If you are looking to add some cool STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) gear to your after school or homeschool collection, you have got to see these.
We rounded up some very neat technology-based STEM learning items that you totally have to check out.
This awesome gear will make him dive in to something new and he will expand his horizons and maybe even find a new hobby.
These are really great for gifts but also to surprise him with something new!
You can also take a peak at our gift guide for boys page for more ideas.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small amount, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions are my own and I share things I think would be of interest to you and your family.
Keep these things in mind when deciding what you are going to purchase.
- Look at your son’s interests
- Find things that match his passions
- Look at the types of things you would like to see him learn in the future
- Throw in a surprise item or two that are just simply cool
Do that and you will have a great selection of learning materials for him to use throughout the coming years.
LEGO STEM Toys
(NEW: an updated set is now available – the link will take you directly there) To take LEGO up a notch try LEGO Mindstorms EV3 for programming and robototics. This is one great “toy” with a community of enthusiastic people trying new and exciting things, and sharing what they are doing so your boy can do it too. Worth the money.
If your boy is not yet ready for LEGO Mindstorms, then try LEGO Boost! It is wonderful for around up to 12-years-old and involved building and simple coding.
What is super rugged, waterproof, takes pics and video and will get your boy outside and moving? The GoPro HERO! This version also live streams!
If you want a waterproof one, grab this option.
The price on this neat camera is reasonable and it is one nifty thing to get for your boy. Consider this – boys like tech. They like being on the computer.
With this device you can get them making videos (outside!) and then working to create some different types of presentations, YouTube videos and more makes this a great learning tool. Videography
If he won’t need something as rugged as the Go Pro, try the OJI Osmo Pocket awesome pocket camera with gimbal stabilizer (it works so good to keep the picture stable while moving around – really amazing!)
Sure to turn heads due to its small size, this is the perfect tool for someone who wants to get started making video and allows a variety of video styles. Videography
Give him some classes to up his skills.
Activity / Sleep Trackers
Fitbit Heath and Fitness SmartWatch is a tool for activity and sleep tracking and a whole lot more. It is shocking to me how much these little devices can do now!
Have your boy use it to track activity and try to beat his records and to create charts and graphs – throwing in a little practical and useful math is always a good idea.
Pair it with apps to do even more. Heath and fitness.
Does your boy like fiddling about with electronics?
Order this Raspberry Pi kit (Raspberry Pi Complete Starter Kit) and he will be thanking you again and again. It has everything he needs to get started.
Once you have this kit there are a lot of different projects you can do. Here are a few examples. Electronics.
Another option is The Arduino Starter Kit .This kit has everything you need to do 15 projects and includes a 170 page project booklet. Electronics.
More Items Below Image!
I really like the idea of the littleBits and if you can afford them you should get them.
I have heard they are awesome for building and electronics. (this is the kit that is pictured in the graphic)
We own the Snap Circuits SC-300 Electronics Discovery Kit. It is much more reasonably priced compared to littleBits.
We really enjoy this set and get it out every once and a while to play around with the projects and try to build our own.
This electronics set has over 60 pieces and you can build a radio, a doorbell, use switches etc. There are a lot of projects and tweaks to the projects featured.
If you want to have them get a box in the mail with everything for each project included, you should go for this award winning subscription box.
Each project includes video tutorials, step by step instructions, and support so you don’t have to worry about anything. They say “go from beginner to tech wizard” and it is actually true.
Makes a great gift idea! Electronics, coding, engineering
This little programable coding robot ball is so neat!
See also Sphero mini for a less expensive but still awesome option.
Wow! What a fun way to learn! Coding, robotics.
Another option is the MakeBot Robot kit which is a real robot that is controlled by an app.
What is neat about this kit is that the robot’s app is a training area for logical thinking for new coders. Their software is one of the most popular entry-level code platforms. Coding, robotics
Ok, I have to add another coding option in because if you have a Harry Potter fan on your hands, you really need to see this Harry Potter Coding Kit.
Imagine building a wand, learning to code and watching the magic happen on screen! This is a brilliant idea!
The wand responds to their movements. “Make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, pumpkins grow, and more.” This wonder includes 70 creative challenges. Coding
Remote Control Machines
Build your own remote control vehicles. I don’t know about your boy, but mine really enjoys remote control vehicles.
With this Remote Control Machines set you can build up to 10 different models that move. Be sure to suggest he use his imagination to build many more. Building, motors, and mechanical engineering.
