Gifts for Ages 4+

Codie The Coder Codie The Coder

Ages: 2 - 5

Codie The Coder doll by Surprise Powerz is a great gift that inspires young girls to strive for STEM careers. Representation is incredibly important to see at a young age, and this doll shows that anyone can be an engineer. Codie not only shows young girls of color that they can be a coder just like her, but the doll uses vocal prompts to explain basic coding concepts in an age appropriate way. The doll encourages the user to solve logical puzzles with basic programming concepts. This toy promotes computational thinking, logical thinking, and concepts of engineering communication for children as young as two years old. ― Daisy Coble, Purdue Reviewer

Spin Plus 6 Piece Set Spin Plus 6 Piece Set

Ages: 3+

The Spin Plus 6 Piece Set by Magformers presents an effortless way for a child to hone their spatial reasoning and pattern recognition abilities while accessing their creative side. While the Spin Plus set appears to simply be a fidget spinner at first glance, the magnetic construction parts that come in the box can attach to each other or the fidget spinner to allow for many different designs and patterns to be created. Users can simply stack varying colors onto the fidget spinner to achieve different spinning visuals, or create three dimensional shapes with the spinner and pieces fixed on a surface. Overall, the Spin Plus Set is a fantastic start to getting children to think creatively and critically about the processes of design. ― Jaden Hernandez, Purdue Reviewer

Carnival Plus Set Carnival Plus Set

Ages: 3+

The Carnival Plus Set by Magformers LLC takes all of the great original aspects of Magformers and adds new elements into the mix with parts that spin and swing. Have fun creating your own designs while testing and improving your solutions, or following tutorials provided in the box. Build creative designs that spin in different orientations, such as ferris wheels and carousels. Have fun practicing spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and pattern recognition while learning how magnets and gravity can drive motion. ― Daisy Coble, Purdue Reviewer

Challenger 30 Piece Set Challenger 30 Piece Set

Ages: 3+

If you or a loved one is looking for a gift that promotes design, mathematical knowledge, and problem solving skills, look no further than the Challenger 30 Piece Set from Magformers LLC! With the large assortment of pieces and helpful starting guide, users are empowered to practice creativity and unstructured play. Add onto or begin your Magformers' collection today with the Challenger 30 Piece Set. ― Erica Corbeels, Purdue Reviewer

Challenger 14 Piece Set Challenger 14 Piece Set

Ages: 3+

Although the fourteen pieces in Magformers’ Challenger 14 Piece Set may not seem like a lot, the possibilities for construction are endless with the set’s intuitive building scheme. This set is a great way for children to practice their spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, and even mathematical skills as they keep track of the various shapes and colors of Magformers’ signature neon, magnetic parts. While the set itself encourages free-form creation, an idea booklet also is included in case children run out of ideas, or don’t know where to start. The Challenger 14 Piece Set is one of the many Magformers’ products that you can add to your collection that allow children to harness their creativity while practicing engineering skills. ― Jaden Hernandez, Purdue Reviewer

Tactile Turtles Math Activity Set Tactile Turtles Math Activity Set

Ages: 3+

Learning to count and developing basic pattern recognition are vital skills to gain for any young child. The Tactile Turtles Math Activity Set by hand2mind provides a fun and hands-on experience that develops these skills. The included turtle-shaped pieces have many different patterns, sizes, and colors that can be sorted in many different ways by themselves. This toy also comes with different activity boards which can encourage the user to find different groupings and patterns between the turtles. With the guidance of a trusted adult, young children can start making connections between numbers and the different patterns they find. ― Daisy Coble, Purdue Reviewer

Reel Big Catch Game Reel Big Catch Game

Ages: 3+

Teaching abstract concepts like measuring can be a challenge. Why not make it fun? With the Reel Big Catch Game by Educational Insights, let your child develop math and science skills while having a blast. With easy-to-understand instructions and a variety of measuring tapes that build in complexity, learning about measurements becomes an engaging activity the entire family can enjoy. ― Erica Corbeels, Purdue Reviewer


Ages: 3 - 7

With our world becoming more and more reliant on computers, give a child you love a head start with KIBO 15 STEAM Robot by Kinderlab Robotics Inc. KIBO is a screenless toy that uses infrared scanners and bar codes on physical blocks to code a robot that can listen for noise, move, and even put on a light show. Teaching basic sensor use and block programming to children as young as four, KIBO is a fantastic head start to programming that will grow with the children in your life. Practice coding skills, iterative design, and problem-solving with KIBO. ― Erica Corbeels, Purdue Reviewer

How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up

Ages: 4 - 8

Many adults and even engineers struggle to understand programming. However, the book How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up by Ruth Spiro makes complicated programming topics accessible through the lens of a child explaining coding to an adult. Functions are summarized by playing on a playset, while algorithm flowcharts are interspersed among the beautiful illustrations. Driving home core engineering competencies of computational thinking, logical thinking, and problem-solving, this beautifully written and illustrated book will be fun and informative for children and adults alike. ― A.R. Miller, Purdue Reviewer

Space Rover Deluxe Coding Activity Set Space Rover Deluxe Coding Activity Set

Ages: 4+

Learning Resources’ Space Rover Deluxe Coding Activity Set takes the tall task of learning about coding and simplifies it into one intuitive programming rover for children to tinker with. In just a few button presses, users will have their pre-built space rover traversing tiles to eventually reach a marked goal dictated by the twenty coding challenges included in the set. Although simple in execution (that’s not to say it’s easy), this toy presents a healthy challenge for young minds, forcing them to plan out their solutions, iterate frequently, and recognize patterns as their rover inches closer and closer to the goal. This easy-to-use gift is a perfect opportunity to get children excited about coding. ― Jaden Hernandez, Purdue Reviewer

All About Smart Manufacturing All About Smart Manufacturing

Ages: 5+

Know a curious kid who wants to learn more about how things are made? The All About Smart Manufacturing picture book from Industrial Insights LLC demonstrates how every item in your house is a product of engineering. Manufacturing engineers have a hand in getting every product that we use onto store shelves. This book shows the process of manufacturing, and what different processes and robotics are used to store and transport products. Learn to question where the items you use and see every day come from, and how much work goes into producing them. Readers can expect to practice their engineering communication skills, and logical and computational thinking skills. ― Daisy Coble, Purdue Reviewer

Dream, Invent, Create: Engineer the World Dream, Invent, Create: Engineer the World

Ages: 5 - 8

While practicing engineering skills is important, so is understanding the challenges engineers tackle. With Dream, Invent, Create: Engineer the World by Start Engineering, explore the world through technological achievements and the problems engineers are currently facing. Help the children in your life to understand the context of engineering and how they can use engineering to solve real-world issues with this engaging educational book. ― Erica Corbeels, Purdue Reviewer

MathLink® Cubes Brain Puzzle Challenge MathLink® Cubes Brain Puzzle Challenge

Ages: 5+

Looking for a gift for a young math whizz? Clocking in at $19.99, MathLink® Cubes Brain Puzzle Challenge from Learning Resources is an affordable collection of games and puzzles that packs an educational punch. Practice counting, pattern recognition, and even basic coding skills in a fun and engaging way. This gift grows with them through different activities for all ages. Give the gift of math proficiency this year with MathLink® Cubes Brain Puzzle Challenge. ― Erica Corbeels, Purdue Reviewer