Holiday Tech Gift Ideas for Girls for 2018

For years, we have informally fielded questions about the best STEM toys for girls ahead of the holiday shopping rush. Last year, we held our first ever Twitter chat on the subject of which STEM toys might appeal most to girls. It was so popular, that I turned it into a blog post. Amazingly, that post has continued to receive reads.

With the holidays knocking at our door again, our TechGirlz team decided to research the newest tech related toys to see if any might be a fit for middle school girls. We were surprised at the number of new offerings, so have put together a crib sheet below.

First, a caveat: the link between girls and toys and the desire to learn STEM remains unproven. That said, our TechGirlz team believes that anything which aligns fun and STEM is a healthy way to introduce tech skills or concepts to girls.

Beyond the new ideas below, the list from last year (INSERT URL) is still relevant and might even have a few bargains. Neither list is an endorsement by TechGirlz, but we hope it gives you some inspiration as you look for that perfect gift for your budding innovator.

Aura Drone

$80

6+

Drone controlled intuitively via gestures, using a glove controller instead of joysticks.

3Doodler Start

$60-$100

6+

3D drawing pen. Handheld “pen” that 3D prints.

Dropmix

$60-$75

16+

Popular song mixing game: Each card is a popular song which is placed on a device that mixes with other popular song cards

littleBits: Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

$100

8+

Create your own Droid and bring it to life using littleBits electronic blocks! With the Droid Inventor app, you can control the Droid, give it new abilities with easy block-based coding, and take it on 22+ missions.

Jurassic World Kamigami Robots

$60

8+

Connect to the Kamigami Jurassic World mobile app to customize the dinos’ movements, interactions, lights, and special Jurassic World sounds. This is the newest item. The originals are bugs that you code similarly.

Escape the Room in a Box

$30

13+

Strategy game for teens that involves solving puzzles and finding codes to escape the room. Links to a cell phone. It’s barely a technology game but seems like a decent concept so I added it

Boxer Interactive AI Robot

$80

6+

Interactive bot that plays games and displays various emotions. Connects to a phone for new games and remote controlling. Can also be controlled with hand motions.

Oculus Go

$200

VR headset. Cordless with internal memory and a controller.

Root — a favorite of the team

$99

Wide age range. Graphical 4+, computational 7+, text 12+.

Robot that can be coded. There are stages to how it’s coded: graphical, computational, and full text.

OWI Robotic Arm

$39

12+

Robotic arm kit that you assemble and a usb kit is available to purchase separately so that you can program it.

Books are also a valuable learning tool for young minds. Here are some recommendations for middle school girls form our friend Talia Belamy, editor at Penguin Books:

· Calling All Minds by Temple Grandin

· Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh

· Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

· Girling Up by Mayim Bialik

· Hidden Figures (Young Readers Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly

· The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

And for younger readers:

· Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer both by Andrea Beaty

· Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

· The Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer features great women like Jane Goodall and Amelia Earhart

If you’re looking for some reasonably priced tech toys, be sure to check out AC Moore and Five and Below.

And let me know if you have other good ideas to share with the TechGirlz community using our @TechGirlzorg handle on Twitter. Happy Holidays!