10 Gift Ideas for Geeky Kids

GoldieBlox Ruby Rails Skydive Action Figure

(Click headings for more information)

IMG_2468 (1)

Price range: about $25
Age range: 5 years old and up

Goldie’s tech-savvy and stylish BFF Ruby Rails is ready to head out on a skydiving adventure. She has fully-articulated joints, hands that grip, and a kit to build her coder backpack and working fabric parachute – all she needs is you.

I was very excited when this doll came out for many reasons, but the main reason is because she looks like my daughter. I cannot stress enough the importance of positive images for children, and the importance of them seeing characters that look like them represented in the media and products. I think that Goldie Blox really won with this one, as she makes me more excited for all of the great products that they offer that promotes STEM curiosity in girls.

Also, check out
Ruby’s Sky-High cable car

IMG_2468 (1)

 Cloudbit Starter Kit

IMG_2468 (1)

Price range: about $89.99
Suggested age range: 14 years old and up

Take what you have and make it a smart device!

This kit includes the CloudBit plus 5 of our favorite prototyping modules; everything you need to create internet-connected devices in seconds. Recreate the most popular smart devices, use littleBits to prototype the next billion dollar idea, or invent a project that solves your own, unique problem.Perfect for hackers, designers, makers and tinkerers of all levels–without the programming, soldering and wiring normally required.

To find out more check out the video below!

 

 OgoSport OgoBild Animate It Studio Kit with Webcam
51xd0we0hgl

Price range: $59- $75
Suggested age range: 6 years old and up

Looks can be deceiving! This is actually a lot cooler than it appears. Admittedly when I first saw it, I thought it looked pretty basic and boring. But the more that I have researched it and the more videos I have watched, I have discovered that this is actually pretty cool! The figurines, which look like add connector toys, are very conducive for stop motion as they are easily ,manipulated and have a wide range of motion due to their flexibility. Your child can create some pretty gnarly looking characters from what’s provided in the studio kit. There are also additional kits for character pieces that are sold separately.

If your child is interested in film, photography, or animation, this would be a pretty awesome gift!

Still not convinced?
Check out this video, that is sure to change your mind.

With the stop motion animation, you can virtually use anything as long as you have the proper equipment. There are many online tutorials and short films of people using various things from Minecraft to LEGO. Check out the videos below!

Meccano MeccaNoid G15

meccano-meccanoid-g15-ptru1-21564380dt

Price range: $99-$200
$299-500 for G15 KS
Suggested age range: 10 years old and up

I just do not know where to start with this one. The MeccaNoid G15 is a personal robot that constructs up to 2 feet tall. The arms and legs are movable due to 6 motors. The MeccaNoid can mirror images, respond to voice commands, and comes pre loaded with over 1000 jokes, phrases, and fun facts. The android Meccabrain actually walks you through part of the assembly process..wow! The MeccaNiod can be controlled with the free MaccaNoid app installed into your smart device. There is also a motion capture feature that is used woth the MeccaNoid and your smart device to capture movement.

There is no way I can put into words just how amazing the MeccaNoid G15 or it’s big brother MeccaNoid G15 KS are so please, check out these videos below.

This is truly an awesome time to be a geeky kid!



LEGO Dimensions

lego_bp

Price range: Starter pack $59-$99
Level packs: $14.99- $50
Suggested age range: 7-14 years old

LEGO Dimensions is a quest game that gives players the opportunity to mix characters and worlds as they journey to defeat Lord Vortech. The Dimensions brands include Back to the Future, DC Comics, Dr Who, Jurassic World, LEGO Chima, LEGO Ninjago, Portal 2, Scoooby Do, The LEGO Movie, The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, and The Wizard of OZ.
The game supports 2 local players and mixing of matching of characters and worlds.
To get started, you must have either an XBox, XBox One, PS 3 or 4, or Wii U and a starter pack. You also, need an internet connection.(The internet connection is for updates only right now.) After that you build your collection through various expansion packs with different characters and items from their worlds.
To see how you get started check out this awesome diagram from Gamestop.com

starterpackinfo
Also, head over to LEGO for these really cool videos and FAQs!

Action Plates Drawing Set

kah020

Price Range: $19-$25
Suggested age range: 5-12 years old

This is a little less bells and whistles, but to me it’s just as great because it lets kids use their imagination and creativity. We all remember the fashion plates sets from childhood, right? It had various templates of girl models with different out fits that you rub on the outline and color it in. I loved those things as kid! I would spend hours upon hours making different pictures planning how I would someday take the fashion industry by storm!  I recently  discovered this very cool activity set that features action heroes in place of fashion models. With the resurgence of comic books and super heroes into pop culture, this gift would be perfect for your little geek. I am not too excited about the crayons that comes in the set, but that’s easily remedies by using your own. And for about $20 it’s not such a bad choice t all!

Light Up Tesla Kit (Blue Tooth)

910ouwqcu2l-_sl1500_

Price Range: $85-$100
Suggest age range: 8 and up

This is one of the coolest toys that I would definitely recommend for any child whether they consider themselves geeky or not. LightUp introduces kids to engineering, tinkering, and coding with a construction kit that includes magnetically connected circuits.   There is an app that is used in conjunction to the kit. Using pre-designed, magnetically connecting circuits and switches, plus a large programmable microcontroller, kids get to build, rearrange, invent, and even program all kinds of real electrical circuits.

