Sharing the best of what he knows to find the best for oneself
Gifts for Science Lovers
When you are on a tight budget, but still want to give meaningful gifts to your family and friends who are science lovers, then browse through this list of the best gift ideas under $15. They are not pure scientific stuff but perfect for both kids and adults who like to tinker around and explore.
The cheapest items are $15 or below, but you have options to splurge.
1. Crystal Growing Kit
Crystal-making kits are fun ways to teach curious young minds about geology. They can watch the crystals grow before their eyes and get a better understanding of the geological processes.
The Science To The Max - Crystal Growing Kit With Light Up Display Dome can make up to 4 large crystals. It comes with an illuminated display case that will light up the crystals. So, in a dark room, the crystals look stunning.
Crystal Growing Kit Ingredients
The kit includes all the required items to grow 4 big and sparkling crystals, which are:
- 4 nos. crystal growing cups
- Crystal dome display
- Dome base power cord
- Dome base with lights
- Crystal seeds
- Colored crystal sand (blue, white, red, and yellow)
Since hot boiling water is required for the set-up, initial adult supervision is necessary.
You can use this kit to teach your child how to plan and conduct an investigation. Then, to describe and classify different kinds of materials from their observation of the growing crystals.
Growing Crystals Science Project
This STEM crystal growing lab kit can distract your kids from video games or watching TV and get them to enjoy a real scientific experiment right at home.
Since this Science To The Max crystal growing kit is a basic kit priced just below $15, it is not a loss investment if your child doesn't enjoy making crystals. But if they do, you can opt for the more awesome crystal growing kits with many extras, priced higher.
2. Waterproof and Shakeproof Compass
When you are out camping or hiking into the wilderness, bring a compass with you. Your mobile can lose signal reception or run out of battery. And your worry of being lost in the wild or how to get home is solved!
Best Military Compass
The Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass is one of the best military compasses at a very affordable price. It is a reliable, durable, and simple navigation tool to bring when you are out in the wilderness. It is also:
- Has the built-in clinometer to quickly measure the slope angle, elevation, and avalanche hazards when you are mountain climbing, backcountry skiing, or hiking steep slopes.
- This survival compass will stand harsh conditions.
- Very well made, sturdy construction, easy to read.
- Easy and accurate reading every time, up to 0.5 degrees.
- It has luminescent green fluorescent characters and dials for better visibility when it is dark, nighttime, during bad weather or if your eyesight isn't the best.
- Clear reading scale.
- Get a clear reading and navigation every time.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Package Dimensions 4.57 x 3.39 x 2.05 inches; 7.83 Ounces.
- Built For Durability.
- Comes with a detachable strap.
- Has both centimeter and inch scales.
- Can use for wide applications - for directional navigation, slope measurement, positioning identification, azimuth measurement, for driving, boating, camping, hiking, wayfinding, and more
- A compass you can trust to get you home every time.
Compass for Kids
Teaching kids how a compass works will help them understand the basics of maps and the four cardinal directions. They learn basic navigation skills, taking bearings, and how to navigate terrains.
You can play games using a compass such as navigation games, treasure hunts, etc.
3. Giant Microbes for Kids and Adults
If you have a great sense of humor, give a Giant microbe this season. They are bizarre toys based on actual microbes that cause everyday diseases. In fact, they have more than 250 different designs based on various bugs, viruses, cells, organs, and microbes that cause common ailments such as cold, stomach ache, cough, hay fever, rubella, etc.
Giant Microbes Covid-19
They even have the COVID-19 virus! These plush toys are one million times larger than their real-life counterparts.
Giant microbes are health and science products and are creative and fun ways to learn or start discussions about microbes. They come in various colors, sizes, and forms. Some are priced below $15 and all items come with fun-related facts and the image of the real microbes they represent. Surprise your kids with these unique stuffed representations of actual microbes. Teach them what they are and what diseases they caused. It is also an awesome gift for friends, students, teachers, and anyone with a great sense of humor. Or buy it all for yourself and make a collection.
Giant Microbes Best Sellers
Some of their best-sellers are animal cells, antibodies, blood cells, brain, common cold, caffeine, Covid-19 vaccine, coronavirus Covid-19, DNA, E-coli, etc.
Giant Microbes Gift Box
You can also buy the giant microbes gift box. The theme gift boxes are packed with viruses that are related to the theme such as ancient plagues, biohazards, plagues of the 21st Century, etc. They are priced higher than $15, but mostly just below $20.
4. Break Your Own Geodes
Geodes are geological rock formations that were once bubbles in volcanic lava. They contain cavities lined with crystals and are geological secondary formations within sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Geodes are hollow, vaguely spherical rocks, in which masses of mineral matter (which may include crystals) are secluded.
Giving this Geodes with 2 geodes only at $15, as a gift is exciting. There is no way of telling the crystal formation inside the Geodes, not until you break it open. That is the part that gets everyone all excited!
