The wonderful world of science and the gifts available for tweens both seem to be constantly expanding. There are some wonderful inventive and attention grabbing science gifts available. I have made a list the best Christmas 2007 science and discovery gift ideas for tweens. As there are such a variety of science disciplines I have tried to give a good mix of gift ideas to cover different areas of science.
1) Books that are full of fun and gross experiments that can be done at home can be a lot of fun and are not as expensive as kits.
Janice VanCleave book 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird and Fun Experiments. This amazing book brings together the best experiments from her popular Science for Every Kid series, plus 40 all-new experiments. This book asks question that are answered through the sciences of physics, earth science, chemistry, biology, and astronomy with 200 safe and low-cost experiments that can be performed at home or in the classroom. This book is $10.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Totally Dinosaurs is a fascinating 32-page full-color book that describes what life was like in the days of the dinosaurs. It includes 46 mix-and-match pieces (bones) that your tween use to assemble five different dinosaur skeletons, or even create their own. This book is $16.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
2) Science project kits are great gifts. Tweens are usually having so much fun with them they don’t even realise they are learning.
a) Glow in the dark kits: These are the most popular kits for both male and female tweens.
Scientific Explorer Glow In The Dark Fun Lab. We all know how popular and fun glow glow-in-the-dark products are with tweens. This kit lest tweens make their own glow sticks, bubbling wand and other glow-in-the-dark experiments. It is $11.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
b) Edible kits: Tweens get to eat or drink their experiments.
Make your own bubble gum kits. Tweens get to learn how bubble gum is made, and what it is made of and then they get to try their experiments. This can be a lot of fun. I found two kits that are great and both are $12.95.
Bubble Gum Kit. The kit is at www.stevespanglerscience.com.
Scientific Explorer Bubble Gum Fun. This kit is at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Scientific Explorer Ice Cream Science. Tweens get to create their own ice cream using science and a T-shirt. This is a fun and tasty gift. The best part is that they learn all about solids, liquids, and gases as they experiment with making ice cream. This kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
c) Solar kits: These are so cool, solar powered vehicles that your tween gets to build.
Elenco Photon Solar Racer Kit. This is such a cool kit. It is a toy racecar that runs on solar power. Tweens get to build it and learn about solar energy and how to convert it to useful applications, or at least fun ones. No soldering, no batteries needed for the science kit. Comes with high-energy solar panel. The solar car comes in clear plastic. The car can be painted any color scheme that you desire (paint is not supplied). The body of Photon is even made from recycled pop bottles. This kit is $31.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
OWI Robots Amphibious Solar Vehicle kit. Another very cool kit. It is a toy vehicle that works on land and on water and uses solar power. As a tween builds this vehicle they will be learning what materials solar batteries are made from and the characteristics of solar batteries, advantages, and disadvantages of solar power and robotics. This is a non-soldering robot building kit recommended for beginners. No batteries required, it's solar powered and the solar cell is included. Screwdriver and pliers are required for assembly. This kit is $38.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
Solar Grasshopper. This is an easy to build mini-robot that runs on solar power. It comes with all the pieces your tween will need plus detailed diagrams and instructions. Assembly time is approximately 15 minutes and it does not involve any soldering. This kit is $12.95 at www.physlink.com.
d) Fight Crime kits: CSI and Detective shows are great. These kits let tweens learn the science used in these shows.
ScienceWiz CSI Expert - Capture DNA. DNA is one of the fastest growing sciences and is used to solve crime every day. This kit lets a tween isolate DNA from cheek cells. They can also seal the purified DNA and wear it as a pendant if they want. This kit will also show them how to make forgery-proof ink. This kit is $9.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Tree of Knowledge Detecto Lab private detective kit. Your tween will learn over 65 detecting methods such as a fingerprint kit, identity kit, secret codes, make invisible ink, examine fibers, and use a light scope for detection. Investigate, analyze, decipher and solve a mystery story, learn chromatography, identify people by using and identity kit, and more. This kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
e) Slime Kits: What tween does not like slime?
Slinky Science Slime Science! Mini-Lab. Your tween can make 5 different kinds of slime with this kit. He or she will learn the science behind the ooey, gooey, ooze. They can create a jiggle slime, a sticky ooze that can glue things together, a mystery material that's solid one minute, liquid the next, a rubbery, stretchy putty, and a classic horror-movie slime. This kit is $9.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime. Tweens learn about hydrophilic polymers while mixing up gobs and gobs of slime. A few of the slimes they can make are heat sensitive color changing slime, slime that glows in the dark, or one that moves towards magnets. This kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
f) Anatomy Kits: There are some fun ways to learn about what our bodies are made up of.
