tester's grandfather, the original rock hound of the family, always did this to be on the safe side. This is a kit that will not take long to do, but the pieces will be enjoyed for a long time and those crystals may spark an interest in a long-term hobby. We suggest this is a good choice for 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014.

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2013 Award
Little Bits Deluxe 18 Bit Set
(littleBits $199.99 Score:)

Just as the name says, this is the biggest, deluxe version of a clever kit that allows kids to snap together a spectacular array of library of electronic modules. This kit has 18 color coded modules that budding engineers can explore to make sound, light, buttons and sensors without having to use wires, solder or programming. There is an excellent project book with instructions for 15 projects and many, many more projects on the littleBits website. Testers were amused with making a Tickle Machine, Prank Handshake, Auto Greeter, Truck Crane, among others. A science toy with a sense of humor. THere are smaller less pricey sets. The Base Kit $99 is a good introductory kit with 10 bits, a project book and a button, dimmer and buzzer to make a doorbell for your room. The Premium Kit $149 and has 14 bits and a good number of accessories to spark your child's creative circuits. Additonal base projects are are available online. Another good choice for STEM learning.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Thames & Kosmos Gyrobot
(Thames & Kosmos $50.49 Score:)

Did you know that there is a gyroscope in your smart phoe, your tablet, the video controllers, airplanes, space telescopes...you name it. But how about building one? Does that sound like a challenge? In fact, following the directions in this amazing new set, kids can explore the world of physics as they build 7-motorized models that give them hands-on playful experiences as they learn about the jobs gyroscopes do in our world. In an age when science and math are so vital, this is one of those smart toys that is not instantly consumed, but rather invites repeated exploration. The well-written 24-pg manual gives them 7 experiments: the gyroscope goes into a robot, gyrocompass, flight simulator, balance game, gyro horizon, personal transporter, and a tightrope walker.  A good choice for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
K'nex Education - Exploring Wind & Water Energy
(K'nex $69.99 Score:)

Designed originally for the classroom, this is one of a new series of construction toys with a scientific edge that will entertain as well as enhance their understanding of renewable energy. In an age when science and math are so vital, this is one of those smart toys that is not instantly consumed, but rather invites repeated exploration. There are six projects in the 288-piece kit that comes in a storage tub. Our tester started with a windmill that connects and powers a shuttle ride. They can also build a Water Lift and a Hydroelectric Generator, among other projects. A great way to get kids engaged with science, math, and technology. Once they have some of the basics, they may want to invent some energy inventions of their own. Also see, K'nex Investigating Solar Energy. Ages 9 & up. Both good choices for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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