June 26, 2019

TDmonthly Magazine

October 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 10

Top-10 Most-Wanted Science and Nature Toys

By Justina Huddleston
October 2015

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 Magazine.

My First Super Science Kit by BE AMAZING!

My First Super Science Kit by BE AMAZING!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. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $40.00; Age: 4 to 8)

The Big Bag of Science by BE AMAZING!

The Big Bag of Science by BE AMAZING!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. 4/15/2010 (MSRP: $39.99; Age: 8 and Up)

Snap Circuits LIGHT by ELENCO

Snap Circuits LIGHT by ELENCOSnap 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

Where to buy:

SOUTH  5/25/2012 (MSRP: $75.00)

Disgusting Science by SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER

Disgusting Science by SCIENTIFIC EXPLORERA 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. 10/27/2005 (MSRP: $15.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Bamboo Butterfly & Fish Net by ESCO TOYS

Bamboo Butterfly & Fish Net by ESCO TOYSThis 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. 12/27/2006 (Age: 3 and Up)

Bella Butterfly Bug House by MELISSA & DOUG

Bella Butterfly Bug House by MELISSA & DOUGBella 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. 3/30/2015 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 3 and Up)

Crystal Nightlight by THAMES & KOSMOS

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! 


Jr. Scientist Strandbeest Model Kit by ELENCO

Jr. Scientist Strandbeest Model Kit by ELENCOBuild 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. 7/31/2014 (MSRP: $34.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Compact Curiosities Owl Pellet by COPERNICUS TOYS

Compact Curiosities Owl Pellet by COPERNICUS TOYSThe 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. 5/5/2008 (MSRP: $5.00; Age: 10 and Up)

GeoSafariŽ Jr. My First Microscope by EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.

GeoSafariŽ Jr. My First Microscope by 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. 1/29/2015 (MSRP: $21.99)

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