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.

  • 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


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!