science with kids

Physics Toys and Gifts for Kids

Physics provides the building blocks of engineering. Students typically learn physics in high school. Physics has a steep learning curve, so at first many students perform poorly. Start kids as early as possible, learning the basic concepts of physics to help them succeed. Physics toys are a great way to teach them some of the basic principals, which will help them when they take the classes.

Wild Science Wild Physics and Cool Chemistry

Science set that is designed for 4th grade and above. Contains an assortment of materials that allow unique experiments that kids 10 and up will think are cool. Kids will learn some key concepts of chemistry and physics by doing all the unique experiments included in the set.

Age 10-12

Balloon Rocket

Looking for a low-cost way to demonstrate air pressure and rocket thrust? Inexpensive rocket balloons are great for helping to teach kids about rockets, physics and thrust. This set of 50 re-usable rockets includes a pump and offers an inexpensive way to demonstrate science. This set is a great idea for a science camp, science classroom or a party.

Age 8-15

Ultra Stomp Rocket

Stomp Rockets are excellent for kids in middle school and high school. Using a foot pad, kids create an air force that launches a rocket up to 200 feet into the sky. Some rocket kits use a thruster that must be ignited. Stomp rockets are much safer and are generally re-usable. Stomp Rockets frequently top the online sales list in the science toy category, but surprisingly, most retailers do not stock Stomp Rockets on their shelves.

Age 8+

Balancing Bird - Center of Gravity Physics Toy

This balancing bird helps to demonstrate the concept of center of gravity. The balancing bird appears to defy gravity, but once kids understand how it works, the magic turns to understanding. If you need more balancing birds for a classroom setting, a 12-pack is available to give more kids a hands-on experience.

Age 6+

The Science of Disney Imagineering: Gravity Classroom Edition

Disney Imagineering created a little-known, but very good series of science videos called the Science of Disney Imagineering. Each video teaches kids about a specific area of science by using how the science was used in one of the Disney Parks. These videos are great if you are planning a trip to Disney World or Disneyland or have just vacationed there. Kids can relate to the rides and experiences at the parks and learn how these experiences were created using science by the Imagineers.

Age 5+

Thames and Kosmos Physics Pro

This set from Thames and Kosmos is a more advanced physics set. It helps to teach some physics concepts that are difficult to demonstrate and goes beyond most standard physics toy sets. Physics Pro has parts to build working experiments to demonstrate fluid dynamics. Hydraulics, pneumatics and fluid dynamics somewhat difficult concepts to explain to younger scientists, but this set goes a long way to make these ideas simple for kids.

Age 10+

K'NEX Education - Intro to Structures: Bridges

Teach kids about structure design theory then let them experiment with this K'Nex Education set. There are computer modeling programs to teach bridge theory, but a hands-on set like this has some advantages. Includes all the parts needed to build many different bridge designs.

Age 8-15

Tubular Spring Scales (Multiple Springs Available)

Experimenting with springs offers a great way to understand the differences in force. Weight is a force (mass x gravity). These tubular springs allow kids to measure forces. The springs are actually calibrated to a certain range of forces. Each color spring is set up to measure a range of forces. The springs have a clear cover so kids can see how they work. The springs are sold individually and measure forces from 250 grams (2.5 Newtons) to 5000 grams (50 Newtons).

Age 6-12

Pulleys Discovery Kit

One of the lost arts of the modern age is simple machines. Pulleys are a simple machine, but probably not many kids understand how they work. This well-made pulley discovery set offers kids a great way to set up different combinations of pulleys and try out the results.

Age 5-12

Magnetic Levitator

This very cool toy demonstrates how magnetism is used to defy gravity. The science behind the magnetic levitator toy is the same that is used by magnalev trains that float above the train tracks to allow high speeds.

Age 8+

4M Water Rocket

I had one of these as a kid myself. My brother and I experimented for days to see how far we could launch the rocket into the air. This water rocket kit by 4M is similar. The idea is to place water in a bottle then add air. When the rocket is released, the air pressure forces the water out of the back of the rocket propelling it in to the air. This kit requires a separate air pump to pump the air into the rocket. The kids love it and it teaches them about air pressure and projectile motion.

Age 5+

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