GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide #5: Toys for Dads & Kids to Share

Gift Guide Hacking the Holidays

A long-winded title but it points out a truism: the best thing about being a geek are the toys, and the best thing about being a GeekDad is playing with your kids with those toys. If you’re looking for other gift suggestions, make sure you take a peek to the right and see gift guides 1-4 (and maybe more, depending on when in the timeflow you look at that sidebar.)

AgentsAgentsLEGO Agents Command Base
Toy-of-the-year level play, this semi packs tons of vehicles, gear, and minifigs. Elegantly organized so multiple builders of differing skill levels can all have fun. Read the review or buy it from Amazon.

Folding cardboard building bricks, big enough to build a wall or fort. Combine with a couple of Nerf guns and you get a great way to while away the winter months — or just build with them like giant blocks. Buy them from Amazon.

BattletechBattletechBattleTech Introductory Boxed Set
The ultimate giant robot board game. This starter set comes with plastic robot figures, quick start rules, and advanced rules. With over 20 years of background material, this game can get as complicated as you can handle! Read the review or buy it from Catalyst’s online store or from Amazon.

Chem3000Chem3000Thames & Kosmos CHEM3000 Chemistry Set
While chemistry sets have fallen on hard times, this one still impresses, serving up safe and educational experiments for kids. Good for middle schoolers and up, packs 387 experiments and is made in Germany. Buy it on Amazon or from the Maker Shed.

SkyscoutSkyscoutCelestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium
Point the unit at any star and press a button, and thanks to the magic of GPS the SkyScout will tell you about the star! Or choose a star from the menu and SkyScout will tell you where to look. Locates over 6,000 stars. Read our review or buy it from Amazon.

ArduinoArduinoLadyada’s Arduino Starter Pack
Everything you need to get started with the world’s coolest hobby microcontroller, the Arduino. Comes with electronic components, cables, and of course the latest and greatest Arduino. Buy it from Ladyada. If this looks too difficult and you need something a little more focused, you might want to try the Microcontroller Experimentation Kit from ThinkGeek.

NerfNerfNerf Dart Tag
Everyone needs a little physical activity, especially in the winter. What better way to get Dad and kids off the couch than a little Nerf warfare? This set comes with two 10-shot dart guns and two scoring vests. Buy it from Amazon.

Magnetic_accelerator_kit_2Magnetic_accelerator_kit_2Magnetic Accelerator
More of a novelty than a project that can obsess someone for days on end, this kit lets you build a magnetic accelerator — a mass driver — that flings ball bearings. Buy it from ThinkGeek.

Ham_2Ham_2ARRL Ham Radio License Manual
Ham radio is a delightfully nerdy hobby open to all ages. If you can write well enough to take and pass the licensing exam, you’re entitled to be a ham. This book helps you get up to speed on the knowledge you need to pass. Great for parents and kids to do together. Buy it from Amazon.

ClonewarsClonewarsClone Wars Miniatures Game Starter Set
This simple board game allows you to act out the epic battles of the Star Wars mythos, or those of your own imagination. This reasonably priced set comes with figures, a game map, rules and a 20-sided die — everything you need. Read our review or Buy it from Amazon.

RocketRocketEstes Tandem-X Model Rocket Launch Set
What a fun hobby. Combines art with physics and lots of fun. Learn how to build your own model rocket, and launch it from the accompanying launcher. Buy it from Amazon.

SnapcircuitsSnapcircuitsSnap Circuits Jr.
Building blocks containing electrical and electronic components, allowing kids to build their own circuits — no soldering required! Allegedly for 8 years and up, the starting age actually depends on your kid and I could see 5- and 6-year-olds appreciating this kit, especially if Dad helps out. Comes with 100 projects. Buy it from Amazon.

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