Discovery relies on the world of science and technology. For those with curious minds, science gifts are more than entertainment. They're a way to understand the physical and natural environment around them. The trick is finding the right gift for the right person.
Take note of your favorite science lover's interests because science spans engineering, photography, robotics, and dozens of other fields. The line between techie and artist gets blurred when you’re looking at gifts to inspire an inquiring mind. Whether you’re looking for cool gifts for kids or the best telescope for a stargazer, we’ve got recommendations for young and old.
— Best for Future Physicists: CMY Cube
— Best Telescope: Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
— Best Candle-Making Kit: Luxury Soy Candle-Making Kit
— Best Tie-Dye Kit: Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Party
— Best Microscope for Kids: JuniorScope Microscope
— Best Telescope for Kids: Celestron Signature Series Moon
— Best Drone for Kids: Holy Stone Mini Drone
— Best Robots for Kids: Ruko Smart Robots
— Best STEM Toy: Elenco Snap Circuits Extreme
— Best STEM Toy for 3-Year-Old: PicassoTiles
Best Science Gifts
Best for Future Physicists: CMY Cube
Key Selling Point: Explore the qualities of light with this interactive cube.
Fascinated by color and light? How about an ever-changing light display on your desk. CMY Cubes are designed to perform what's known as "subtractive color mixing" to create all kinds of new hues. When white light reaches the surface, it is either reflected or passes through the cube. The electromagnetically coated faces first appear as the primary colors cyan, magenta, and yellow. Just give the cubes a twist to turn these colors into a beautiful prisms of light. The ability to see the world through a new perspective will delight aspiring physicists and designers alike.
Best Telescope: Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
Key Selling Point: The PowerSeeker provides visual clarity and impressive views for a beginner price.
Taking in planetary views isn’t for the faint of heart. Telescopes require careful setup and some tinkering to get things balanced and focused, which can frustrate first-time users. For the grownup who can’t keep their eyes on the ground, the PowerSeeker balances amazing views with price and setup difficulty. There’s a bit of a learning curve, from learning how to work the equatorial mount for tracking to understanding which eyepiece to use for different celestial bodies. Celestron is well-known for their customer service to help figure it all out. For the price, this model offers some pretty amazing views and can easily be upgraded with accessories as the user gets more experience and is an ideal science gift for encouraging stargazing.
Related: Find more stargazing options with the best telescopes.
Best Candle-Making Kit: Luxury Soy Candle-Making Kit
Key Selling Point: Indulge the senses and the mind with a candle kit that comes with everything from a thermometer to designer labels.
Science comes in all forms, including the creative crafter. The Luxury Soy Candle Making Kit provides everything for the creative who loves to dive hands-first into the natural world. This science gift comes with everything needed to design soy candles, including fragrance oils, centering devices, and gold-coated candle tins. The melting and pouring pitcher has a wooden, heat-protected handle, and it can be used to make more candles after the supplies provided with the kit are long gone. The kit includes instructions from start to finish to make personally designed candles. For someone looking to try their hand at a hobby that combines science with beauty and design, this candle-making kit will make a fun surprise.
Best Drone for Kids: Holy Stone HS120D GPS Drone
Key Selling Point: Incredible control options let teens combine their love of tech with the need to explore the world around them.
Drones get expensive, but the Holy Stone HS120D GPS Drone gives teens a chance to spread their wings using the tech they love. Considering that drones can cost well over $700, this model offers an affordable option but with the quality that even a picky teen can appreciate. This science gift uses a 2K ultra HD FPV camera to take still photos and 1080p video. However, it’s the controls that we like with this drone. It has “follow me,” “altitude hold,” and “automatic return home” features that make it easier to control. And you can also map out a flight plan before ever sending the drone off the ground.
Best Tie-Dye Kit: Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Party
Key Selling Point: This tie-dye kit offers a wide color range and simpler dying for those ready to step into the world of wearable art.
No two tie-dye shirts will look the same, especially when they’re made with the Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Party. The one-step dyes let beginners try their hands at the dyeing process to experience the place where fabric art and chemistry intersect. This science gift includes 14 colors (18 bottles) and supplies for up to 36 projects. There’s no need to pre-soak shirts in soda ash as with some other tie-dye kits. The dyes arrive as a powder and require mixing before use. That preserves the powders until they’re ready for use. Finally, it comes in a handy plastic case that keeps everything together while in storage. For more fun options, check out the best lava lamps.
Best Microscope for Kids: JuniorScope Microscope
Key Selling Point: The JuniorScope lets kids peek into an invisible world with glass lenses that provide impressive clarity and up to 400x magnification.
