Gift Ideas for Hands-On Explorers

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Every educator and parent knows how tremendously valuable hands-on discoveries for the child’s growing and developing the brain. It stimulates and boots their creativity and problem-solving skills and help build a connection between different complex concepts in their mind. From my personal experience observing my children interact with their friends in the home setting, I have noticed that they gravitate towards materials that provide open-ended child-driven interaction. Things that children can easily manipulate in their hands. With that in mind, I have arranged a list that I believe many could find helpful when searching for kids gift ideas.

I aimed to find materials that:

  • encourage hands-on explorations
  • can mostly be used independently
  • suitable for the 3-6 Montessori environment (some can be used all the way through elementary years)
  • prompt children to make further discoveries
  • cover various areas of science studies
  • can serve in different units of study
  • bring children closer to understanding laws and wonders of the natural environment
  • encourage child-driven learning and require minimal adult involvement

All the materials, listed below, can be found for purchase when you click on the link or picture.


Crystal Growing Experiment

 Teach children about the beauty and complexity of crystal growth with the 4M Crystal Growing Experiment. This science kit contains all the materials needed to perform seven different crystal growth experiments. A special display case is included to admire the crystals once they are fully grown. Perfect for young science enthusiasts, especially those with an interest in geology. 

Fun with Magnets

 Fun with Magnets includes 14 experiments to perform with the magnets and accessories. Kids can explore the magic of magnets, learn how they work, and how to make things with them. The kit is full of simple, yet eye-opening, experiments and magnetic fun!

Insect Bug Adventure Set

Now Your Little Scientist Can Enjoy the Backyard All summer with Kangaroo’s Bug Adventure Set. Insect Kit Includes 18 Pieces To Keep Your Little One Busy For Hours As He or She Finds Insects, Captures Them, Studies Them, and then Asks You Relentless Questions For Hours! 

Build and Paint a Birdhouse

The Toysmith Build and Paint a Birdhouse kit is a fun craft activity for bird lovers of all ages. Build and paint a classic wooden feeder and hang it near a window to watch a colorful procession of birds visit for a meal. 

Kids Binoculars Set – For Bird Watching

Outdoor learning has never been this much fun! Now with the improved Shock Proof 8 x 21 Binoculars, kids can enjoy and learn at the same time. These compact binoculars are designed for both boys and girls, but not to be taken for a cheap toy! 

Nature Keeper Diary 

We see trees and flowers daily, but rarely observe them closely. Help your budding botanist examine nature with Nancy B’s Science Club Nature Press with Year Long Tree Journal. Choose a tree to adopt over the course of a year. Press tree leaves and flower petals at various times of the year, and note observations in the accompanying activity journal.

Moonscope & Sky Gazers Activity Journal

Experience science with Nancy Balter. Nobody knows science like Nancy. Her brand-new line of scientific tools and real-life journaling activities provide hands-on science experiences that get kids comfortable and excited about science, giving them the confidence to pursue science further in school and in life. 

Multi-Craft Weaving Loom

Youngsters will be thrilled to get creating with this Multi-Craft Weaving Loom. With its easy-to-use adjustable frame, oversize wooden needle, and generous 91 yards of rainbow yarn, kids can choose to make a scarf, a tasseled coaster, a drawstring pouch, a crafty carry-all—or whatever they design themselves! Great for all skill levels, this Loom also includes three picture tapestries to weave.


DIY Wooden Cross Stitch Blanks Mittens

The birch plywood blanks for decoration . It can be embroidered both in cross stitch and other modern embroidery ways even using pearls and buttons – allow imagination and lets make a unique decoration for yourself.


Fair Trade DIY Wooden Peg Doll Kit

-5 UNPAINTED dolls as seen in photo (2 big, 3 small)
-6 non-toxic paint colors – black, white, red, yellow, blue, green
-1 pod of varnish
-1 round brush
-1 flat brush
-tips and instructions
-a toothpick for dotting the eyes
-a piece of sandpaper for mistakes
-packaged as seen in a cardboard box

Scratch Art Set

With the Scratch Art Scratch Magic Deluxe Kit, kids can create scratch art on four different types of paper. Black or white coating is scratched away with the included wooden styluses to reveal rainbow or glittery silver backing.

