STEM Gifts for the Holidays

By Laura Franklin


The weather has turned cold for good, the kids are well-established in the not-so-new school year, the holiday cards are ordered, and it is officially time to get the holiday shopping done. As my kids have gotten older, finding the “perfect” gift to put under the tree has become more and more difficult.

I used to be the cool mom that knew what to get my kids, and now I feel like a fish out of water, trying to figure out what that perfect gift might be. The last thing I want to do is waste money buying them gifts that will be forgotten in two days. And although I know that they could all use new socks and underwear, I don’t think they’d be too thrilled to open those gifts on Christmas morning. Luckily, I did a little brainstorming, and I have some ideas for filling their stockings this year that I’m really excited about, and I know they will be, too.

My kids are all about hands-on activities. I love seeing my kids excited about learning (especially when they don’t even realize they’re learning because they’re having so much fun). Whenever I can incorporate learning and fun together, I’m on it. We’ve always been a STEM family (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), but even more so as they get older.

Getting a STEM education is something that is becoming more important in today’s educational system, especially as we consider how prepared our kids will be for the future job market. STEM classes and activities help them master critical skills for their future careers.

American kids are already behind their peers from other countries when it comes to STEM proficiency, and the earlier they get involved in and excited about STEM, the better.

Luckily, we’ve discovered STEM programs available through Sylvan Learning that encourage kids to “find their edge” and experience how STEM learning can be fun. I’ve always believed that the first step in creating confident, life-long learners is to help them feel confident and recognize that learning can be enjoyable as well as rewarding. The latest Sylvan EDGE STEM classes –focused on robotics, engineering, coding, and math – do just that. Best of all, they’re fun!

That’s why I’ve decided that the perfect STEM gifts for my kids this year include fun, hands-on toys or activities, and an EDGE course certificate for a Sylvan EDGE program of their choice. The courses are six weeks long and I’m sure my kids will have a great experience!

Here are a few stocking-stuffer ideas that will go perfectly with a Sylvan Learning EDGE course:


Solar Robot – Grasshopper

My son loves robotics, and he was drawn to the solar robot grasshopper. He carefully read the instructions and was able to put it together by himself.




Water Vanish

This is one of my favorites. It’s simply science, but it’s also magic. My wanna-be magicians love tricks that can be explained with science but still look like magic.




Energy Stick™

Exploring electricity and circuits is fascinating, and my kids had lots of fun seeing how they could complete a circuit. I love seeing my kids working together to test ideas out and make discoveries about how things work.




Insta-Snow Powder

This stuff is so cool! You literally get to experiment with snow. There are tons of activity suggestions. I can’t wait to watch this stuff expand (it expands up to 100 times its original volume). I think we might need to save a little snow to wow their friends next summer!


Instead of spending money on things my kids will just forget about, I’m excited to invest in their future with STEM activities like Sylvan EDGE and learning toys that will keep my kids active and growing.

Are your kids into STEM education? What are some of their favorite STEM activities? How would you like to give the gift of education to your child this holiday season? From December 1st through December 19th, visit Sylvan’s Facebook page to enter to win your own STEM-themed educational holiday stocking!

For more posts from Laura Franklin, visit her blog at