STE(A)M Gifts for ages 3 – 6

The 2021 gift guide is available at:

This page includes only the recommendations for in-person experiences. I know these may not be accessible to everyone in 2021, but wanted to make sure the information was still available on my site.


I don’t really buy a lot of toys for my own kids. (Read my thoughts on “how many toys are enough” for recommendations on how to choose the toys you DO buy.)  I generally prefer experiences – times where we get the opportunity to learn and explore together.

Museums and Zoos

We’ve spent countless fabulous hours at children’s museums and science museums. (Just click on Destination category in the sidebar on your right on a desktop or at the bottom on a mobile device. You’ll find my reviews of great museums in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona) Here are tools to find options near you, or near where you’re traveling to: science museums – Association of Science-Technology Centers, Association of Children’s Museums, Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Consider purchasing a membership to the one nearest your home (or near the home of your gift recipient). It means the barrier to visiting often is low. If we had to pay full price every time we went to the zoo, we might go only a few times a year. But when we buy a membership, I want to go at least three times to earn back the membership, but we end up going way more than that… sometimes dropping in on a whim just for a short 1 hour visit. Also, the associations listed above have partner programs, where you get discounted admission on other facilities around the country when you travel. On one road trip, we went to three children’s museums and two zoos, all at a discount!

Many parks also have great science-based presentations. Check out the Junior Ranger program and other programs from the National Parks, plus look into your local parks departments. Plan a visit soon.


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