2021 Holiday Gift Guide

This year, unwrap some curiosity, imagination, and inspiration for the holidays!  Here are our top gift recommendations for your young scientist, engineer, or coder — pick from amazing experiences, subscriptions, books, kits, and more!

Experiences

CAGIS Virtual Membership

Ages 7 – 16

Gift the gift of experience!  A one year membership with the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS) involves fun, hands-on activities led by experts.  You can select from different options:

CAGIS Chapter Membership ($50; $20/additional siblings, FREE with purchase of a CAGIS Virtual membership):

-Monthly field trips with hands-on activities led by STEM experts (currently virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

CAGIS Virtual Membership ($200; $50/additional siblings):

-Weekly live virtual events with fun, hands-on activities led by experts in science, tech, trades, engineering, and math! Join us on Saturdays to make your own magic ink, make polarization art, engineer a candy grabber, and more!  Special offer: For a limited time, receive a FREE CAGIS Chapter membership with purchase of a CAGIS Virtual membership.

Available here.  

CAGIS Virtual Sessions

Ages 7 -16

Experiment, build, explore, and invent!  CAGIS Virtual features live one-hour sessions with fun, hands-on activities led by experts.

Available as a single session ($16) or a discounted pack of four sessions ($55).

Available here.

Subscriptions

Chickadee/OWL Magazine 

Chickadee is pitched at ages 6 -9, OWL at ages 9-12. $29.99/12 months

These magazines are full of puzzles, comics, and kid-friendly articles with lots of STEM content.  Kids will love receiving them in the mail each month!

Available here.

Tools

Rock Tumbler 

8+, $149.99

If you have a young geologist in the family, this kit has everything you need to start polishing some beautiful rocks and gems.  Includes rocks to get you started and jewelry fastenings.

Available here.

Tiny Science Kit

8+, $27.99

Conduct real experiments anywhere with the world’s smallest science lab.  This miniature set comes with a lab book to guide kids through 20 fun activities.  Comes with funnel, petri dish, beaker, Erlenmeyer flask, magnifier, test tube, pipette, graduated cylinder, measuring scoop, balance scale, and 3 weights.

Available here.

Celestron PowerSeeker Telescope

8+, $99.99

Newcomers to amateur astronomy will get a combination of quality, features, and power in this affordable telescope.  Includes an Astronomy Software download with a 10,000 object database, printable sky maps and 75 enhanced images.

Available here.

Makedo Toolkit

6+, $24.95

What should you do with all your spare boxes? Repurpose them into creative and useful creations with the Makedo toolkit!  It contains safe, simple parts to cut and connect cardboard.  TOOLKIT includes 30 reusable parts (21 SCRUs, 7 SCRU XLs, 1 SCRU-DRIVER, and 1 SAFE-SAW).

Available here.

STEM Games

GraviTrax

8+, $79.99

Design and build your own race tracks and experiment with gravity, magnetism, and kinetics to propel your ball to the finish.  Discover how the laws of physics affect the track your ball takes with curves, crosses, freefalls and even a cannon.  Includes tasks and construction plans … or design your own tracks from scratch!

Available here.

Dr. Beaker

8+, $27.95

Flip a challenge card and race your opponents to match Dr. Beaker’s formulas!  A fun logic game from the creators of the popular Dr. Eureka game.

Available here.

Books

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats

Ages 9-13, $19.95

What can city bees tell us about climate change?  How are we changing coyote behavior?  And what the heck is a science bike?  Dr. Cylita Guy shows how studying urban wildlife can make cities around the world healthier for all their inhabitants.  A finalist for the 2022 Yellow Cedar award.

Available here.

My Book of Stars and Planets

Ages 5-8, $16.99

From icy worlds and hot, fiery giants, to the biggest telescopes and latest spacecraft, this book covers more than 40 profiles of the planets, stars and celestial objects!  Written by astrophysicist and science communicator, Parshati Patel. 

Available here.

The Inuit Thought of It: Amazing Arctic Innovations

Ages 9-11, $19.95

The Inuit survived in a harsh landscape with their own ingenuity.  Explore the amazing innovations of traditional Inuit and how their ideas continue to echo around the world.

Available here.

Scratch 3.0 Coding Cards: Creative Coding Activities for Kids

Ages 7+, $33.95

Learn to code with this deck of instructional cards.  Create interactive games, stories, music, and animations with Scratch, a popular visual programming language available for free online.  A fun way to learn coding concepts like sequencing, conditionals, and variables.

Available here.

Science Comics Series

Ages 9+, $16.99

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic — dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, and more.  These illustrated graphic novels offer an entertaining introduction to many STEM topics.  Fun for kids (but also for adults!).

Available here.

STEM Activity Kits

Canvas Kit: Paint with your Engineered Bacteria

12+, $52.00

Create living paintings with colourful bacteria!  The Canvas Kit is a fun first step into learning about biotechnology, genetic engineering, and an exciting new branch of art called BioArt. 

Available here.

Mechanical Flower

14+, $46.90

Construct this beautiful model from UGears.  If you turn the ring at the base of the flower, the petals open.  Continue to twist the ring to close the flower.  Can be used to store small items.

Available here.

Klutz Maker Lab Circuit Games

All ages, may require some adult help. $32.99

Use actual electronic components to construct a DIY operation game, compete with friends in a Space Loop race, assemble a quiz show board, and more.

Available here.

Glow in the Dark Lab

8+, $36.99

Make glowing slime, foaming alien blood, bouncing glow balls and more!  Includes a 24 page activity book as well as supplies.

Available here.

Structural Engineering – Bridges and Skyscrapers

8-14, $69.99

Learn the basics of structural engineering by conducting a series of experiments.  Learn about basic structural elements including columns, beams, trusses, plates, and more.  Then move on to bridge construction and towering skyscrapers.  A 36 page manual guides you with step-by-step instructions.

Available here.

Computing

Makey-Makey

For all ages over 8, $59.99

This invention kit tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything is a keyboard!  The Makey-Makey uses high-resistance switching to detect when you’ve made a connection, even through materials that aren’t very conductive (like leaves or pasta).  Make a banana piano, your own play-doh joystick, and more!

Available here.

ImagiCharm

9 +, $116.00. Comes from outside Canada.  Duty/taxes will apply.  

Learn Python with the imagiCharm and the free imagiapp!  This is a smart accessory that you can code to show off endless designs and animations.  Wear it on backpacks, bags, as a keychain, or hang it as a holiday ornament.  

CAGIS community members will receive 25% off at checkout with coupon code PARTNER25.

Available here.

Other Fun Stuff
Trilobite Fossil

For all ages, $60.00

Give a 385 million year old gift when you wrap up a Hollardops Trilobite.  It comes from the Middle Devonian period, some 100 million years before dinosaurs appeared on Earth.


Available here.

Brain Stuffy

For all ages, $16.95

If you loved our session on building a model brain, check out this cuddly version of your body’s boss.  Aww!  So smart!  You might even want to pair it with a brain cell keychain for $8.95.

Available here.

CAGIS is not receiving payment or sponsorship from any of the products or stores listed above.  These items were identified by parents as toys, books, and kits their STEM-loving youth enjoyed.  All images are used with permission from the products and/or retailer.  Items were available from these retailers at the time of writing.