Cool Gift Ideas for People to Make


Our next gift guide is aimed at the techie that enjoys making stuff before playing with it.

Magna-Bones 32 pcs – $14.99

Magna-Bones 32 pcs

Magna-Bones includes the skeletal remains of a Triceratops. Once you dig out your bones, assemble and pose Tri-Tops. Learn about their history and life on the collectable tin card.
– Feel like a real paleontologist!
– Build cool models with bone shaped rods.
– Endless hours of construction!
– An excellent way to develop scientific knowledge and social development.

The Magna-Bones 32 pcs is available from Amazon for $14.99.


Wooden War Engine Kits – $19.99+

Wooden War Engine Kits

These kits let you bring back all the fun of flinging. Each one can assemble in just a few hours, and provides a fantastic scale model of an actual war weapon of yore. The catapult is perfect for chucking balls of paper and other small objects over cubicle walls. The trebuchet is better for long range targets (like the water cooler or networked printer). And, all you need to put them together are some strong fingers (or pliers), a cutting tool, and glue (not included). Both kits are perfect for showing your love of retro weaponry.

The Wooden War Engine Kits is available from Think Geek for $19.99+.


Classic Video Table Tennis Kit – $19.99+

Classic Video Table Tennis Kit

Blocky table tennis with a ball and two paddles was one of the first real video games to make it into mainstream culture. It took an awful lot of high-tech electronics in 1972 to create this classic game. Now however you can cobble together your very own Classic Video Table Tennis Game with a little determination and some basic soldering skillz. This kit contains a pre-printed circuit board and 39 various resistors, diodes, and capacitors. Solder everything together (following the instructions we hope) and plug the audio and video into any standard TV for instant Table Tennis action. You can play against another lowly human or challenge the computer at four different skill levels.

The Classic Video Table Tennis Kit is available from Think Geek for $19.99+.


Cannon Propulsion Kit – $20.97

Cannon Propulsion Kit

Explore basic concepts of physics as you aim and fire cannons at your target.
– Harness electric power to fire cannons at a target
– Measure speed, velocity and inertia of moving objects
– Learn about math, gravity and parabolic flights of projectiles
– Comes with a built-in measuring tape for precise experiments

The Cannon Propulsion Kit is available from Discovery for $20.97.


100 Project Snap Together Circuitboard Kit – $29.95

100 Project Snap Together Circuitboard Kit

With dozens of exciting projects to choose from, this kit teaches children how electricity works and guides them through building their own burglar alarm, flashlight, doorbell, and more. All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together easily (no soldering is necessary), and disassemble quickly so they can be used to build something else. The instruction manual introduces children to such electrical terms as “capacitor”, “resistor,” and “integrated circuit,” and takes them step by step through one hundred experiments.

The 100 Project Snap Together Circuitboard Kit is available from Hammacher for $29.95.


MAKE: Technology on Your Time (Subscription) – $34.95

MAKE: Technology on Your Time (Subscription)

MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life and celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend your technology to your will. MAKE ignites your ingenuity and connects you with your fellow “Makers.”

The MAKE: Technology on Your Time (Subscription) is available from Amazon for $34.95.


Hydrodynamic Building Set – $69.99

MAKE: Technology on Your Time (Subscription)

The instruction manual shows you how the girders connect, how to build the various tanks, and some rendered images of completed projects – but not step-by-step. Your entire model gets built up from the bottom of the carrying case, which acts as the water reservoir and also has a special footing to be the structure’s foundation. Level by level, you build your support frame and add your tanks. Then connect all the tubes, add in the valves, and turn on the electric pump. If you’ve done it right, you’ll have an awesome construction everyone will marvel at (a little food coloring helps). Fail and you’re all wet – quite probably literally.

The Hydrodynamic Building Set is available from Think Geek for $69.99.


Executivity Spring Bend Twin Tower – $88.99

Executivity Spring Bend Twin Tower

Spring Bend Twin Tower Motorized Marble Run ages 9 to Adult. Excutivity is an entertaining toy for the excutives who are still enchanted by sophisticated toys and gadgets. This is a spectacular building construction toy with a motorized elevator. This fun innovative product is great for adults and kids ages 9 and up. Lots of motorized movement and creativity. AA Batteries not included.

The Executivity Spring Bend Twin Tower is available from Amazon for $88.99.


LEGO Mindstorms NXT – $224.99

LEGO Mindstorms NXT

Sure, Mindstorms NXT is a toy, but it is an important toy, like a piano or a chemistry set. It’s one of those items that engages an imagination and possibly opens doors to new interests. Since our future is surely to be shared with robots–it’s already started happening, just look at Roomba–those robots will need, at least initially, humans to program and maintain them. Those people, years from now, will likely remember their experiences with Lego Mindstorms.

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT is available from Amazon for $224.99.


6 Foot Working Ferris Wheel Kit – $499.95

6 Foot Working Ferris Wheel Kit

Offered exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, this operating Ferris Wheel from K’NEX, makers of innovative construction sets worldwide, rises to 6′ when assembled, with an intricate design that harks back to George Ferris Jr.’s original 1893 creation. Containing 8,550 pieces, the color-coded rods, connectors, and gears snap together easily to form the wheel’s platform, frame, and cars. Simply follow the step-by-step illustrated instructions to create this working masterpiece. A heavy-duty electric motor leisurely turns the Ferris wheel through two full revolutions a minute.

The 6 Foot Working Ferris Wheel Kit is available from Hammacher for $499.95.


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