NEW! Squads After School for ages 7-17.

Our summer season has come to a close, but tech learning and fun don't have to end here. Register today for fall online courses!

NEW! Squads After School for ages 7-17.

Our summer season has come to a close, but tech learning and fun don't have to end here. Register today for fall online courses!

8 STEM & coding gifts your kids and teens would love to receive

iD Tech in action

As parents, it’s natural for us to encourage our kids to take up the same interests we enjoyed at their age, or even interests we enjoy now as adults.

It all comes down to familiarity and confidence—we feel comfortable getting our kids involved in areas where we are knowledgeable and experienced. Makes perfect sense!

But on the flip side, it’s also a big reason we may shy away from encouraging our kids to pursue other interests.

You can see it happening with STEM in particular. Parents and even educators sometimes feel unsure of where to start when it comes to motivating kids to get involved.

Perhaps you have a tiny tinkerer desperate for new things to build. Or how about a creative coder endlessly attached to their computer? Or maybe your child is a future designer, always rearranging the photos on their bulletin board, adding and subtracting stickers and embellishments until it’s picture-perfect?

But if you aren’t a tinkerer, coder, or creative mind yourself, how do you establish the connection?

Well, holidays and birthdays represent the perfect time to get the STEM ball rolling, thanks to the abundance of science, technology, engineering, and math-related gifts available.

Such options are perfect for anyone and everyone—from those who have already taken the STEM plunge to others who just want to start by dipping a toe in.

So, for parents looking for gift guidance, we have a few suggestions! Coding toys for kids, online learning, and more!

Gift #1: A week (or two!) at iD Tech

What better way to encourage your child’s coding or STEM ambitions than by setting them along a concrete pathway to fulfilling them? Even one week at iD Tech can be life changing.

Does your child already know they want to code the next great app? Or maybe they can’t stop playing Fortnite, Minecraft, or Roblox, and want to take the next step in game design? Perhaps they want to explore engineering, learn AI with a new robot friend, or 3D print a model they designed from scratch. 

We’ve got it all covered—including Virtual Tech Camps, or eSports summer camps and courses in digital music creation—with over 50 courses offered for right now and Summer 2020.

Gift #2: Online Private Lessons

Did you know we offer year-round Online Private Lessons? Think of them as online coding tutoring, with sessions tailored to fit your child’s schedule, and in any of our specific course focuses—with online coding courses, or lessons in game development, robotics, and creative arts.

Gift #3: Tinker Crate

For those little ones who love new challenges, check out Tinker Crate from Kiwi Co. The founders created Kiwi Co to expose kids to STEM because they believe STEM skills turn students into creative problem-solvers and lay a foundation for critical thinking.

Their subscription box includes an exciting hands-on experiment, complete with step-by-step instructions, a magazine, and video tutorials.

Each month, right at home, your child can build a new amazing project like a trebuchet or fiber-optic stars! They can learn everything from engineering to astronomy to hydraulics. Plus, your child is basically getting a present each month, so it’s like extending the magic of a birthday or holiday throughout the entire year.

Gift #4: pi-top [4]

pi-top [4] is a programmable computing device perfect for those interested in coding, digital making, and creating practical projects! Specifically, kids have the opportunity to design, code, and put their imagination to the test with the  pi-top [4] Foundation Kit—which is a ‘bento box’ holding 14 components like programmable sensors, buttons, and LEDs. 

Beginners can jump in with coding basics and physical computing, and then advance into guided lesson plans with robotics, cybersecurity, and AI.

Gift #5: Sphero Specdrums

You may have seen Sphero BOLT and RVR as hands-on coding without a computer screen options, but we also have our eye on a musical STEM toy by Sphero called Specdrums.  

The draw? Create music anywhere with app-enabled rings that transform colors into music with the tap of a finger (available in single and two-ring sets). 

Our only request: if your child becomes the next EDM all-star, please let us know so we can come to the show!  Go here to get started. 

Gift #6: Roblox Robux gift card

Roblox is the largest user-generated online gaming platform, and for good reason. Kids and teens can dive into game creation to design and code their own games, play others’ games, and interact with their friends in a safe community of more than 50 million monthly users.

Robux is the “currency” users can redeem to upgrade their avatars, buy special abilities, purchase cool swag in games, or use in the Builder’s Club. It’s the perfect gift for your aspiring Roblox developer.

Whether your child is Roblox pro or brand new, they’re sure to get immersed in this engaging world. And once they do, they can take their skills to the next level in our Roblox summer camps and online courses

(Learn more about Roblox Lua coding and how to make a game on Roblox.)

Gift #7: SparkFun Inventor’s Kit

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit (SIK) is a great way to get your child started with coding and hardware interaction using the Arduino programming language.

The SIK includes everything your child needs to complete five in-depth projects consisting of 16 interconnected circuits. These projects teach everything from blinking an LED to reading sensors and more. The culminating project is your child’s very own autonomous robot! No previous programming or electronics experience is required.

You can also check out other cool SparkFun products: Soldering Kit, Simon Tilts, Binary Blaster, and ClockIt.

Plus, sparking (pun intended!) your child’s love of electrical engineering now means they’ll be primed to dive into any of our coding classes or robotics camps courses in the summer. It’s a win-win.

Gift #8: LAMO

We talk about augmented reality (AR) a lot, so for a little change of pace, and to get hands-on with AR in action, check out LAMO

This unique app provides a fun, online party game experience, complete with characters modeled after the world’s top gamers (ie. Ninja, TimTheTatman, LIRIK and summit1g). In fact, the aforementioned all-stars also had a hand in developing the game! The attention to detail is uncanny, down to the authentic voice acting.

According to LAMO’s website, the experience has three main parts:

  • A fun online party game
  • A collectible, physical vinyl figurine
  • A mobile app that connects them both, bridging the digital and physical

In between game sessions, your child can proudly display their vinyl collectibles in their room!

Happy gift-giving!

You can’t go wrong with any of the coding gifts above. Whatever you choose, you'll be taking steps to prepare your child for a world with millions of open STEM jobs.

So, happy STEM gifting, and here’s to cultivating the next generation of innovators!

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!