This holiday, give them a gift that will change their life.
Hanukkah is upon us, and can you believe we’re two weeks away from Christmas? The countdown is on, and no matter what holiday you’re celebrating it’s a great opportunity to give your little maker a gift they will never forget. Here’s MakerKids guide to having a very merry maker holiday.
Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Maker Kids:
1. A Weekly MakerKids Program: A maker program is a great way for your kids to get into making, or to further their interests in it. They’ll make friends, learn new skills, and come home with something they’ve made themselves. Our 10-week programs start up the second week of January and are sure to delight. You can choose from Robotic Inventions using Arduino, Videogame Programming using Scratch, Advanced Minecraft, and Electronics. Not sure which to choose? Feel free to phone us and we can guide you! Spaces are filling up, so sign up for a Weekly MakerKids program now.
2. MakerKids Winter Camp: This holiday, we’re offering not one but TWO winter camps! Choose from December 21st-23rd or December 28th-31st, or sign up for both. You can even sign up by the day! Your little maker will get to sample from all our best activities, including Minecraft, Videogame Programming, 3D Printing, Robotics with Arduino, and making a high-tech holiday ornament or gift. Register for the winter camp now.
3. MakerKids Gift Card: Want to surprise them but let them choose which program they want to sign up for? Buy a MakerKids gift card.
4. Buy them some tech: Whether it’s a laptop, a Minecraft account or littleBits, it’s always awesome to pair your little maker with some tech. They’ll have fun, learn, and spend time exploring. Here’s some more specific recommendations below.
5. A Laptop: It’s never to early to learn typing skills, and having their own laptop can make your child feel more ownership over computers. Maybe they’ll use it to learn some coding, build a website, or watch tutorial videos. We recommend the ~$250 netbooks from Staples – they can handle resource-intensive programs like Minecraft, yet are cheap enough that it’s not too bad if your child drops them.
6. A Minecraft account: While some may wonder about the merits of it, Minecraft has been lauded as one of the most educational games. Some parents we’ve spoken to have said they don’t let their kids play any video games except Minecraft. Having a Minecraft account allows your child to play with their friends online – they can build things together and learn new skills. Here’s a recent article from CBC Parents on the educational benefits of playing Minecraft: What Kids Learn When They Play Minecraft
7. littleBits: This is one of our favourite technologies out there for kids. littleBits is a series of small electronic pieces that you can plug together magnetically to form circuits. Press a button and make a light turn on! Or create your own DJ set. We are excited to be a littleBits Chapter Member. Learn more at littlebits.cc.
8. Kano: Interested in going beyond getting them a laptop? How about if they build their own computer? Kano is an awesome kit out of the UK that allows kids to build their own computer in an uncomplicated way, learning lots as they go along. Once it’s created, the Kano has its own kid-friendly operating system that your kids can enjoy. We met with the creators of Kano in London and have raved about it ever since. Check out Kano.
9. A 3D Printer: OK, so 3D printers are still pretty expensive. But some of them are getting pretty cheap, and it’s always fun to have one that your child can readily access. We use the Cube 3D printer by 3D Systems (we have 6 of them at our makerspace!), since it’s one of the only 3D printers that is rated kid-safe.
10. A subscription to Make Magazine: Have you ever heard of Make Magazine? If not, you don’t know what you’re missing! Filled with amazing tutorials and articles, Make Magazine will inspire your little maker and give them ideas to grow. We are very lucky – the CEO of Make Magazine is on MakerKids’ Board of Advisors.
Most importantly, your little maker would probably love some time tinkering on any of the above with you. Or other ideas! Even if it’s something as simple as putting cardboard together to create a miniature car, igniting their mind with possibilities, playing pretend, and getting your hands dirty with them is sure to be a great way to inspire your little maker to be and do more.
Happy holidays from all of us at the MakerKids HQ!