While we all want to give the people in our lives something special, it can be hard figuring out something useful (or fun) that they don’t already own.
This year, why not consider a science gift?
From stocking stuffers, to tools for hands-on science, to science apparel, books, or fun things for around the home, I’ve got you covered. These items are either ones I already own, or would appreciate receiving myself.
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Science Stocking Stuffers
An often-overlooked but oh-so-handy tool for science at home is a simple digital mass scale. Ideally, it should be able to report mass in grams (as that is what students will need to use once they get to high school). With it, your kids can do all sorts of clever measurements at home (including measuring out a mole of salt, baking soda, and water in the kitchen!)
Did you know that you can create your own pH paper from red cabbage? You can also create it from poinsettias! These homemade pH indicators are great for determining what household substances are acidic or basic. But when your kids want to get exact about pH, pH paper is the way to go. This stuff is incredibly cheap (just a few dollars for hundreds of strips) and it lasts for years when stored properly. I particularly like the pH paper that detects pH values from pH 0 (highly acidic) to pH 14 (highly basic).
This is another fun stocking stuffer. I’ve written before about the genetics of tasting the chemical PTC (Phenylthiocarbamide) On average, 75% of people can taste PTC, while 25% cannot.
While many genetic traits (like eye and hair color) are easy to spot by sight, no one knows how they will react to PTC paper until they taste it for themselves. Like pH paper, PTC paper is inexpensive and comes in packs of 100 strips. This means that you can test lots of people for the ability to taste PTC. You can also buy a kit that comes with papers coated in other chemicals with tastes determined by an individual’s genetics.
If you have a large family, you can even create a family pedigree tracking the ability to taste PTC through your family tree.
The genetics of blood types are fascinating. After all, there are 8 major blood types, and a child can inherit a blood type distinct from either parent.
Did you know that you can determine your own blood type at home? Not only is it useful to know your blood type, but the process of testing blood type will help your kids learn about the topics of antigens and antibodies.
You can buy single blood-typing kits, or you can buy kits with enough tests to determine the blood type of your whole family.
People of all ages love to explore the microscopic world. A pocket microscope makes a great gift! They are small and light enough to carry with you anytime you head out on an adventure.
Lens Kit for Your Cell Phone
My favorite gift from last Christmas was a set of lenses for my cell phone. The set I received came with three lenses: a macro lens, a wide-angle lens, and a fisheye lens. They easily clip on my phone, and with them I have captured some great pictures!
Despite what you might think, an owl pellet is not owl poop. An owl pellet contains the parts of an owl’s prey that it can’t digest. You can buy owl pellets that come alone or as part of a kit that contains tweezers and a bone identification sheet. Once my son was able to recover an entire vole skeleton from a single owl pellet!
Tools for Hands-on Science at Home
As a long-time homeschool family, I have collected tons of supplies, games, and other tools for exploring science at home. Some of my favorite things include Snap Circuits, Petri dishes (for discovering the hidden microscopic life all around us), and games that get kids familiar with science terms and principles early.
I’m a sucker for science apparel. Fortunately for me, I’m an online science teacher and can get away with wearing it every day of the week. There’s no end to the cute science fashion you can find: geeky shirts, socks, even jewelry!
Science Socks and Shirts
Science Jewelry and Accessories
There are many gifts to choose from for the scientist in your life. My son has been trying to teach me to read in binary. I wonder if he’d like this watch that tells time in binary?
Science for the Home
To be honest, I do have to show quite a bit of restraint when it comes to the amount of science-themed decor I’d like to have in my house. There are just so many stinking cute things available for every room in the house!
Science for the Kitchen
Science for the Bathroom
Science for Around the House
Of course, you can never go wrong with science books! There are books for every age and stage!
Science Books For Children
Science Books for Adults
I’m sure I’ve left out many fantastic ideas for science gifts. If there’s something you’ve found that I should add, please let me know!
*As an affiliate for Amazon, I may earn a commission if you use my affiliate link to make a purchase. This doesn’t affect your price in any way, but helps me with the cost of maintaining my website so that I may continue to share resources to help you understand, teach, and love science.