Confession: I don't think I ever had a science related Christmas present growing up. Did you?
Science was a subject at school, not something fun to do at home.
But brilliantly, there are now so many STEM products on the market, it's hard to know where to begin if you've got a little one who loves to explore.
Here's my take on a few science products you might be considering this Christmas...
STEM Subscription Boxes
In the past our family have tried Koala Crates from KiwiCo. These are the boxes for the youngest children, but they have lots of boxes for older children too.
They're really great to have something to do once a month. We enjoyed them for several months and learnt a lot too. In the end we unsubscribed because we just weren't keeping up with the number we were receiving and had so much stuff from them around the house.
Learn about something different every month
Good quality and varied contents
Box contents tied together with a story and pictures to aid learning
We ended up with more and more things each month to find a home for
Quite a lot of the activities for younger children required an adult to do, so there was a lot of watching
The activities weren't very open-ended so while you end up with something that looks nice, the activities weren't particularly educational in themselves for the early years
Price: Koala Crates for 0-4 year olds £14.99 a month
Ages: 0 - adult
Science Lab Kits
Some of the more popular kits on the market are those by Galt. I've bought several of these for friends' children as I've kind of made giving science presents my thing.
They're nicely packaged to work even for the least sciencey of parents and don't hold any sort of long term commitment.
Lots of interesting science with everything you need included
Experiments you'd struggle to do at home normally
Make science an exciting event
More of a one-off event so no extended learning
Harder for younger children to do the experiments themselves without a lot of help
Not very open-ended so less educational in the early years where learning happens through child-led exploration and repetition
Price: £13-£18 per kit