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Nature and Science Gifts For Kids and Teens

Updated on January 15, 2015
Working telegraph from the science inventions kit.
Working telegraph from the science inventions kit. | Source

Looking for a nature or science gift for a child or teen?

Science has always been one of my families interests. Even from a very early age, my children loved listening to me read science related books to them, exploring nature, and doing a variety of hands on science experiments and activities.

On this site, you'll find a selection of science or nature gifts for kids and teens. These include live animal habitats, robot kits, nature journals, flower and leaf presses, lego mindstorms, and more.

I've included information about my family's personal experiences with most of these nature and science gifts.

Live Animal Habitats, Kits, and Books


Explore the life cycle and habits of animals by watching them grow!

What better way to learn about nature?

Raising live animals teaches children so much more about the animals, their habits and various stages, than reading books alone. It's a fabulous experience!

My son and I were there, watching, as our painted lady butterflies came out of their chrysalises and began to dry their wings. We observed tiny frog eggs become swimming tadpoles and then slowly grow legs. We watched as our little frogs began one by one to leave the water and crawl up on land. We sat spellbound waiting for our praying mantis to reach out for it's prey. Neither of us will ever look at a frog, a praying mantis, or a butterfly in the same way again, as now, well, every one we see feels like a part of our family.

By the way, we took lots of photos and kept records of the changes our tadpoles were going through. To see some of these frog metamorphosis photos and find out about our personal experiences with raising tree frogs (as well as quite a few tips on feeding and caring for tadpoles and frogs), please visit: Tadpoles To Frogs.

Raise Painted Lady Butterflies! - This live butterfly kit makes a wonderful gift for nature lovers! Ages 4 years and up.

My son and I had a WONDERFUL time raising two Painted Lady Butterflies from the caterpillar stage to adulthood! It's a memory we'll both treasure for a lifetime! In the photo above, you can see one of our butterflies on the day we let them fly free.

There is a lot of information, as well as photos of our butterflies, including ones taken moments before and after they came out of their chrysalises, at: Our Experiences With Raising Painted Lady Butterflies.

Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit Toy - Includes Voucher Coupon for 5 Live Caterpillars to Butterflies
Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit Toy - Includes Voucher Coupon for 5 Live Caterpillars to Butterflies

This kit comes with the 12 inch mesh habitat, food, a coupon for 5 live caterpillars (you mail the coupon in), a dropper for sugar water, an activity guide, and instructions.


More Live Animal Habitats - for learning about nature and nuture too!

So far, my son and I have raised butterflies, frogs, and a praying mantis. My daughter and I have raised ants. We've not yet raised ladybugs, but I'd like to!

This ladybug habitat allows you to watch the activities of ladybugs up close. Ladybug Land comes with the observation habitat with a magnifying lid and watering pad, a pipette, an activity guide, full instructions, and a mail-in coupon for 15 to 20 ladybug larvae. Note: You will need to pay an additional amount to receive your ladybug larvae in the mail. At the time of this writing, it's $5.

Uncle Milton Ant Farm Live Ant Habitat, Giant
Uncle Milton Ant Farm Live Ant Habitat, Giant

This Ant Farm comes with 15 inch wide by 10 inch high habitat, a year supply of food for the ants, a manual, and a coupon for live ants.


Bird Watching and Feeding - A Wonderful and Educational Hobby!


Bird Watching - Backyard Bird Watching For Kids!

My son and I did a homeschool unit on birds one year, and had so much fun watching the birds and identifying them! We had both regular bird feeders (on the window and in the yard) and hummingbird feeders. The kits are lots of fun to make, although you can buy premade feeders and houses if you prefer. Make sure to get a bird identification book so you can learn about the birds that come to your yard!

Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds
Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds

This book is filled with directions for projects kids can do to help them learn more about wild birds! There's also information about 20 backyard birds, photography tips, and more.


More Bird Watching, Feeding, and Housing Gifts - They make great nature birdwatching gifts!

Soda Bottle Bird Feeder
Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

This bird feeder allows you to turn an empty 2 liter plastic soda bottle into a bird feeder! (The bottle is not supplied. The idea is that you recycle one.) The finished bird feeder can be hung or attached to a pole.

Toysmith Build and Paint a Birdhouse
Toysmith Build and Paint a Birdhouse

This birdhouse is easy to build and fun to paint! It makes a great project for children!

Olympus Trooper 8x40 DPS 1 Binoculars
Olympus Trooper 8x40 DPS 1 Binoculars

Binoculars with a wide angle view, like these, are great for viewing fast moving objects! This easy-to-focus set of binoculars comes with UV protection, to help project your eyes. The lenses are anti-reflective.


Bird Field Guides - Identification Books For Use During Bird Watching

Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region (Stokes Field Guide Series)
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region (Stokes Field Guide Series)

The pocketsized guide book is arranged by color of bird to help you quickly find a particular bird you've seen in the wild in the book. Also included are tips on attracting and observing birds, and information about habitats, life cycle, food preferences, etc.