An appreciation for the natural world just isn’t complete without a microscope. The JuniorScope Microscope is specifically designed for the budding scientist. It features glass lenses rather than the plastic of many other scopes built for kids. That provides better clarity, whether it’s on the 40x, 100x, or 400x magnification. Another perk of the JuniorScope is the included Microscope Adventures kit. This science gift teaches kids how to properly use the microscope while helping them get started with their own experiments and discoveries. And the battery-powered light makes this the best telescope to use in the outdoors or anywhere kids want to explore.
Best Telescope for Kids: Celestron Signature Series Moon
Key Selling Point: Simple setup lets kids get up close and personal with moons, planets, and stars with minimal adjustments.
Kids don’t usually have the patience for a complicated telescope setup. The Celestron Signature Series Moon Telescope has a simple setup and lets kids get into the heavens in a flash. This tabletop model does not require a tripod or mount. All you need is a sturdy surface and dark sky. It’s a Dobsonian telescope with a 76mm reflector optical tube. It’s portable for a trip to grandma’s house. However, included eyepieces are somewhat limited. Many users find that they get even better views by upgrading to either a 25mm, 12mm, or 9mm piece. This introductory telescope may not show intimate planetary detail but will definitely get kids excited for the phases of the moon and other highly visible spacial events.
Best Drone for Kids: Holy Stone Mini Drone
Key Selling Point: Simple startup and basic controls let kids learn the ins and outs of drone control.
The Holy Stone Mini Drone gives younger children a taste of remote flying with simple controls and a durable design. This model features several auto settings that make it easier for kids to fly, such as throw-to-go (toss it in the air to start flight), circle mode (a predictable flight pattern), and three speeds. As kids get more comfortable, they can increase the speed and difficulty of their tricks. Beginners can orient themselves using the headless mode, which keeps the front of the drone facing the same direction as the remote to make it easier to fly. Guards on the propellers protect curious fingers. Plus, it includes an easy, single-button start and stop control.
Best Robots for Kids: Ruko Smart Robot
Key Selling Point: This smart robot impresses with a wide range of functions and ease of programming to teach and entertain kids ages 6 to 12.
The Ruko Smart Robot stands at just over one-foot tall, making it a commanding but friendly presence. It comes with a remote control that allows kids to move the robot with joints moving independently of one another. It also connects to an app where kids can program more in-depth movement patterns. While it’s a little on the pricey side, kids get a lot of interaction and training under the disguise of play. The robot can record a voice, respond to vocal commands, dance, and sing. Kids can also ask questions and get up to three different answers. The Ruko also gets high marks for the materials and quality of the construction. Of course, a robot requires a more gentle hand than other toys, but this one is designed to last. It’s an investment worth making in a child that’s into robotics and enjoys interactive learning opportunities.
Best STEM Toy: Elenco Snap Circuits Extreme
Key Selling Point: Snap Circuits introduce kids to electronics with simple projects that don’t require any tools.
Elenco Snap Circuits Extreme are one of the most hands-on science gifts, providing one of the best (and safest) ways for kids to learn about electricity, circuits, and electrical schematics. The Extreme kit includes 80 color-coded pieces and 750 projects to build. You can also use it to interface with a computer to get a view of frequencies and waveforms. The versatility of this kit keeps kids over eight coming back for more. However, it does all of that in an easy “snap” form. There’s no need for soldering or other tools. Everything they need is included in the kit, including step-by-step instructions that double as learning tools. If the Snap Circuits are a success, there are expansion kits available, too.
Best STEM Toy for 3-year-old: PicassoTiles
Key Selling Point: Little fingers get some help to keep up with their creative minds with tiles that easily stick together and come apart.
Picasso Tiles open a world of building possibilities for little hands still working on fine motor skills. The bristle-shaped blocks stick together in all kinds of configurations, from familiar shapes to those that only exist in the mind of kids ages three and up. The 120 blocks are made of high-quality, lead-free, toxin-free plastic. They come in various shapes and colors and provide visual and tactile stimulation. Science gifts like these create opportunities for open-ended play, letting kids use their imaginations without limitations. Every time they get out the blocks, they can tell a new story.
Related: Got an astronomy lover in your life? Check out the best space gifts.
Science gifts make fun presents for kids because they pull double duty. They stimulate the brain and teach while entertaining and broadening the imagination. Adults aren’t immune to the effects of science gifts either. Whether it’s a drone or a telescope, there’s a lot of world to explore — no matter how old you get.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.