If you’re looking for last-minute Christmas gift ideas for science enthusiasts, you’re in luck! Okay – you may have to gift wrap a picture of the gift if it’s not delivered in time, but there are some fantastic ideas out there.
These Christmas science gifts are suitable for all ages, with a range of prices, from stocking fillers to main presents. Whichever area of science you’re passionate about, whether it’s biology, forensics, astronomy, or even sci-fi, our top pick of Christmas science gifts are sure to go down well this year.
For more inspiration, why not check out our pick of the best LEGO sets for adults, or over on Gathered we’ve got a round-up of the best spirograph sets and best Airfix kits for a crafty Christmas (with a dash of science).
Best science Christmas gifts
Baby Yoda Star Wars dressing gown
The next season of The Mandalorian drops in March, and we can’t wait. But there’s no harm in getting excited, and fans will love this baby Yoda dressing gown, complete with 3D ears and matching tie belt. Emerging from the right pocket is a Precious Cargo patch, with “The Mandalorian The Child” embroidered on the back. There’s even a Baby Yoda dressing gown for children.
Am I Made of Stardust? Dr Maggie Answers the Big Questions for Young Scientists
Although this is aimed at younger scientists, this is a really fun book for all ages. Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock answers all the questions curious kids will ever have about the Universe, including, what would happen if I fell into a black hole? And, could I slide around Saturn’s rings?
From whether there are rainbows on other planets to what dinner tastes like on the International Space Station, this book is packed full of fabulous facts, mind-blowing insights and engaging explanations, with delightful illustrations on every page.
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DNA pin badge
The ideal stocking filler or Secret Santa, this double helix pin badge is a keeper. It’s around the same diameter as a two-pound coin, and is enamelled with four colours. It’s a subtle, but fun way for someone to show their interest in science, to add to the collection, or on their work lanyard.
Giant microbe softies
You won’t faint at the sight of these adorable blood cells. With this cute collection of biology softies, you’ll learn to love your plasma, platelets and all the wonderful cells pulsing through your veins. After all, you have around 200 million red blood cells keeping you happy and energised.
The set includes red blood cell, white blood cell, plasma, platelet, and antibody. There are different versions, too, including these body cells (bone, fat, hair, nerve, muscle), plagues of the 21st Century (COVID-19, zika virus, measles, flu and SARS), and plagues from history (smallpox, black death, cholera, typhoid fever, and Spanish flu), among others.
It’s often said that the best telescope, is the one you’ll use. Can’t argue with that. But if you don’t have the space for a dob, or the time (or inclination) to polar-align a mount, then a good pair of binoculars will become your new best friend.
These are the ones I have, and trust me – you can see a lot through these bins. Okay, not quite the rings of Saturn, or the storms on Jupiter, but you can see Jupiter’s Galilean moons, and the Pleiades will sparkle with way more stars than you can see with your eyes.
As they are quite heavy, to get the best out of these, you’ll need a tripod, otherwise the stars will jump and whizz across your view, as you try to hold them steady. Any tripod will do, but if you want the whole package – the one I use is below (and it’s great). That being said, you can provide an anchor by resting on something, like railings, and angling them upwards. Failing that – hold them at the end, and you’ll be able to achieve a steadier view. Just try not to blind yourself when looking at the full Moon (which you’ll absolutely want to do).
Manfrotto tripod and head
Now this is one tough tripod. Mine has been dragged the length and breadth of the UK, it’s been bashed, dinged and dropped far more times than I can remember. But it still works like new. The legs extend smoothly (and lock securely), and the horizontal column still swings around effortlessly. I use mine with a head, the X-Pro 3-Way Tripod Head, and thanks to the fluid ball head, your camera (or binoculars) stay extremely stable – but you also have the option of manual tracking, should you wish.
Feeling frugal? Never fear – we’ve put together some templates for you to make your own James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) bauble. All you need is some card, scissors, glue, ribbon and a hole punch. It’s an easy gift to make someone this year, or the perfect keepsake from a DIY science Christmas card.
Gardening for the Zombie Apocalypse
Do not save reading this book until the zombies come. Read it so you can be prepared! Gardening For The Zombie Apocalypse teaches you how to grow your own food for when civilisation collapses (or even if it doesn’t). It’s a straightforward, yet practical guide to becoming more sustainable, written in a highly engaging and funny tone.
From how to find, choose and lay out your food-growing plot, the book explains all the basic sowing, growing and harvesting skills, and gives detailed, step-by-step information about how to get the best from 20 key “survival crops”. It also has wonderful and very funny illustrations, plus quite a lot of bad jokes about zombies. An ideal gift for fans of apocalypse movies or gardeners.
Do you know how to solve a Rubix cube? If you don’t, we’ll let you into a secret: it’s all about algorithms and pattern. You can learn, and it’s easier than you might think. If you prefer, you can of course, buy an instruction manual, but the Rubix Connected is frankly, a lot more fun. Tutorials will help you get started, and take you from ‘creating the daisy’, through each layer in turn, until your cube is solved.
But there’s more to just learning how to solve the cube; you can battle against friends and family, and even play musical tunes on it. It’s Bluetooth and app-enabled, and motion sensors track the cube’s orientation, as well as recoding your best times, movement, and progress. It’s also designed as a speed cube, so turning the segments is super-smooth; no more grating and grinding.
Forensic Science Lab
While away Twixmas, that weird time in-between Christmas and the New Year, by carrying out some forensic science experiments with (on) friends and family. Forensics is a hot topic in this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures, so it’s the ideal gift to introduce kids to forensic STEM, or to whip out when boredom strikes.
This kit allows you to use real techniques to match fingerprints, analyse DNA, identify fibres, test for poisons, cast footprints and discover secret messages, before setting the scene with crime scene tape.
Solar system gemstones
There are lots of versions of Solar System gemstones out there – both with the standard eight planets, but also nine (for those of us who still can’t quite accept Pluto is not a planet). Each gemstone has been chosen to represent the colours of each of the planets in our Solar System, and has been rounded and polished to create this lovely, tactile gift. Ideal for office workers (or home office workers), for showing off on a bookshelf, or for geologists.
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