Based in the Bay Area, WLK is Mikee and Jo — working parents of two loving and kind kids. They love sharing stories and tips at the intersection of work, life and kids.

Engineering/STEM gift guide for kids 2018

Engineering/STEM gift guide for kids 2018

Original source: Purdue University Engineering Guide.

I chose this curation source because actual engineers vetted the items both in the labs and in their homes and with special thanks to the greater Lafayette community. Now, I’m adding the price layer over it so we can see when the right time to buy is. All price data is from


  1. 3+ yo: Code Hopper

  2. 5+ yo: Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set , Toy of the year finalist

  3. 5+ yo: Code & Go Mouse Mania Board Game

  4. 6+ yo: Harry Potter Kano Programming Kit , #1 seller at apple store

  5. 8+ yo: Discovering stem through robotics

  6. 8+ yo: Hacker Cybersecurity Logic game

  7. 8+ yo: Thames & Kosmos Code Gamer Coding Workshop and Game

  8. 8+ yo: Thames & Kosmos Robotics: Smart Machines Rovers and Vehicles

Teaching troubleshooting

  1. 2+ yo Guidecraft Roadway System

  2. 4+ yo: Hape Busy City Rail

  3. 5+ yo: Mental Blox on the go

  4. 5+ yo: Pendulum challenge

  5. 5+ yo: Crashpult stem challenge

  6. 6+ yo: Smart games Squirrels go nuts

  7. 6+ yo: IQ Stars

  8. 8+ yo: Smart games Asteroid escape

  9. 8+ yo: Kanoodle extreme- our favorite!

  10. 8+ yo: Laser chess, MENSA award winner

  11. 8+ yo: Kanoodle duplexity


  1. 0.5yo: KEVA Junior set

  2. 1.5yo: Grippies Shapers

  3. 2+yo: Interlox squares

  4. 2+ yo: 1-2-3 Build It! Rocket-Train-Helicopter

  5. 3+yo : Mini Units Bricks architects set

  6. 3+yo: Guidecraft Texo 100 pc set

  7. 3+yo: Magnatiles 48-pc set

  8. 4+ yo: Hape Flexistix Creative Construction kit

  9. 4+yo: Quadrilla Castle Escape award-winning

  10. 5+ yo: Pattern Play 3D

  11. 6+yo: Brik Buster - 133 Pieces Tower Toppling Game

  12. 6+ yo: Brik Tower - 2 Trap and Gap Baseplates with 2 Stackable 10"x10" Baseplates

  13. 7+yo: Mechanics Gravity Motor Best toy award

  14. 7+yo: Dodeca Spiky Base Kit

  15. 8+ yo: Discovering STEM Mechanics Levers & Linkages

  16. 8+yo: 3Doodler Start Architecture Activity Kit

  17. 9+yo: Timberkits Bi-Plane

What I hate most about STEM toys

So. many. little. pieces.

My advice is not to buy too many of them. Choose 1-2 and stick to those in the age range. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy. Never take out one of these without making sure your child has put away all their other toys. That helps them to stay focused and also prevents toy parts from getting mixed up with other toys.

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