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
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 of our testers, it, "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 cornucopia of miniature crops, right in the corner of her bedroom!
Where to get it: Wild Science Future Farm