For more information watch the video below!


 

The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set

kah001

Price range: $19.99- $25
Age range: 5 years old and up

Created by mechanical engineer, Denys Fisher – the Spirograph, originally a drafting tool, was an instant hit in the toy world. It’s been fascinating people ever since its first introduction in 1965.
Beautiful, intricate designs from the motion of gears around wheels – the mathematics and art of it are awe-inspiring.

Mighty Makers Home Designer Building Set

mighty-makers-home-designer-building-ptru1-21417114dt
Price range: $50-$75
Suggested age range: 7 years old and up

Who say’s girls don’t like to build?

K’Nex is another company that has launched products and campaigns geared towards promoting STEM for girls and it’s pretty awesome. They have an entire line of Mighty Makers with really cool construction kits that include an airplane, green house, Ferris Wheel, and more.

Build your dream house from the ground up with Brianna and Sophia in the Home Designer Building Set. Sophia loves building, while Brianna helps with the finishing touches of the interior. These best friends are a dynamic duo when it comes to building and decorating houses. Help them build different styles of houses – a colonial, a brownstone, and a ranch. Decorate the houses using the included accessories and make their home, your home with the Home Designer Building Set from Mighty Makers. Most models can be built one at a time.

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack

81vpv6ord9l-_sl1500_

Price range: $27.99- $45.00
Suggested age range: 7-15 years old

This ain’t your mama’s View Master!

Mattel has partnered with Google Cardboard to bring VR technology to the youngest audience. Aimed at kids 7 and older, the VR Viewer works with a compatible smartphone to offer an immersive experience in space, landmark destinations, and cool wildlife.

http://www.amazon.com/View-Master-Virtual-Reality-Starter-Pack/dp/B011EG5HJ2%3Fpsc%3D1%26SubscriptionId%3DAKIAICE7LOAJMK3SSLPA%26tag%3Dpcm_bkmrklt-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB011EG5HJ2

Kids in Tech: Scratch


In my most recent blog post, I shared information with you all on different programs, books, and other resources for teaching kids or introducing them to computer coding. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting more specific information to give you more insight on what some of the resources have to offer. In this day and age it is imperatiove that our children have the tools that they need to be successful in their future. My goal is to share as much information as I can, to help you and children, so that they can be as creative, critical, and imaginative learners as possible. If we introduce our children to STEAM/STEM (science, technology, engineering, (art), and math) concepts early in life, while they are virtually learning new things every single day, the possibilities for where they can go and things they can do in the world will be endless!


The first program that I want to tell you more about it Scratch. I discovered Scratch from an online kid’s magazine called Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine . Scratch has been praised as a fun and easy way to get young people into learning more about computer coding. Rahni has taken a great liking to creating and remixing projects on the online community, which pleases me greatly. The website is designed simple enough for children who are pretty comfortable with electronic devices, but they may still need assistance until they become more acclaimated or confidant with the projects. Aslso, a parent or guardian should take the time to read over the FAQ and create the actual account as Scratch is an online community open to people of all ages.

What is Scratch?
Scratch is a programming language created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT media Lab with the mission of engaging young people to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Here are some of the books that I suggested in an earlier post about coding. These books are specifically for Scrtach.


Scratch Programming in easy steps by Sean McManus

Super Scratch Programming Adventure by The LEAD Project
Learn to Program with Scratch by Majed Marji

Scratch for Kids for Dummies by Derek Breen

Who can use Scratch?
Anyone interested in learning more about computer coding. Though Scratch was designed especially around young people ages 8-16, many people of all ages are learning and contributing in the Scratch community. Many adults are using Scratch to not only teach their kids about coding, but also themselves. There is also Scratch Jr, aimed at children ages 5-7.

What can you do in Scratch?
In the Scratch online community, or with the Scratch offline editor, you can program your own games, stories, or other interactive media. There are many projects available for the Scratch community to “remix” and view to get ideas from. You can create projects within a project editor using building blocks of scripts, costumes, and sounds. The blocks are codes that tell the program what to do and how to do it. Users can modify or even create their own blocks to fit the project. The only limit is imagination.

How much does it cost to join the Scratch  community?
It’s free! The Scratch project receives funding from many foundations such as National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, LEGO Foundation, and more. Donations are always welcome to support the project.

How much prior knowledge of coding is necessary to participate and create in the Scratch community?
None! Scratch is for learning and creating. Children and adults using Scratch can learn at their own pace and have fun while doing so. Also, there are plenty of projects created by other Scratchers for you to explore, giving you ideas on how to execute your project. In the online community, there are forums and a “Getting Started with Scratch” project that walks you through an interactive animation step by step. Once you get the hang of it, or decide that you want to learn more, there are other resources such as books and You Tube videos.

For more information, please visit Scratch.mit.edu

Follow Scratch on Twitter @scratch

ScratchED online community for Scratch educators

PCMag Scratch Review