At Little, we’re passionate about fostering the dreams and talents of budding architects, engineers, and designers from an early age. Our annual holiday gift guide features a collection of STEAM gifts thoughtfully curated for curious and ambitious young minds.
Whether the little ones on your list are builders, artists, or engineers-in-training, we’ve rounded up 25 of the top toys and books that promise to spark inspiration and captivate their imaginations this holiday season. Let the joy of discovery unfold!
For Young Readers
From skyscrapers that reach astonishing heights to bridges that span deep and wide rivers, the world is filled with awe-inspiring structures. But how do they work? Written by award-winning structural engineer Roma Agrawal, How Was That Built? provides unique and illuminating perspectives of the world’s most incredible constructions.
Maybe I’ll Be an Architect is a story about the wonderful world of work and the possibility of becoming whatever you want to be—maybe even an architect. The picture book encourages young readers to use their imagination while inspiring them to explore STEM-related careers.
Penny isn’t just the fourth little pig—she’s an engineer. So, when big bad Wolfgang destroys her brothers’ homes, Penny comes to the rescue! Penny, the Engineering Tail of the Fourth Little Pig is a smart story full of humor, puns, girl power, and grit.
This highly visual, hands-on activity book will banish boredom, foster imagination, and unlock new interests. From outdoor projects like starting a bucket garden to science activities like building a water microscope, The Highlights Book of Things to Do is filled with over 500 screen-free ideas for kids ages 7 and up.
We would be remiss to not include our beloved children’s book devoted to the wonderful buildings around us. Written and illustrated by designers at Little, If Buildings Could Talk is an award-winning book that invites young readers to imagine the conversations they might have with architecture in their lives. All proceeds from book sales go directly to local architecture and design mentoring programs aimed at fostering diversity in the AEC industry.
For Young Builders
Little architects can’t wait to grab their blueprints and get building! Packed with 50 smooth wooden blocks, this learning center challenges children to re-create 20 different designs using blueprints to help guide their building. Ages 3-8
Imagine it…then build it! Kids create project after project using smooth pine pieces in a wide variety of shapes. The kit comes complete with a guide that has instructions for multiple projects, plus a lightweight hammer, nails, glue, and a handy storage box. Ages 4-11
This 600-piece plank set (complete with bonus planks and storage bin) is a builder’s dream. Simply stack the precision-cut, solid pine KEVA planks to create buildings, monuments and geometric forms. It’s the ideal activity to help kids gain an understanding of balance and proportion, as well as an interest in architecture, building and design. Ages 5+
For Young Engineers
Build a maze and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch the mouse race to find the cheese! It’s the perfect introduction to coding concepts with endless maze path possibilities. Ages 4+
Based on the best-selling book by Ashley Spires, this game uses objects to create imaginary contraptions. Flip the timer and everyone races to grab what they need to build a device that matches the prompt magnificently. Then, everyone gets to explain why their invention is the most magnificent. Ages 7+
Design and build a custom house and then electrify it with real 3D circuits. With 34 exciting STEM projects that are based on electric circuits found in most homes, kids will learn how power gets to a home, how power travels inside walls, what happens when you turn on a light, what happens when the power goes out, what are fuses, circuits breakers, and more! Ages 8+
With this kit of modular building pieces, kids can learn the basics of structural engineering by conducting a series of 20 model-building experiments. Each model demonstrates a basic principle of mechanical physics or structural engineering in a hands-on way. Ages 8-14+
The National Geographic 150-piece Magnetic Marble Run STEM building set brings a new level of excitement to building a marble maze! With its innovative spiral lift and magnetic connectors, kids can build, create, and explore engineering and physics on any magnetic surface. Ages 10+
For Young Artists
Caden Lane’s colorable bamboo pjs are sure to become a bedtime favorite. As soft as they are creative, kiddos will love customizing this two-piece set. From Barnyard Bash to Mermaid Magic, there are multiple designs to choose from—but, for us, it’s the Construction Zone pattern that takes the cake. Ages 18 months+
lluStory allows children to write, illustrate and publish their very own hardcover book! The “Just Imagine” guidebook takes kids through the process of writing and illustrating their story. Once completed and mailed using the pre-paid envelope, the child receives a 7″ x 9″ hardcover book. Ages 4+
With this kit, little ones can play house—and designer and architect, too! This kit contains a two-story house with more than 225 pieces of furniture and accessories to be colored and assembled for hours of creative fun! Ages 6+
With this hands-on kit, kids can experience the excitement of making and decorating their own craft paper, as well as the artistic techniques of color mixing, painting, and more. Kids can give their paper creations as gifts or save them for other fun craft activities! Ages 10+
For Digital Designers
This kit features Osmo’s bestselling Little Genius Starter Kit and nine early learning games, including Monster where kiddos can bring their drawings to life and Costume Party where they can experiment with clothes and colors to design party outfits. Ages 3-5
The Instax Mini 12 instant camera is full of joy, creativity and color. Available in purple or blue, the camera features easy-to-use controls and modules, perfect for budding photographers. The newly released holiday bundle is a great value and includes film, a photo holder magnet, album, and idea book. Ages 5+
This drawing tablet is designed for beginners to get started with digital drawing, sketching, and photo editing. It comes with transparent tracing paper that can be placed upon the drawing tablet to help little artists with pen control and line practice. With built-in Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, it is easy to set up and use without hassles. Ages 8+
Want even more gift ideas? Check out our 2022 Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers.