On the way home from pre-k every afternoon, I would ask Camryn how her day was.
She’d tell me what they did, who she played with, what they had for snack. The usual stuff.
Then one day she told me that she had been partnered with a girl named Mady and that Mady thought she was a princess.
So I asked her what was wrong with that and I’ll never forget what she said to me next: “I don’t care for princesses.”
And she never has. My daughter isn’t into fairies, dolls, princesses, Barbies, or most of the other gender specific toys marketed to girls.
When she was younger, any time we’d go into a toy store, she always headed for the dinosaurs and electronics.
My baby and her pal, “Mr. T”
In fact, the only female character she ever really identified with was Tinkerbell who is basically an engineer.
And (you may want to sit for this one) she’s only seen Frozen once.
It was on the Disney Channel one night and when I asked if she wanted to watch it again, her response was “I’ve already seen it so I’m good.”
However, if How It’s Made is on, I guarantee she’s standing in front of the television giving that program her full attention.
In all fairness she does have a huge Barbie Dream House but I think she was more interested in the construction of the house than the actual playing with Barbies in it.
So any time I shop for gifts for her, I’m always disappointed in the lack of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) toys that are actually geared toward girls.
Then I thought, I can’t be the only parent of a little girl who is more interested in the engineering and construction of a house rather than actually playing house.
So this year, I’ve put together a list of toys, games, books, and other items that would make great gifts for any girl whether she’s a sparkly pink princess in training or an aspiring rocket scientist.
I’ve included links to the manufacturer’s websites in some cases so that you can learn more about the product but almost all of these items can be found on amazon.com.
The Young Scientist Club – Science kits and games for kids 3-12. Lots to choose from.
Thames and Kosmos Science Kits – Tons of cool stuff to choose from here. I’ll bet their candy chemistry kit is pretty popular.
ScienceWiz – Activity kits for every scientific interest.
Be Amazing Science Kits – The Big Bag of Science or any of the Test Tube Discoveries kits would make a great gift.
Smartlab Toys – These are just cool. Especially this one.
Minimuseum Pocket Sized Collections of Rare Specimens – Okay, this one is pretty expensive but I think that any girl who was interested in fossils or specimens would be super excited to receive this.
Microscope & Slides – This one’s a no-brainer for a young scientist.
Baking Sets – Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Since baking requires precise math that includes addition, subtraction, fractions and time followed by a series of chemical reactions, a baking set fits perfectly in this category.
Technology & Engineering
Lego Friends – If your little lady loves to build but also loves all things girlie, this is the set for her. Cam has a few of these sets and plays with them often.
Lego Creator – My husband has already put in a request for the Mountain Hut so that he and Cam can put it together in their blanket fort.
Lego Minecraft – I’m not super involved in the whole Minecraft situation going on in my house right now but from what I understand from Camryn, it involves construction, chemistry, and problem solving so I can see why she loves it.
Zoob Challenge Moving Mind Building Modeling System – With this system kids can design their own creations or follow the instructions and build contraptions to solve 26 challenges like making a ball bounce into a target.
Goldie Blox – Story and construction sets geared specifically toward girls! I love this concept. Kids read the story and follow the included instructions to construct some pretty cool contraptions.
Roominate – I wasn’t too impressed with these until I watched one of the videos. Then I understood the appeal. Not only can kids build a customizable dollhouse out of the modular pieces, but they can also wire windmills, carousels, elevators, lamps, and so many other things. Pretty cool. It’s also got some pretty great reviews on amazon.com.
Learning Resources Candy Construction – Because it’s cute.
K’NEX Amazin’ 8 Coaster Building Set – Use 448 pieces to build your own motorized roller coaster. How cool!
SmartLab Toys Weird and Wacky Contraption Lab – This reminds me of that game, Mouse Trap (which would also be a good addition to this list). The 60 parts can be mixed and matched to create an unlimited number of contraptions. This way kiddos won’t get bored too quickly.
4M Products – A robot you make from a soda can? Neat-o.
Snap Circuits Jr. – Kids can build over 100 electronic projects and no tools are needed because everything just snaps together!
Connectagons – These are all pretty cool but I especially like this set.
Math Magic – At least 15 math tricks, puzzles and games.
Hot Dots – Interactive math lessons for your child’s grade level.
Inchimals – For ages 3 and up. Teaches simple math and measurement.
Tangrams – Great for kids who like puzzles.
Learning Wrap-Ups – Kids wrap the string from the problem on the left to the answer on the right and then flip it over to see if they got it right. Great for practicing basic math independently. Would make a great stocking stuffer.
Music & Books
They Might Be Giants Here Comes Science cd & animated dvd – This is going in Cam’s stocking!
What Is It? Musical Math & Science
Ballads for the Age of Science
Super Smart Science Series – All of these are on my wish list for Cam.
Bedtime Math – Cam loves to chat me up every night at bedtime so I think this book would be a great way to get some math practice into a convo or two.
Rosie Revere, Engineer – For obvious reasons.
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein – A great read with adorable illustrations.
Any of David A. Adler’s math books for kids – David A. Adler’s children’s math books were a favorite of Cam’s.
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
BrainBox Card Games – Lots of subjects to choose from including: Math Memory, Science, and Inventions.
Robot Turtles – Teaches programming fundamentals to kids 4 and up.
Professor Noggin’s Trivia Card Games – Lots of great choices that would fall under STEM.
Suspend by Melissa and Doug
Math Noodlers – There is also a version for kids in grades 4-5.
Clothes & Accessories
Because our girls deserve better than this.
More Than Just a Princess T-shirt and Hoodie from Goldieblox – Yes to both!
Graphic Tees from Land’s End – This one is pretty cute and so is this one.
Cool Science T-shirts
Any of these
Love this one for so many reasons.
Either this shirt or this one, found on Etsy.
Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos (Science Set) – What kid doesn’t like temporary tattoos? These are so cool that I would even wear them.
A day at a local zoo or aquarium would be a great gift.
Or if you can swing it, how about a membership to her local science museum?