If your boy is older and would like something a little more challenging, I would try the Smart Robot Car Kit.
They will get hands on STEM experience while building and programming a cool car! Electronics, programming, building, robotics.
See also our post on a 4-in-1 Super Fast Robotic Car for another possibility.
This is a neat little invention from which kids can make their own neat little inventions – gotta love that!
Makey Makey turns about anything into a keypad.
I would try to explain but you are really better off clicking through and watching the video located on the left hand side of the page. Inventions, and engineering.
I wish this Tinkering Labs invention kit was available when my son was young. I would have bought it for him and I know he would have loved it.
Get this electronic motors robotics kit for 8 -12 year old to build doodling robots, electronic cars and even add motors to LEGO! Inventions, building, engineering.
The Plugable Handheld Digital Microscope plugs right into a USB 2.0 port and provides 10x – 250x magnification.
If your boy likes science this is an inexpensive tool that he will enjoy using.
It does a great job for a starter digital microscope for kids. Bonus – it takes pictures. Science.
Don’t miss our post on the Best Homeschool Science Equipment as well for additional microscopes and more.
Echo & Tablets
Last year I got my son a tablet and it has been a wonderful tool for him to use. Stick with a sure thing and go for the iPad <<< link to latest models!
Apple has a lot more educational games than Android does, by far. We often see games we would like to try but they are only available for Apple devices. (Update – we got an iPad and it is so much better than the android tablets we had. I’ll never go back.) All the subjects!
This is a seriously cool way to add some technology to your home – your whole family will love it.
Have you heard about Echo Show?
I got my son the Echo 5 last Christmas and I think I am going to ask for one for myself this year and I may go with the Echo 8 because it has a bigger screen.
We are using it in our homeschool. You can ask it questions so if you are working on a project you don’t have to stop to go to the computer and look things up. You can also ask for help spelling a word or getting a word definition.
Plus it plays music, checks the weather and so on just like other Alexa devices but but this one has a screen and can also show you things.
It is giving me flashbacks of watching The Jetsons cartoon lol. All the subjects.
Check out The Very Best Hands-on STEM Toys to Engage Boys for more cool ideas!
Sunday 2nd of August 2015
I see some things I haven't heard of before and I'm sure my teen would like some of these. Thanks for sharing your list on Merry Monday.
Monday 3rd of August 2015
Hi Erlene, I am happy you found some things you teen would like! Thanks for visiting :)
Monday 27th of July 2015
I had no idea there was another level to Lego! My son is so engrossed in the world of Lego I forget to look into the future when he may grow out of the learning stage he is in. And the microscope is going to be a huge hit too. Some of this wonderful tech gear can be pretty expensive. Thanks for a list so I can start a little savings fund!
Monday 27th of July 2015
Oh yes Marie, There is a whole lot more than what I posted here. Good idea for a savings fund. I have found that all of these items are worth the cost if you son is really into that type of thing. Following their passions is what is key.
Thursday 23rd of July 2015
I don't know where to start - I want one of everything! All kidding aside, this is a wonderful resource Sheila. There is so much more to technology than tablets and mine craft, and I love how you highlighted that. I didn't know LEGO had tech based stuff, so I can't wait to check that out. Robot creation is pretty popular in our home right now. Though we don't homeschool, I do try to plan enrichment activites for at home, that are tailored to the boys interests. I called it fostering hobbies, because so often now kids aren't encourage to have hobbies. Play sports, read more, have less screen time sure, but hobbies never get talked about. I can't wait to sit down with the boys and go through this post with them. I think both our teen and youngest will find something here that peaks their interest.
Friday 24th of July 2015
LOL, well Alli that is sort of how I felt. There are certainly some fun things out there and you are very right that there is a lot out there that includes some hands-on activities and learning in addition to the neat stuff on screens. I love that you have a fostering hobbies mindset. I am glad you think the boys will find something they enjoy - that is my whole purpose for writing it. And as with all my posts they are adaptable. So you certainly don't have to be a homeschooler to use them :)
Wednesday 22nd of July 2015
I think when we homeschool - especially if we do it year round - we can forget about the buzz of back to school and the newness of the items that traditionally go with it. Thanks for the reminder!
I am positively drooling over this list by the way!
My brother got a Go Pro for Christmas and we "not quite teenagers anymore - by a long shot" had great fun putting it through it's paces.
And that Echo is on the Christmas list...