Teaching Kids About Geodes
Teach the kids how geodes are formed and how to differentiate those formed from volcanic rock and those from sedimentary rock. About the geology of the area where they are found and how through millions of years, the flow of water gradually builds crystals inside the empty space.
Break Open Geodes Kit
To break, put the geode in a bag (or sock) and give it a steady smack with a mallet. The kids will enjoy and love this.
The Geodes kit normally comes in a pack of 10 geodes measuring about 1-2inches and was priced at $15 and below. Now, only the 2-geodes pack is at $15. If you can afford to spend a bit more, buy the National Geographic Geodes. It is priced at $25 and comes with 10 premium geodes and 16 pages of a full-color learning guide giving details behind how geodes are formed.
Where Are Geodes Found?
Geodes can be found throughout the world and are mostly concentrated in the deserts. The volcanic ash beds and areas that have limestones are also common geode locations.
If you prefer finding instead of buying the geodes, you can start by exploring these places:
In the US, try the areas in Indiana, Ohio, Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Iowa, Nevada, California, and Kentucky. In other parts of the world, geodes can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain (where the biggest geode in the world was found), Morocco, Namibia, and other parts of the world with deserts and volcanic formations.
5. Grow Your Own Sprouts Kit
If a person is into healthy food, then consider this unique gift - growing your own sprouts.
Fresh sprouts are healthy and are rich in antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and amino acids. Sprouts also contain enzymes that help digest themselves, thus leaving your body free to do other things.
It has also been claimed that sprouts are the absolute fountain of youth!
To eat sprouts, you can add them to your salad, juice, or soup and they also taste great on toast.
Healthy Sprouts at Home
The Gardens Alive, a two-tiered seed sprouter (sprout growing device) is available at below $15. The device is not bulky and is easy to use. It is only 5.5 inches in width and looks great in your kitchen.
- You can easily see and monitor your growing seeds and sprouts.
- No soil or sunlight is required.
- Perfect for indoor sprout growing for healthy snacks or juices.
- Can do planting all year round.
- Easy to use.
- Comes with 2 trays and can add up to 4 more trays.
- Each container is 5 1/2" X 5 1/2" and 1.5" tall.
- Can grow different seed varieties for different trays.
- Seeds are not included and you need to buy them separately.
- Good science project with the kids - watering and seeing the seeds grow.
What Beans to Sprout
If you want faster and easy beans to sprout, choose mung beans and lentils. Alfalfa, chickpeas, and adzuki beans are also easy but take a longer time to sprout.
You can buy the sprouting seeds from most supermarkets, health food stores or buy them online.
6. Hand Operated Drones for Kids
Flying a drone is another fun activity that promotes STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that are essential parts of your kid's education. They can pick up the basic physics of flying and stabilizing. Flying a drone also helps with small motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cognitive development, and critical thinking.
Outdoor and Indoor Mini Drones
If you don't want to spend too much on the drone right now, get this basic hand-operated drone by MINOSNEO. You can use it both indoors and outdoors. It doesn't use remote control, you just toss this mini drone into the air to get it started. It will automatically hover and with your hand up and close, control the height and direction of flight.
Basic Kids Drone
When your kid is ready, you can upgrade later to a better drone with better features. In the meantime, get this basic hand-operated drone for the following reasons:
- Has 5 infrared motion sensors and 360-degree rotating supports for a better flight.
- The upward sensor prevents from hitting the ceiling or getting caught on treetops, or roofs.
- Night-time flights come with flashing lights so no need to worry about losing them at night.
- This hand-operated drone is designed with a webbed shell to protect your kids, their hands, walls, or furniture from the moving propellers.
- It is made of non-toxic and high-grade ABS material.
- It is lightweight, flexible, and bendy to withstand many crashes.
- It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and takes 30 minutes to charge using USB charging, for flights that last 5-10 minutes.
- Two speeds mode - green light means low speed, and blue light means fast speed.
Wrap the Gifts
Inexpensive or affordable gifts can look fabulous if they are creatively wrapped. Likewise, an expensive gift, if not presented and wrapped nicely, can look cheap. So, adding the finishing touch to the gift you had tirelessly shopped for, is important. You can still give it “as is”, which is okay for the branded item, but adding a special touch by wrapping it first is better. It creates a personalized and gorgeous gift.
You can wrap with various kinds of wrapping papers or fabrics. Or use a special gift paper bag tied with a big ribbon.
Give it a try and make your gift-giving fun and exciting.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Mazlan A
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on November 14, 2011:
Hi lisa42..thanks for dropping by and glad it helped with your shopping list!
lisa42 from Sacramento on November 14, 2011:
You've just helped me pick a stocking stuffing for my son! He'll love the break-your-own geodes. Thanks. :-)