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CodeForce’s Top 10 STEAM Gifts for 2023

At CodeForce, we are constantly looking for tools and games that will help us teach STEAM better. As we look for them, we also make note of items that may be great for students outside of our classroom. This is our list for 2023!

Note: We are not endorsed by any of these products. They are just products we love, and in our opinion, will help continue to foster a love of STEAM in your child. These toys cover a range of costs and age groups, ensuring there’s something for every young explorer. You may have your own ideas that aren’t listed here. We’d love to hear them! Our 2023 List:

Adventures of Gino & Gina: Wildlife Rescue Subscription Kits (Age: 3+) Price: $29.99/month

What Is It? A monthly subscription kit that takes children on exciting wildlife rescue adventures, introducing them to early biology and environmental science concepts. Why Parents Love It: Parents rave about its ability to engage children with interactive stories and activities that nurture a love for animals and nature. Why We Love It: Full disclosure, we are nuts about subscription boxes anyway. The anticipation before it arrives each month takes us back to our childhood. We do recognize that services like this can get expensive, but this is a reasonably priced box that grows with your child. These boxes let kids get away from the computer screen and get busy building. This box is focused on our Little Makers ages 3 and up. It really helps lower the barrier of entry in to STEAM and gets their brains working. They also offer kits for your older kids. Buy Here

Discovery #Mindblown Early Engineers Building Set (Age: 3+) Price: $32.98

What Is It? This 88-piece building set sparks creativity and engineering skills in toddlers, featuring easy-to-handle parts for little hands. Why Parents Love It: It’s lauded for its durability and the way it enhances fine motor skills, with many parents noting significant improvements in their child’s creative thinking. Why We Love It: Building is where it starts. We chose Minecraft as a teaching tool initially because it helps foster that love of building. This set also sparks that kind of creativity, problem solving and ingenuity. We love the challenges and how many different problems are presented to your kiddo. Buy Here

Code & Go Robot Mouse (Age: 4+) Price: $33.99

Description: A playful introduction to coding concepts, this set includes a programmable robot mouse that kids can guide through mazes they create. Why Parents Love It: Celebrated for its simplicity and effectiveness, it’s recognized for making STEM concepts accessible and fun for preschoolers. Why we love it: Robot Turtles is a staple in our Little Makers program. This is the next evolution in teaching critical thinking and logic in a fun way. We’ve added this one to our curriculum! Buy Here

Plugo Coding (Age: 4–10) Price: $69.99

Description: This interactive game blends physical and digital play to teach coding basics, compatible with a variety of tablets. Why Parents Love It: Users value its educational quality and the ability to adapt to different age groups and skill levels, making it a versatile learning tool. Why We Love It: Its blends hands on with a device, which gives a more interactive experience to the kiddos. What we really like about it is that it lets the kids see their code executing on a real device. Buy Here

STEM Qboidz & Junior Robotics Set (Age: 5–7) Price: $269.99

Description: This set allows children to build and program their own robots, fostering an early interest in robotics and engineering. Why Parents Love It: It receives high marks for its comprehensive nature, providing an in-depth introduction to robotics that captivates and educates young minds. Why We Love It: Because of its price, it almost didn’t make the list. But we do love the kid friendliness of this robotics kit. It grows with your kiddo as it starts with a ton of challenges that can be solved by stacking bricks and it evolves into a full blown robotics kit, including motors and coding. Buy Here

Pyxel A Coder’s Best Friend (Age: 8+) Price: $70.99

Description: An innovative coding toy that combines digital storytelling with interactive challenges to teach coding in an engaging way. Why Parents Love It: Parents and educators praise it for its unique approach that merges creativity with technology, sparking both imagination and technical skills in children. Why We Love It: This robot is fun and cute as a button. There is no building component here, but at this price (its on sale on Amazon), its a great coding tool. We love the expressions and sensors, including sound and proximity. The coding app is easy to use and should be very familiar to block languages they have used in the past. Buy Here

VR Dinosaurs, Oceans, & Animals Gift Sets (Age: 8+) Price: $47.99 each

Description: Virtual reality sets that immerse kids in different worlds, from prehistoric landscapes to underwater adventures, enhancing their understanding of science and nature. Why Parents Love It: These sets are highly regarded for their engaging and educational content that brings science to life, offering a captivating learning experience. Why We Love It: Dinosaurs. We could stop there, but we won’t. We love that it comes complete with the headset and an interactive book. You can use your mobile phone, so you don’t need to buy an expensive headset. It is also firmly planted in the Science portion of STEM and the coin set is pretty cool too. We love how it deep dives into Dinosaurs, their anatomy, where they lived, and so much more. Other options are Oceans and Animals. Buy Here

Smithsonian Planetarium Projector (Age: 8+) Price: $39.99

Description: A home planetarium that projects stars and celestial bodies onto the ceiling, inspiring a love for astronomy and space. Why Parents Love It: This projector is a favorite among families for its ability to turn any room into a starry night sky, sparking curiosity and wonder about the universe. Why We Love It: Planets, nebulae, moons, asteroids and more. This is just a really cool item that kids will get tons of joy out of. We believe it could inspire the next great Astronomers that will conquer space. Buy Here

Space Rover Deluxe Coding Activity Set (Age: 4+) Price: $69.99

Description: An interactive coding toy that combines a physical rover with digital coding challenges, themed around space exploration. Why Parents Love It: It’s applauded for its engaging way of introducing young kids to coding, with a unique space exploration theme. Why We Love it: We love screen free at our Little Makers age. This is another great example of a product that sparks creativity and fun while teaching some very important skills such as logical thinking and problem solving. Buy Here

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World (13+). Price: $11.99

Description: A beautifully illustrated book by Rachel Ignotofsky, featuring 50 portraits of women who have made significant contributions to STEM fields. Why Parents Love it: Inspires and educates teens about the impactful roles women have played in science, making it an excellent gift for those interested in history and gender studies in STEM​​. Why We Love It: We love celebrating women in STEM. As a Biologist and Computer Scientist we celebrate a phrase that Isaac Newton coined — “If I have seen further, its because I was standing on the shoulders of giants”. This books teaches kids about the giants who were women. Buy Here

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