Tis the season for good tidings, comfort, joy… and often times the added stress of perfect gift-giving. There should be a verb in the English language for the act of going on a long and fruitless internet dive in search of the right gift for the people you love.
That’s why this holiday season we tried to make it a little easier on you. We compiled some of our favorite, silliest, strangest, stimulating and sentimental gift ideas into EXPLO’s 2018 Gift Guide in hopes to take some of that added pressure off of you. For students entering grades 2-12, our gift guide puts a little holiday magic into experiential learning for even our most education-resistant students.
Bonus: We added a few gift ideas for parents. We absolutely believe in the spirit of “treat yo’ self” — you deserve it.
EXPLO's 2018 Gift Guide For Students Grades 2-12:
- This AWB OnSky Reflector Telescope will get anyone in the spirt of Neil Armstrong’s biopic First Man. Experts say its manual functioning (no GPS) is better for teaching astronomy.
- Build a wand (check). Learn to code (check). Make magic (double check). We love this Harry Potter coding kit.
- Introducing “Who’s She?” (think Guess Who but *better*), a beautifully designed guessing game about incredible women who have changed the world.
- Emotional First Aid Kit: A box of wise emergency advice for 20 key psychological situations, including: Friendship, Love, Work and Self.
- Get into the hospitality business early and open up your first “bee hotel” with The Welliver Outdoors Standard Mason Bee House.
- Universal Yums makes international snacking educational with a monthly delivery of munchies from different countries, along with trivia about their origins.
- Steven Spielberg made his first film at age 12. You’re up next. This book, “Let’s Make A Movie!” helps your child develop the confidence to use their imaginations and get their ideas onto film.
- This modern version of chess, Hive is a perfect game for families looking for two-player games with high strategy and a short play period.
- Famed paper toy creator Haruki Nakamura may have designed the perfect next-gen DIY origami. Meet this penguin ASAP.
- This 13-in-1 Utility Tool is the perfect addition to your growing “going away to college” survival kit
- Nintendo Switch + DIY cardboard toys = The best of both worlds. This game console add-on even made it onto’s Time Magazine’s Invention list of 2018.
- Does It Fart?: The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence
- Want to pick up the piano — literally? Learn how to play the hand-held melodica (also known as the panic, blow-organ, key harmonica, free-reed clarinet. Seriously. It has over a dozen different names).
- More zen than any other soldier toys you’ve come across, this set of nine Yoga Joe figurines channels a sense of self-peace.
- Perfect for your fashion-forward student: The story of the Apollo spacesuit, the 21-layer garment that landed on the moon, told by Nicholas de Monchaux in 21 essays relevant to the suit, the body, and the technology of fashion of the twentieth century.
- Sometimes a book series is so important that you want people to put everything aside and just read it. We’re not the only one who feels this way about N.K. Jemisin's science fiction Broken Earth trilogy.
- Star Wars legos. A fail-safe gift that never gets old.
- Looking for a board game that never gets old? Betrayal at House on the Hill has 50+ storylines to follow and a completely different strategy dependent on who you play.
- For the next up-and-coming DJ, these percussion and synthesizing pocket operators are small, ultra portable music devices that allow you to make studio-sounding tracks on the go. Mind blown.
- Big Life Journal is a powerful growth mindset writing tool that empowers tweens & teens (ages 11+) to dream up their future in tangible way.
- Amazon Review: “If you're looking for a Jeff Goldblum shower curtain, this is as good as it gets.”
- The Buddha Board, a zen art board for a generation plagued by perfectionism.
- Don’t need waves to get your surf on with this Vew-Do Flow Balance Board. Way more fun —and competitive— than meets the eye.
- A #ThrowbackThursday for your teen every day of the week: Jensen 3-Speed Stereo Turntable with AM/FM Stereo Radio
- Seeing Things: A Kid's Guide to Looking at Photographs
- A Raspberry Pi that can be anything you want it to be: like a D.I.Y. video game console, a home server or a robot
- It’s an art history lesson you can take anywhere: 12 sticker templates that let children complete masterworks from Da Vinci, Veneer, and Rembrandt
Gifts for Parents:
- Purchase a pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites with an annual National Parks Pass. Start crossing places like Yosemite, Arches, and Shenandoah off your bucket list with the whole family.
- Feeling burnt out and looking for a cosmic tune-up for your work day? RESET is a new online course, taught by Hurry Slowly host Jocelyn K. Glei, that will launch in early 2019.
- Travel the world one cup at a time with a monthly delivery of varietal coffee flavors from all over. An Atlas Coffee Subscription turns your morning buzz into a committed hobby.
- The early bird catches the discount! If you apply to an EXPLO Summer Program before December 28, you are eligible to save up to $250. After all, there’s nothing like giving the gift of daring and courage with a summer at EXPLO.
Interested in a camp for adults? Practice project design and develop, learn how to conduct a kind critique, and navigate the tools of a modern makerspace at EXPLO’s Critical Making Camp for Educators.
Please note that the links in this guide are affiliate links. If you purchase any item through this blog, the price of the gift will be the same for you and EXPLO will receive a small percentage which will help support learning through exploration all year round. Many thanks to you and your family this holiday season!