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The STEAM 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

Erik Przekop on Flickr

With the holidays (or a birthday) approaching, you might have someone in your life who is interested in computing—maybe software programming, robotics, or electronics. These STEM/STEAM products make great gifts. You’ll definitely find ideas at all different prices and for many different computing interests. Be sure to check out the full guide online at https://beanzmag.com/steam-gift-guide-2023.

For more sources:

Wired Magazine’s Best STEM Toys 2023

The 24 Best STEAM Toys for 2023

36 Best STEM Toys for Kids, According to Engineers

Ten Engineer-Selected STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2023


Erase All Kittens!

E.A.K. offers a gentle introduction to professional coding languages, enabling children to play and learn on their own – or alongside parents and teachers. Mario-style gameplay for this online game with interactive dialogue, quirky characters, and kitten gifs makes learning these languages fun for complete beginners and kids aged 8+. It’s a blast to play (and learn!).



Kids learn to code by making games on the Bitsbox.com website and then play them on their phones or tablets. The games are quite clever with fun bright graphics. And it’s easy for kids to adapt the code once they figure out the game and become comfortable with the code. A new box of games arrives each month. Ages 5 and up.



Little Robot Friends 

These small fun robots are very friendly and accessible and an easy way to get kids interested in coding and electronics. Each has its own personality. These cute little robots respond to light, touch, voice, and infrared inputs. They also blink, beep, and buzz.



Designed for PreK to 2nd-grade kids, this new Sphero robot teaches STEM skills without the need for a computer screen. Cards are used to direct the robot.



Good Housekeeping Amazing Science

This fun book takes you through your home with 83 different science experiments that explain phenomena like stinky socks and mirrors that fog up. It’s a fun easy way for kids to see their home in a different light.

https://www.goodhousekeeping. com/childrens-products/a36322280/kids-steam-amazing-science-experiments/

Snap Circuits

This kit lets kids build electronics without having to solder. There are about a hundred different possible combinations. And includes a photo sensor and other fun features.


Can You Crack the Code?

Security professional Ella Schwartz applies her considerable code-cracking skills to create a fun exploration of how secret codes work, as well as the history of using secret codes.




Electrical circuits are everywhere. In our phones, computers, cars, streetlights, and more. But how do they work? Spintronics is a unique game that teaches the basics

of electrical flow with a simple board that lets you build circuits. The company also created Turing Tumble which uses marbles to teach how computers work.




This build-it-yourself computer has evolved into a neat set of electronics projects. You could buy a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of accessories but Piper adds a number of features and makes it easy to build a computer.



A unique but really neat idea for kids who want to create friendship bracelets with functionality they can code.



Code the Classics Book

Into retro games? Want to code? The Raspberry Pi Foundation has published a book full of 1970s and 1980s video games, interviews with the creators, and instructions on how to code games inspired by Pong and others from that era. https://store.rpipress.cc/products/code-the-classics

Cracking Codes with Python

This book combines two fun experiences: Python and secret codes. All kinds of ciphers are covered with details about how to use Python to break the ciphers. Could be a fun engrossing sourcebook for someone interested in solving puzzles with code.


How Technology Works by Dorling Kindersley Publishing

Have you ever wondered how speed cameras, jet engines, elevators, telephones, MRI scanners, and other technologies work? This amazing book explains visually how almost every human technology actually works, alongside interesting facts. It’s the perfect book for anyone who likes to take things apart. And if you like this book, also look up visual dictionaries that provide pictures of common technology and name every part.



Google Cardboard

For $20-$30 USD, you can buy and fold together a cardboard headset, then slide in a modern smartphone and use VR apps. While not as immersive as the HTC Vive, the experience is as amazing as more expensive options.

https://vr.google.com/cardboard/There are a lot more VR headsets and other fun gift ideas to be found in our complete STEAM gift guide online: https://beanzmag.com/steam-gift-guide-2023!


Robot Turtles

Robot Turtles is a great board game with some neat extensions like an online community where you can create your own game boards. These games sometimes let you replace the object you direct in the game with a person like your child, or a parent, adding another level of fun and engagement.



Secret Decoder Deluxe Activity Set

A little less focused on established codes, but has three workbooks that kids can work through and crack the mystery as they go! It’s also screen-free fun.