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HomeGreat GiftsGolden Apple Awards

Best learning toys ages 9+

History buffs, eco-farmers, and mad scientists will love these 2011 Golden Apple Award winners created for older kids.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Wild Science Future Farm

Appeals to ages: 9+

What it teaches: earth science, environmental science, biology, hands-on learning

Future Farm provides everything your future farmer needs to build her own mini garden: tweezers and pipettes, mask and gloves, sand and water purification supplies – all you need to buy is the seeds. The kit teaches the science of hydroponics – the plants are cultivated without soil – as well as lessons on growing, feeding, watering, and propagating plants.

Future Farm received a big thumbs-up from our child testers who spent hours working on their farms, and required minimal help from adults. According to one  testers, the kit, "Shows kids how to plant and stuff, and it lets kids know that science can be fun!"

We have a single caveat: The kit, which smartly conveys lessons about caring for the earth, is made almost entirely of plastic, which sends a confusing message about environmental stewardship.

Bottom line: Your child can grow a miniature of crops, right in the corner of her bedroom!

Where to get it: Wild Science Future Farm

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

10/19/2011:
"the articles used to say HE all the time so.... Editor's note: Throughout the site, we vary between using she and he whenever it's meant in the generic sense. If it seems unbalanced in one article, we apologize, but it's because we try not to jump around within one article and instead vary our use from article to article. Thank you for reading. "
10/17/2011:
"Great Job....In 1987, while in attendence at Killeen High School. I was a student in the future farmers (home makers) vocational program. It still amazes me at what our children can do. SCIENCE!!!!! "
10/17/2011:
"Why do these articles keep calling your child she? Is it only for girls that's the give I'm getting "
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