STEM, music and more for the tweens on your list
It’s a Snap
Snap Circuits Jr. Select ($34.99) is a seriously cool kit that lets children build 133 electronics projects that incorporate lights, sounds, sirens, a fan and more. As the name suggests, all of the pieces snap together—no tools required. As they work, kids learn about electricity, circuits, switches and wiring.
Available at Learning Express Toys, 180 F Market St., New Albany, 614-933-0333; 1349 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington, 614-485-0005; 7227 N. High St. (The Shops at Worthington Place), Worthington, 614-880-0333; learningexpress.com.
Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
The Wonderful Let it Melt! Snowman Kit ($11.99) by Streamline Imagined is both quirky and cute. Kids (or adults) can make a snowman from the silly-putty-like compound and decorate it with 15 included accessories, such as eyes, hats, mittens and a carrot nose. Over the course of about 10 minutes, watch it flux into a flat, white blob.
Available at Bink Davies, 98 Easton Town Center, Columbus; 614-478-0811; binkdavies.com.
Try a Tune
The Make Your Own Music Box Kit ($22.95) by Kikkerland will strike a chord with aficionados and amateurs alike. The set contains a crank-powered music box, blank paper strips and a hole punch to create your own melodies, plus a sample sheet with “Happy Birthday.” Gift-shop-only visitors do not have to pay for admission or parking.
Available at the Columbus Museum of Art, Museum Store, 480 E. Broad St., Columbus; 614-221-6801; columbusmuseum.org.
Don’t Be a Wimp
Thirteen is apparently a lucky number for author Jeff Kinney, whose “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown” ($13.95) is the latest volume of the uber-popular series. In this 13th outing, middle-schooler Greg Heffley and his friends get caught in a wintry showdown when snow cancels classes.
Available at Fundamentals Children’s Books, Toys & Games, 25 W. Winter St., Delaware; 740-363-0290; funbooksandmore.com.
Mad About Science
Encourage a child’s interest in STEM with the Young Scientist Microscope Set ($49.99). The kit includes specimen vials, tools and slides as well as the microscope, which has magnification powers of 100, 600 and 1,200 times. Store it all in the plastic carrying case.
Available at Lakeshore Learning Materials, 2148 Polaris Parkway, Columbus; 614-846-1710; lakeshorelearning.com.