Today is Black Friday. I’ve been up since 4am helping my FIL buy a 42″ flatscreen at Wal-Mart. I ordinarily wouldn’t voluntarily visit a Wal-Mart on any day, let alone on a day when the place is swelling with rabid shoppers, but family comes first.
For those of you who are snobby science-loving shoppers, like myself, I have three gift ideas picked out to recommend. Please understand that I have not used these products or tested them myself. These are just the coolest looking science toys that I could find. I recommend that you read the reviews for each product before taking my blind advice.
I think the best science toys explain not only “what we know”, but “how we know what we know”. That’s why I am excited about the Milestones in Science kit by Thames & Kosmos. This kit will walk you and your child through the history of scientific discoveries and help you reproduce the very experiments that had our wise ancestors saying “EUREKA!”. I love the concept. I can only hope that they executed it well.
Charlie’s Playhouse has Darwin-inspired toys that engage young minds about evolution, including a giant time line with info cards of several ancient creatures. This gift really helps young minds understand our diverse ancestral tree of life, and gets the kids thinking about fact-based reality before the phone book ripping zealots can brainwash them.
This being a skeptic blog, I do want to encourage logic and reasoning, which is why the last gift I’m recommending is the new incarnation of Clue called Clue Suspects. This seems like a neat twist on the classic game, except instead of using process-of-elimination, the game is played by using reasoning and deduction. This is meant to be a solitaire game, so it’s perfect for the only-child. I like the idea, it sounds like fun, and I think I found the perfect Secret Santa gift. Sh… don’t tell.