Nature Journals and Take Along Books

Natural Journals - Create wonderful memories with your youth in nature. Create a lasting love of our beautiful world.

There are quite a few natural journals on the market. The activity of nature journaling combines science, art, and writing (usually at least to some degree) all into one nature study activity. Many of the books available give art lessons or at least some techniques, along with tips on how to set up your own journal. Some provide a variety of specific project suggestions using various art mediums. A nature journal makes a wonderful gift for a parent or grandparent to share with their child or grandchild.

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

This book is full of colorful drawings, information, tips on keeping a journal, and drawing exercises!


More Nature Journals And Books On Drawing Nature - Top Nature Gifts For Those Who Enjoy Drawing and Journaling!

My Nature Journal
My Nature Journal

"My Nature Journal" is full of suggestions for nature activities, such as observing insects, writing nature poetry, watching a sunset, field sketching, going on a woodland scavenger hunt, looking for animal tracks, exploring seeds, and so much more! The book is a nice mix of informational pages and activity pages you write on.

Illustrating Nature: Right-Brain Art in a Left-Brain World
Illustrating Nature: Right-Brain Art in a Left-Brain World

I own this one, and have really been enjoying it! Of those I've done so far, the exercises are quick to do, and fun! I do feel my drawing is improving, even after just a few lessons.


Take-Along Guides for age 9 to 12 - Interesting Information About Nature - Great Gifts For Kids Who Love Nature And Science!

These Take-Along Guides have lots of colorful photos, information, and hands-on activities. The topics are of high interest to many kids and include tracks, birds, caterpillars and butterflies, planets, moons and stars, snakes, salamanders and lizards, and more. They make wonderful gifts for curious, nature loving kids!

Rocks, Fossils & Arrowheads (Take Along Guides)
Rocks, Fossils & Arrowheads (Take Along Guides)

Shown here is "Rocks, Fossils, and Arrowheads, but "Take Along Guides" are available for a wide variety of topics! Visit the link above and then scroll down to see all the different Take Along Guides that are available.


Flower and Leaf Press


Mini Flowers Press & Nature Cards - Great Gift For Artistic Nature Lovers!

Creativity for Kids Flowers Press & Nature Cards
Creativity for Kids Flowers Press & Nature Cards

Make nature cards from flowers you find and press! Includes flower press, watercolor paints, paper, ribbon, and more.


Magic School Bus Books

The Magic School Bus Books! - The Magic School Bus books really make learning fun!

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

This one was one of my kids' favorites! Okay, I admit it! It was one of my favorites too!! My kids and I found this book fascinating! It really sparked an interest in ocean life for all three of us!


More Magic School Bus Books - The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System, The Magic School Bus And The Electric Field Trip, The Magic School Bus Inside Ralph

The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System
The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System

Another favorite!! For my daughter's sixth birthday party, I read this book to the kids, stopping every page or two to do an activity related to the planet the bus was on or the asteroid belt it was going through!

The Magic School Bus And The Electric Field Trip
The Magic School Bus And The Electric Field Trip

Yet another favorite! (They're ALL such great books!!) I read this one to a group of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders during our homeschool unit on electricity. The Magic School Bus books make science so interesting and exciting! The author presents things in ways kids can really understand, too!


Robots and Lego Mindstorms

Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot
Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot

Easy plans, illustrations, and instructions for building your own rugged off-road robot!


Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 - Wait until you see what this Lego Mindstorm robot making kit can do!

Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 - Lego Mindstorms: The Best Robotic Kits!

Lego Mindstorm and Other Robotic Kits - Construct programmable robots that can speak, move, see, and feel!

If your child loves legos, and he's 10 or older, I bet he'll REALLY LOVE Lego Mindstorm kits and books! (Of course these kits aren't just for boys! If you read the reviews on Amazon you'll see that girls love them too!)

The kit comes with a 32-bit microprocessor, a large matrix display, an ultrasonic sensor, 2 touch sensors, a color sensor, three interactive servo motors. directions for building 4 robots (buy a book or use your creativity for additional robots), and 612 pieces!

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (8547) (Discontinued by manufacturer)
LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (8547) (Discontinued by manufacturer)

My son received this set of Lego Mindstorms for his birthday this year. It was a hit! He built and programmed his first robot within about 30 minutes. He then had lots of fun changing the program to make the robot do different things. He'd ask me, "What should I make my robot do now?" No sooner would I make a suggestion, then he'd be on it, figuring out how to accomplish that task!

By the way, neither one of us had experience with programming robots, but my son found it very easy once he'd followed the Lego company's instructions just once! Kids seem to be naturals at things like this!


Science Wiz Kits

Science Wiz Kits - Hands-On Science Kits Make Great Gifts!

We've really enjoyed the Science Wiz kits at our house! Each one is like a unit study on a particular topic, but don't let that give you the idea that these kits are boring! They are tons of fun! In the Energy kit, for example, you build a solar racer, a supercapacitor car, and an electric car! In addition, you also get to make your own battery!

Each kit contains a full color, illustrated manual, complete with interesting information about the topic and hands-on activities. All of the materials are included for the hands-on-activities, experiments, and models as well, with the occasional exception of household things like tape, salt, paper towel tubes, and vinegar. For the most part, the directions are well written and clear.

ScienceWiz DNA Experiment Kit
ScienceWiz DNA Experiment Kit

Shown here is the DNA experiment kit. Other Science Wiz kits are also available!


Webpage created on 11/11/10.

Page last updated 1/15/14.


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    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Back for another look - great ideas.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      There is certainly some great ideas and suggestions here, I just wish Squidoo was around when I was younger ;) Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Im2keys 5 years ago

      I love this lens!

      Super gifts for sure, I love everything you've listed :o)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      this is a very comprehensive gift guide! I'd like to buy pretty much everything you've listed!!! Sadly will have to narrow it down a bit!

    • designworld lm profile image

      designworld lm 5 years ago

      Science projects are fun no matter what your age. Great ideas here.

    • profile image

      cap-optics 5 years ago

      Like your lense, thank you!!

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I love love love giving gifts that are educational! I tweeted this, but also going to pin it to my homeschool board so I can come back later.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 5 years ago

      I think a bird feeder would be an awesome gift. I might also add a gift card for feed.

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 5 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • TrentAdamsCA profile image

      TrentAdamsCA 6 years ago

      Excellent gift ideas -- it's valuable that you share your experience with the activities.

    • profile image

      Buchamar 6 years ago

      Great lens, will share this with my grandson

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! I hold a degree in Environmental Biology and am always on the lookout for great new science kits and projects to give my kids, and - I must confess - just for ME! This lens showcases some awesome products - both educational and fun for anyone interested in biology or nature. I write a weekly biology article for BellaOnline and will certainly be sharing a link to your lens in the next newsletter. Angel Blessings and keep up the good work!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      Bookmarked and blessed. We are looking for a microscope and your testimonial about the one that you use is extremely helpful. With a birthday coming up, it might be the perfect gift but this lens is full of things he would like. Now, I can't choose.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great ideas with a lot of things that families could do together

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 6 years ago

      Fab ideas - I loved the Magic School Bus as a kid!

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 6 years ago

      Very nice lens - and good ideas.

    • trees001 profile image

      trees001 6 years ago

      Such a nice job on this lens! It has been a goldmine of gift ideas that will actually be fun and educational. Thank you!

    • Pnorway profile image

      Pnorway 6 years ago

      unique gift ideas for kids.

    • littlelotus profile image

      littlelotus 6 years ago

      very useful lens... thanks :)

    • SandyORiley profile image

      SandyORiley 6 years ago

      My kids love the snap circuit sets, very educational, and they come back to it time and time again. Nice list of items !

    • profile image

      amyrechar 6 years ago

      Lots of good idea's for teaching kids about science.

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 6 years ago from Minnesota


    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Wow! There are lots of nature and science gifts here.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was just thiking today of donating science things to a school. I regretted my lack of science education so I want the kids now to have more exposure to science. This is a great resource.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, there a lot of great science gifts for kids here. You have certainly put a lot of time into selecting each item, and I can tell that you have done your home work well, Janiece.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are great gift ideas for kids! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 7 years ago from Oz

      Great range of gifts for nature & science kids. I especially like the flower pressed kit and robot kit. Lensrolled it to my tween wishlist lens.

    • Judy Goldsberry profile image

      Judy Goldsberry 7 years ago

      Great resource, thanks, I'll be using it.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is a wonderful page filled with Nature and Science Gifts for Kids. My grandson would certainly enjoy some of these and they are all so educational.

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 7 years ago

      Great stuff! I'm really going to enjoy sharing toys like this with my boys (I might even let them have a go :-). Lensrolled to my science toys lens.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Quite delightful. So much to do, so little time. Merry Xmas. Blessed by an Angel.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 7 years ago

      OMG! I could play here for hours!

      these were my favorite kind of gifts as a kid!

      Shoot, I'm a grandma now & would still love to get these as gifts lol :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Love, love, love your lens :)

      I see two mixed media books I have, both are great and I am also into pressing flowers, and I think that little kit would be great for a tween on my list.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

      This is a great idea! I was such a huge fan of the magic school bus as a kid. :)

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Excellent selection of nature related gifts for the kids and I always like gifts which give folks the opportunity to learn as well as being fun. Blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, these are all excellent ideas in the nature gift category for kids and teens. Lots to choose from - beautiful page! :)