SunPrint Paper Kit

The SunPrint Solar Paper lets you makes beautiful pictures by placing objects on the paper and exposing it to the sun. The paper undergoes a chemical change when exposed to sunlight. Save the print by soaking in water then drying. The Sunprint paper can be used for a creative, solar art project. 


Wooden Nativity Set

Wanting to create your own wooden nativity set?

Here are all of the parts without any of the searching, for an unfinished nativity set to complete yourself.

 Create Mary, Joseph & baby Jesus, 3 wise men with their gifts and camel (with straw), a shepherd, inn keeper and tree.


 Dinosaur Discovery – Learning Activities Tool Box from Montessori by Mom

The goal of Dinosaur Discovery is to show how many activities that are not “officially” Montessori can still use Montessori principles.
For example, children will practice fine motor skills by both hammering and chiseling. They can work on pouring and measuring by making their own dough at home.

Nature Series: Science on a Garden Adventure

Young Scientists will learn about the fun of gardening through exciting hands-on science experiments. Young Scientists will make a terrarium, learn about underground habitats, explore the different parts of plants, test the soil, design a mini-garden, grow all kinds of seeds, perform plant experiments, identify bugs and their habitats, make a working sun dial, and much more.

Inflatable Solar System

Explore the universe from the classroom; Learn about the size and distance relationships of the planets, moon, and Sun with this inflatable set; Includes: Foot pump, teacher’s activity guide, and hanging hooks.

Whats Inside Me? Apron

Our child-sized apron gives kids an inside view of their bodies! It features silkscreened bones, plus soft, stuffed organs that kids can remove and replace in the appropriate positions on the body…they just match them to the embroidered outlines! Each organ is labeled and color-coded, making it easy for kids to learn where each body part belongs. 19″-long apron includes a headband that has a removable cloth “brain.”

Double-Sided Magnetic Human Body

Twice the learning—skeletal system on one side and major organs and muscle groups on the other! Realistically detailed pieces combine to create a body over 3’H. Great for demonstrations, centers and more. Includes multilingual Activity Guide with reproducible diagrams.

Arthropod Collection 5pc Set

This Biology for Kids Arthropod Collection Set introduces children to 5 different Arthropods and their characteristics. This kit comes with 5 insect paperweights and an information card that explains the characteristics and different orders of each species.

Learning Resources Bucket Balance

Students learn mass measurement hands-on with this durable plastic balance. Removable, clear ½ liter buckets with spouts are easy for small hands to pour.

Geometry Set

Splash into geometry! Combine sticks in 3 sizes, along with curves for making circles and cylinders, with 2 different types of connectors to build 2-D shapes. Then, combine them to make new 2-D shapes or even 3-D shapes! Child-friendly set features durable sticks, curves, and connectors.

Thumbs Up! Da Vinci Catapult Kit

The Leonardo Da Vinci catapult model is scaled to size and fully functions to demonstrate the launching power of the catapult, a historical military device. The catapult flings soft clay balls (included) up to 15 feet to reproduce a realistic discharge, and is made of wood for durability.

I hope these ideas were helpful and you could fin something that will bring a great deal of excitement to your child!


50 Optical Illusions

Challenge children’s assumptions about their perceptions! “What do you see? Two faces or a vase? Something old, something new — 50 common and uncommon optical illusions sharpen children’s observation skills.

Guidecraft Magnification Blocks Set

Six stacking squares feature hardwood frames, and smooth, rounded corners and edges, with inset magnified acrylic windows. Ideal for exploring natural, tactile, and other detailed materials found inside or in nature. Enhance STEM-based activities with the 6-piece set, perfect for group play.

Thank you for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave your comment below. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links to products I use or recommend.

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