Scientific Explorer Disgusting Anatomy- Brain. Tweens make a make a gross life-size model of the brain. This kit includes a bonus eyeball kit. This brain kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Scientific Explorer Disgusting Anatomy – Heart. Tweens learn the anatomy of the heart as they make a gross life-size model that looks and feels like a real human heart. This kit comes with a bonus eyeball kit. This kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
g) Space Kits: Space and rockets are cool and so are these kits.
Space Station 3 Crystals Kit. This kit will teach your tween how the ISS is constructed, why astronauts will grow crystals in space, and how to create their own dazzling collection of 3 sparkling crystals, Emerald, Quartz, and Amethyst, right at home. This kit is $14.95 at www.physlink.com.
Hydrogen Fuel Rocket Kit. This is to make a rocket that runs on hydrogen fuel. This new hydrogen fuel technology uses water to generate the hydrogen fuel needed to thrust a sleek rocket 200 feet into the sky. The Hydrogen Fuel Rocket is a wonderful mixture of science and fun. This kit is $39.95 at www.physlink.com.
4M Kidz Labs 3D Glow Solar System Mobile Kit. This kit lets your tween build a 3D solar system mobile that hangs and revolves. This kit includes: full set of snap to build, no glue needed solar system plastic planets, full set of easy-to-assemble hanging structure and hanging Lines, 2 paint strips, glow paint, paint brush, bonus wall chart with fun facts of solar system (size: 42cm x 60cm) painting and assembling instruction sheet. The kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
h) Just about science kits: these are kits that are more general science then the other kits.
Educational Insights - Hows and Whys of Science Kit. Tweens can conduct experiments using over 18 special lab instruments and materials included in this multi-subject kit, plus a few items from the kitchen cupboard. Using this kit a tween will gain an understanding of real scientific phenomena. The guide that comes with the kit has hundreds of experiments and scientific reports. The kit is $36.95 is www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
3) Games that tweens can learn as they have fun playing.
Smart Lab Weird & Gross Computer-Book Challenge. This is a wonderful combination game that uses the computer and a book. Tweens can play by themselves or in a 2-player game. As the name indicates it is also bizarre, disgusting and nasty so tweens love it. It is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
AristoPlay Mars 2020 game - A race to Mars. It's a race to Mars in the year 2020. This game is for 2-6 players and has over 550 space travel and astronomy questions, endorsed by Jack Lousma, U.S. Astronaut! This is actually a fun game to play. Each player is an astronaut. Astronauts choose a spaceship and a crewmember and try to land on Mars first. This game is $31.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Cogno Deep Worlds Game. This game is for 2 to 6 players and takes 30-50 minutes to play. This game looks like it is fun to play and you learn all about space as you play. How do you play game? Pick your favourite alien game piece; there are 8 wild looking pieces each with different capabilities and personalities. Be the first to collect three fuel cells by answering fun, unusual science questions. The questions are not trivia; they're about space and the universe. Avoid the Alien Whirlpool, Deep Trench, and survive the DiveZones, using strategy to race others safely back to the beach. Leave the main board and enter the Parallel Universe where anything can happen. You might get lucky and suck another player in. And use your greatest weapon wisely - the Time Machine Token. Free inside every game is the 28-page "Book of Y" which reveals the science behind every one of the board game's 261 questions, in fun, easy to understand language. This game is $28.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Educational Insights Bioviva. Ecological Adventure Game. This game is for 2 – 6 players. Bioviva is an Eco-Trivia mind challenging game that is fun to play as you learn all about ecology. It does not sound like a lot of fun, until you see some of the questions. Here are a couple questions. Do you know which "polluted" city sells fresh air by the pound? What ice cream flavor comes from an orchid? Which spider is a true "quarter pounder"? How about which plant prevents tooth decay? Which U.S. city has the most polluted air? Or which animal spits blood from its eyes? This game is $28.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Learning Resources Caught in the Web - An Insect Game. This game is for 2-4 players. Learn about insects and their habitats by answering the true/false questions and moving "backyard bug" around the game board. To win, be the first to get your insect back home without getting caught in the web! Game pieces are shaped like a dragonfly, butterfly, grasshopper and bee. This game is $19.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
4) Just for fun science gifts.
Giant Plush Microbes is a plush microbe 1,000,000 times bigger then the real thing. They are actually cute. The only time your tween will thank you for giving them a cold. These are funny, and unusual. You can pick from a huge selection of icky things to give her, including a brain cell, mad cow disease or the plague - Black Death. They are $7.99 at www.thinkgeek.com
Magic Garden Kit. Your tween can create science art using this kit. This kit comes with mountain, trees and flowers made of paper and a plastic base. Assembled the paper garden, pour the magic garden solution on the paper. Within hours, the flowers bloom, the trees bud and snow appears on the mountain. This spectacular scene and its metamorphoses are fun to watch. This kit is $5.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig