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Thread: Educational or instructive gifts

  1. #1
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Educational or instructive gifts

    Trying to avoid buying the children video games, or online tech such as phones, apps and consoles.

    Looking for inspiration. Ideally in the 10 - 15 age range.

    I was thinking of an orrery. It perhaps some binoculars. Or some Technics Lego. Or a synthesiser. But there is a risk it just sits there unused.

    Ideally, something manual - board games might be good... but sometimes that degenerates into squabbling. Particularly if it's Monopoly and there are adults involved.

    Any ideas would be gratefully received. Don't restrict yourself by budget - I'm hoping this thread might be useful for others as well. So it would be good to have examples of things that are cheap as well as more expensive.

  2. #2
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Hot Wires.

    Might be a bit on the young side but my twin boys (now 14) often get this out to play with on a rainy day.

  3. #3
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Thanks Tenko.

    Do they play it voluntarily or do you lockdown TV, video games and phones?

    I'm working on the assumption that I will be locking access to devices over Christmas.

  4. #4
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    A kit where you build something - a clock, a radio receiver, one of those marble roller-coasters, etc.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/CKB-LTD-Spa...%2C190&sr=8-14

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robotime-Wo...s%2C190&sr=8-8

  5. #5
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Teach them how to strip and rebuild an internal combustion engine. They will get skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Oh, wait ...

  6. #6
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^Perfect, thanks SK.

    At this rate, Christmas will be much easier.

    Edit - HT, would love to do that. If I had a classic car of course. Tinkering in the garage does appeal.

  7. #7
    The Lego sets that thatís to a place they may have been to are worth a shout?

    Statue of Liberty - etc

    Car kits are cool in the technics range but can be overwhelming for some

    If you want to get them out and about and have some fun - my nephews and I have just started magnet fishing - great fun fir an outlay of £20
    On that front a metal detector of worth could be a shout too

    It will deorme in their own interests overall I guess but certainly history, geography etc all fall under the above


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  8. #8
    Master village's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Trying to avoid buying the children video games, or online tech such as phones, apps and consoles.

    Looking for inspiration..
    Ah,,,the never ending quest

    Build your own radio kit?
    Robot arm kit? - did this a couple of years ago...nice thing was we did it together and he enjoyed it.
    Driving lessons? - I kid you not. This company do them from quite a young age. I have purchased a couple of groups of lessons for my son and he absolutely loved it. My daughter now wants to do the same thing.I think it gives a good grounding as well.
    Various other experience days such as a day with owls/hawks etc or indoor skydiving etc etc

    My son is 15... a couple of years ago we wandered by a Warhammer shop and he wanted to have a look. If you go in they give you a free model to build there and then with them talking you through it. They have regular free painting,modelling and games play sessions. (Not sure how they are doing this at the moment with Covid though).
    Anyhow,he took a shine to it and it gives him something else to concentrate on rather than Ďdit-dahí...the painting itself can be quite absorbing. Itís not cheap though!

  9. #9
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    https://www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk/product/chem-c3000/

    I imagine the Thames & Kosmos site will be a rich seam for you. Have a browse.

  10. #10
    Raspberry pi?

    Maybe with some project in mind - (bedroom) burglar alarm, photographing wildlife, robotics, music etc.

  11. #11
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweepinghand View Post
    The Lego sets that thatís to a place they may have been to are worth a shout?

    Statue of Liberty - etc

    Car kits are cool in the technics range but can be overwhelming for some

    If you want to get them out and about and have some fun - my nephews and I have just started magnet fishing - great fun fir an outlay of £20
    On that front a metal detector of worth could be a shout too

    It will deorme in their own interests overall I guess but certainly history, geography etc all fall under the above


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks. Like the idea of something we can do outside, Covid permitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    Ah,,,the never ending quest

    Build your own radio kit?
    Robot arm kit? - did this a couple of years ago...nice thing was we did it together and he enjoyed it.
    Driving lessons? - I kid you not. This company do them from quite a young age. I have purchased a couple of groups of lessons for my son and he absolutely loved it. My daughter now wants to do the same thing.I think it gives a good grounding as well.
    Various other experience days such as a day with owls/hawks etc or indoor skydiving etc etc

    My son is 15... a couple of years ago we wandered by a Warhammer shop and he wanted to have a look. If you go in they give you a free model to build there and then with them talking you through it. They have regular free painting,modelling and games play sessions. (Not sure how they are doing this at the moment with Covid though).
    Anyhow,he took a shine to it and it gives him something else to concentrate on rather than Ďdit-dahí...the painting itself can be quite absorbing. Itís not cheap though!
    Driving lessons sound very intriguing. I've taken him karting and he loved it, so that would be another step toward independence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    https://www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk/product/chem-c3000/

    I imagine the Thames & Kosmos site will be a rich seam for you. Have a browse.
    Thanks SM. Not sure IIRC but did you have some expertise in forensics? I was thinking of whether we could have a day involved in archaeology or geological history. I realise this might not be the most dynamic area of interest.

    I bought membership of The Royal Institution but Covid has quashed that for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Raspberry pi?

    Maybe with some project in mind - (bedroom) burglar alarm, photographing wildlife, robotics, music etc.
    That's a great idea as he's interested in coding.

  12. #12
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Thanks Tenko.

    Do they play it voluntarily or do you lockdown TV, video games and phones?

    I'm working on the assumption that I will be locking access to devices over Christmas.
    No lockdown required, although turning off the broadband helps :)

  13. #13
    Master
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    At the very cheapest end of the scale - Mapominoes & Uno.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    ROKR Pendulum Clock: Mechanical Gears Moving wooden 3D Puzzle model: Age 14 plu https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077GHFZ...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    I got someone one of these, went down very well.

  15. #15
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Educational or instructive gifts

    Nvm seems we are on the same page

  16. #16
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Raspberry pi?

    Maybe with some project in mind - (bedroom) burglar alarm, photographing wildlife, robotics, music etc.

    That's a great idea as he's interested in coding.
    13% off through to midnight Halloween - https://shop.pimoroni.com/collection...pi?filter=Kits
    Last edited by petethegeek; 29th October 2020 at 17:36.

  17. #17
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^Great stuff.

    Thanks for the top notch ideas.

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