Are you scrambling for last minute gift ideas that would be meaningful for the children in your life? We have some wonderful options for you … and, if you have Amazon Prime, you can get them super fast!

Our recommendations are based on personal experience, either through the courses we teach or at-home use. We hope you’ll find this list helpful not only for this holiday season but in the future for birthdays and other special occasions.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

1. LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics Kit
(recommended grade: 6 and up)

We use the LEGO robotics kits at the Academy with huge success. These days, there are many robotics systems to choose from, but we like the LEGO systems best. (Are there children in the universe who haven’t built with LEGOs?)

The EV3 is the latest Mindstorms model and the basic kit comes with 3 motors and 3 sensors and enough building pieces for your kids to build some pre-designed awesome robots. The programming software is free to download from the LEGO site (as well as additional robot models to build). The starter set is more than enough for your budding roboticist. However, if your child wants to go beyond the initial models, you can purchase the LEGO EV3 Expansion Set which incorporates the additional pieces you need to build more complicated robots.

Our recommended grade for this kit is 6 and up because we feel some of the robot builds are long and sometimes complicated.  If your child makes a mistake on a step, the robot won’t work as designed and it can be frustrating to locate and fix. The programming can be daunting for the younger kids, too.

2. LEGO Boost Creative Building and Coding Kit
(recommended grade: 4 and up)

What to do if your kids are too young for the EV3? We recommend the LEGO Boost. Similar to the LEGO WeDo robotics systems (which we discuss below), this kit is a happy medium for kids in elementary school.

At half the price of an EV3 system, this is an ideal set to introduce kids to experimenting with robotics for the first time.  Building and programming are easy to follow, but you do need a tablet for programming.

3. LEGO WeDo 2.0 Kit
(recommended grade: 1 to 5)

lego wedo 2.0

The WeDo robotics system is a great set for kids in elementary school, especially for kids in grades 1 to 3 (although, trust us when we say, we can’t get kids who are older away from them, too!). The building instructions come in bite size pieces and the blue tooth connection (which the earlier versions did not have) gives the robots freedom of movement.

Programming can be done either with a tablet or on the computer.

(recommended grade: preK)

lego steam park

You can never start too early introducing your littlest ones to STEM and STEAM. LEGO recently introduced the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Technology) series of Duplo blocks focusing on gears, motion, and measurement. Duplo sets are particularly nice for your Pre-K’ers as the blocks are bigger and easier to handle and the sets come with easy to follow and fun building instruction cards.

5. Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Edition
(recommended grade: 1 and up)

Minecraft complete guide books

This handy set of Minecraft guidebooks is a terrific gift for your Minecraft enthusiasts. Your child won’t want to put it down! The set includes the Essential, Redstone, Combat, and Construction Handbooks. If you can only buy one set of books, these would be it!

6. Minecraft: The Combat Handbook
(recommended grade: 1 and up)

Minecraft combat handbook

The Minecraft Combat Handbook is part of the Complete Handbook set and available to purchase separately.

This book covers everything your Minecrafter needs to know to combat mobs or other players including instruction on setting traps, building fortified fortresses, etc.

7. Minecraft: The Construction Handbook
(recommended grade: 1 and up)

Minecraft construction book

The Minecraft Construction Handbook is part of the Complete Handbook set and available to purchase separately.

It’s amazing the range of construction, from simple to intricate, kids can do in Minecraft. If your child is in the building phase in Minecraft, this book is the one. It offers guidance on building from the simplest house to floating islands, epic roller coasters, and a pirate island ship, just to name a few.

8. Minecraft: The Essential Handbook
(recommended grade: 1 and up)

minecraft essentials handbook

The Minecraft Essentials Handbook is part of the Complete Handbook set and available to purchase separately.

The Essentials Handbook covers the basics on everything you need to know to stay alive the first few days in a survival world. From finding food and other resources to building a home and crafting weapons, this is a wonderful starter book for Minecrafters of all levels, especially beginners.

9. LEGO Minecraft: The Ender Dragon
(recommended grade: 2 and up)

lego minecraft ender dragon