keep your kids Leisure during the holidays is difficult. Finding activities that are fun, but also at least educational, is a worthy goal and we’re here to help. We’re going beyond STEM here to include the arts as well. These are the best STEM (or STEAM) game deals we found on Cyber Monday. Check back for regular updates, because we’re still looking for discounts that deserve your attention.
This may not be available depending on your location. When your kids are old enough (Lego suggests 4 and up), there are few games that offer such unbridled creativity. This classic set includes 1500 pieces in total with four base plates and a set of colorful bricks that can be combined into anything your kids can imagine.
The colorful sand that can be shaped into different shapes is fun for kids aged three and up, and both of my kids enjoyed playing with it. This set includes a set of plastic tools to help them carve sand into interesting shapes and structures. The only thing that might make you stop? Sand tends to get everywhere.
Both of my kids played with this sturdy table that has room inside to store large bricks. This is a great game for young children who aren’t ready for anything too small or awkward just yet, and it will encourage their inner architect. Legs lock into place for play and fold away when finished.
Packed with different circuits that can be cut together, this is a great way for kids to learn about electronics basics and get a taste of putting things together. There are over 60 parts including resistors, microphone, slide switch, and wires that can be used to build a lie detector, AM radio, and more.
targetingAnd AmazonAnd best buyAnd Play Osmo
Innovative Osmo Kits blend the digital and physical worlds in Best STEM Toys. Children mount their iPad or Fire tablet on a special stand and engage in puzzles and educational games by interacting with the pieces on the tabletop. Your tablet’s camera captures the action and provides on-screen and audio feedback. The games develop skills such as addition, multiplication, spelling, vocabulary, puzzle solving, physics, learn drawing, basic coding and more. There are fun and creative groups for all ages, from preschoolers to 12-year-olds.
targetingAnd Best Buy ($56)
For newcomers to Osmo, the starter kit is the best way forward because it includes a docking station for your iPad or Fire tablet. Little Guinness Beginners Set is intended for preschoolers.
One of our favorite family board games, ticket to ride It challenges you to plot railroads across North America. It’s recommended for kids aged 8 and up, since there’s a lot of strategy involved and some math, but the gameplay doesn’t take long and it’s a lot of fun. Ticket to Ride Europe Also on sale for $18.
Creating identical combinations of squares to get the most out of the game board sounds simple, but Azul has enough strategic depth to challenge your kids’ math, planning, and puzzle-solving skills. This is another one of our picks for the best family board games.
Tablet and Kindle Deals
Tablet PC can be an excellent purchase for kids to read, devour educational apps, play games or watch documentaries. While you can read on tablets, e-readers are more comfortable on the eyes and allow parents to make sure their children are reading rather than playing. Check out our guide to the best kids’ tablets for more options.
A portable tablet with a bumper, one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, and two-year worry-free replacement guarantee makes a great deal for families with young children (8/10, WIRED recommends). There are plenty of apps, educational games, videos, books, and powerful parental control tools.
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If your kids are growing up a bit for a “baby tablet” with a rubber bumper, this is an upgrade they won’t mind seeing you grab hold of. It offers the same benefits as the smaller HD 8, including educational content from the likes of National Geographic, Rabbids Coding, and LEGO. And there is still a protective case, although it is a little more elegant and has a handy kickstand.
This small, lightweight e-reader (7/10, WIRED recommends) is the perfect size for kids and comes with a flip-top cover, a year of Amazon Kids+, and a promise that Amazon will replace it if it breaks in two years. It’s easy to download or view e-books from your local library.
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An upgrade over the basic Kids Kindle above, the Paperwhite has all the same benefits but also has a backlit screen for reading in low light or at night and the ability to withstand a brief immersion in water.
Are you looking for more discounts on subscription services? We’ve rounded up more here.
Learning to play a musical instrument is a worthwhile pursuit for any child, and this smart app uses the built-in microphone in a smartphone, tablet or laptop to provide feedback while playing. Check out our guide to the best music learning websites and apps for more information.
(enter MERRY at checkout)
These themed boxes display a wide range of topics covering everything from music to robotics and are carefully designed for different age groups. Each box contains plenty of activities, which is why this is our top pick in subscription boxes for kids.
(Enter the GIVEJOY code at checkout)
With a range of themed packages for different age groups, the play-based science and geography kits are filled with games and activities delivered monthly. Each has art and science activities to get involved in, from the deep sea and dinosaurs for toddlers to a road trip around the US for older kids.
(SAGOBF2021 upon checkout)
Our favorite subscription box for toddlers, ages 2-5, Sago Mini subscription boxes offer a different theme every month. Sago Mini apps feature characters that your child can guide in open world exploration, such as driving a tugboat around an ocean.
(HOLLY40 at checkout)
For kids who love crafting this subscription, it offers monthly themed boxes with plenty of variety to keep them engaged and creative. Unfortunately, you still have to clean up the mess they left behind.
The kids version of the Amazon Echo Dot gets a cute makeover of animals like a tiger or a panda. It’s an all-in-one smart speaker that enables kids to ask Alexa questions, play music, listen to audiobooks, and even try out learning skills. Like the rest of Amazon’s Kids range, it comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription ($3 a month thereafter), powerful parental controls, and a worry-free two-year warranty.
This may not be available depending on your location. With songs and stories featuring some of your children’s favorite Disney and Pixar characters, this durable, kid-friendly speaker is a great screen alternative. Children put a plastic figurine, such as Woody from Toy Story, Top speaker to play related content. Additional bundles are available with other character ties for everything from Disney Princesses to Sesame Street Characters. You can also record your stories and songs or record your grandparents so they can read them to your little ones from afar. The Toniebox Starter Basic Kit is also available for $70 ($30 off) on Amazon.
Got a Yoto trigger (7/10, WIRED recommends)? It’s a cute looking speaker that kids can insert cards into to play stories and podcasts. The speaker itself isn’t for sale, but Yoto does offer a 10 percent discount on cards and accessories, which can come in handy if your child needs a bunch of new content.