Guest Picks: Geeky-Cool Presents for Children

I may be an artist at heart, but I still hold a hearty fascination for many things slightly geeky and technical. I’ve found that it’s my curiosity variable, a childlike quality that I must always promote in my kids as well. All these DIY kits and science-infused toys are just the ticket to keep the youngest members of your families thankfully learning and enjoying this holiday season. How? These gifts are cool first, using a bit of learning and science thrown on the back end for good measure. — Mari from Small for Big


Build Your Own Racing Rabbit Wind-Up Toy – $15.55

Build your own bunny, then race it around with friends and family. This is a perfect gift to keep kids busy on a slow winter vacation day.

Black Wagon

Copernicus Toys Glowing Putty, Gels & Slime Kit – $18

Sometimes I covertly make these ideabooks just for me personally. I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to play with wacky science kits such as this shining putty and slime collection.


Credit Card Lightbulb – $4.99

This may be intended for your mature geek’s pocket, however all the kids I know could be equally as fascinated with this credit card lightbulb. I may want one for my bag.

CP Toys

Wooden Child-Sized Real Tools – $34.99

That is such a fabulous and timeless gift for the catchy children in your life. The real tools will get them started on some great make-your-own adventures.

Artec Educational

Anime Projector – $9.98

If you know a child who enjoys cartoons, movies and home improvement explorations, then this projector is the perfect (and affordable) gift. I admit that I’m interested to try it myself.


Secret Decoder Ring – $15.99

If I were in high school , and my husband was my boyfriend, we would utilize these decoder rings to maneuver all our notes. Or would we text now?

Maple Landmark

Spinny Speller – $9

For your younger”geeks” in training, this first words spinner has tons of word and letter combinations. I can see some great guessing games coming out of this simple toy.

Design Within Reach

Super Sunprint Kit, Blue – $18

Can you make these as a child? UV-sensitive newspaper, some intriguing objects and a small sunlight create some wonderful silhouette art.


Red Tool Box Racing Auto – $12.95

I may have my daughter give this to my husband for Christmas — they then could have fun creating it together.


Paper Punk 3-D Paper Folding Toy, Robot – $18.99

These are amazing DIY paper toys. Build several blocks, then mix and match them to make your new animals. They’ve gorgeous patterns and colors.

Fat Brain Toys

Perplexus – $24.95

My three nephews are all in love with the Perplexus toys, and there are now four different models. I hear they are highly addictive. Perhaps I will take a moment to play with one of theirs this Christmas.


Elenco OWI T-Rex Aluminum Kit – $12.72

Forget the old-school model car kits (along with the plastic pieces ), and upgrade to those high-tech-looking aluminum dinosaur models. I can see the kids polishing them up today.

Artec Educational

Build Your Own Telescope – $11.99

The minimal price with this make-your-own telescope kit is killing me. The craftier kids can go ahead and decorate it as well.


Cyco Cycle Cycle – $78.99

Stunts, tips and general coolness will adhere to the older kids who take on this particular cycle. Part unicycle and component coolest tricycle ever, the boys in my neighborhood will go crazy riding this down the road.


Melissa & Doug Suspend – $12.87

This looks like a super fun family game night choice. I imagine a lot of laughter as it falls down — just keep it away in your bowl of popcorn!

Alex and Alexa

Ridley’s Magic Trick Cards – $7

Perfect for the tricksters in your household, this small card deck will help your tikes appear smarter than you — well, more frequently than they do.

Black Wagon

Pocket Microscope – $15

This is perfect for backyard adventures, hikes at the park or basic geek mayhem anywhere (bathroom stalls — OK, perhaps not). This mobile microscope would be the best in geek cool.

Black Wagon

Wood Toy Shop Catapult – $22

Explore the wonders of physics using a real world example: the catapult. The timber structure and ageless look just add to its allure.


Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines – $69.95

For your tech-obsessed kids in your lifetime, this collection creates some truly awesome remote control machines. A gift such as this will keep their brains’ gears moving and growing too.


EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem, Small Sphere – $59.99

A self indulgent ecosystem (with small mini organisms) that requires no maintenance? Now that is a pet I could keep alive. Well, I hope so!

Next: 5 Methods to Maintain Toys Tidy

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