October 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 10
Top-10 Most-Wanted Science and Nature Toys
With additional reporting by Brenda Ruggiero
Toys are the perfect way to keep kids engaged in the learning process. With these best-selling science and nature toys, kids can build their knowledge and STEM skills while having fun.
*No manufacturer paid to be included in this list. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
This kit is for kids as they begin to explore, experiment and discover their world. Over 70 fun exciting experiments to stimulate young minds. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33673 (added 2/13/2012)
With more than 60 activities, this set can serve as a great introduction to the wonders of science. It allows kids to set up their own science lab and investigate activities in chemistry, physics, biology, geology, weather, magnets and electricity. Activities include Insta-Snow , the Geyser Tube (Mentos and diet soda geyser), Water Gel, Gravity Goo, Windbags, Twister Tube and more. "We have billed it as “the best of Be Amazing!” since it contains many of our signature science activities," Renee Whitney, president of Be Amazing Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28022 (added 4/15/2010)
Snap parts together to build different circuits, and watch the different pieces light up. Includes fiber optics over a light organ that can be connected to an iPod; the lights will flash to the beat of the music. Includes strobe lights with different plates so kids can experiment with strobe patterns, white LED lights, glow in the dark and lighted fan blades, a light up egg, and more.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
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ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34362 (added 5/25/2012)
A great gift for the inquisitive kid who’s not squeamish. Kids grow their own friendly germs and fuzzy molds and can even mix up a batch of coagulating fake blood. If they really want to, they can make a stinky intestine. No matter what, they learn the science behind unmentionable bodily functions while doing some truly nasty experiments.
— Sandra Tollinger, salesperson at Growing Tree Toys, State College, Penn., said that the Disgusting Science kit is one of their best sellers. “Boys really like it.”
— The owner of Cheeky Monkey Toys in Menlo Park, Calif., pointed out that the “Scientific Explorer Kits are the best selling toy for 9 to 12 year old boys.”
— “The Scientific Explorer kits are great sellers for me,” explained Jeff Boss, owner and president of Brain Builders, Moorepark, Calif.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5227 (added 10/27/2005)
This 42" bamboo butterfly and fish net has a 10" metal frame. Box price: $7.50; pieces per box: $10.00; price per piece: $0.75.
— Michelle Deutschmann, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Falmouth, Mass., told TDmonthly in August 2008 that she had sold more than 200 butterfly nets since the beginning of summer.
— Ten percent of 64 retailers named nets as their top-selling nature toy in summer 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10815 (added 12/27/2006)
Bella Butterfly swings open on the easy-access door of this whimsical bug house. A sturdy handle, a beautifully striped floor and lots of air holes provide the perfect place to house and observe insects and bugs. Dimensions: 5.5" x 7.5" x 3.5"
— Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in an March 2015 survey that bug houses are one of her store's best-selling outdoor toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37284 (added 3/30/2015)
The Geek & Co. Science kits make science fun and affordable! With Crystal Nightlight, grow a big, beautiful crystal from alum powder, then wire up a color-changing LED circuit. Put them together to create your own nightlight that glows in a spectrum of colors!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36625 (added 3/5/2014)
Build this Strandbeest kit yourself! It has a very interesting mechanism: blowing into the fan makes the animal start walking against the wind. The wind power is conveyed to the legs by 2 gears. The 28-page science guide gives you the history of the real Strandbeest that Theo Jansen started building in1990. The guide also includes easy-to-follow assembly instructions.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36874 (added 7/31/2014)
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The kit allows kids to dissect a sanitary owl pellet which contains the skeletal remains of an owl meal. Learn about the owl’s habitat, place in the food chain and predatory skills. Use some archaeological skills to piece together the skeletons using the enclosed bone chart. Launch date: May 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18739 (added 5/5/2008)
GeoSafariŽ Jr. My First Microscope by EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.
Other products from EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.
Get preschoolers excited about science and introduce them to the miracles of magnification with My First Microscope! Magnify any small object – flat or dimensional – at 8x with this real, working microscope designed especially for little kids! Encourages scientific exploration; Rewards curiosity ; Introduces kids to a key scientific tool.
— Matt Peel, manager of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, N.C., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the GeoSafari line from Educational Insights was their store's best-selling STEM toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37158 (added 1/29/2015)
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Writer's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author
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