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Meccano or science stuff for girls?

(19 Posts)
FramboiseCoulis Fri 14-Nov-14 21:45:58

My daughter (9) really likes to know how things work, how machines work, how things are put together, how chemicals react ... what can I say, she shuns Barbies!!

So I am looking for ideas for building or discovery kind of toys for girls. I tried Meccano but it's full of trucks and that kind of thing and I don;t think that will do the trick.

I guess what I'm looking for is more scientific approach. I have absolutely no idea about this kind of thing as this is so far removed from anything i was remotely interested in at that age.

So, any advice on where I should start ? She already has a microscope which she loves.


enderwoman Fri 14-Nov-14 21:50:38

Would Lego Technics or K'Nex fit the bill? I remember my son building stuff like a windmill that could actually spin round.
Hot Wires would be good for investigating electronics.

Yoruba Fri 14-Nov-14 21:53:44

Telescope? Lego technic? I think you can get some amazing sets (though my dd is only 5 so I confess I'm not sure if some of these things would be ok!)
From a quick look on amazon there are some really nice science sets
I don't know if this would be too young but you could get into why how it works etc?

Fab science encyclopaedia from the book people at the mo - really interesting.

BertieBotts Fri 14-Nov-14 21:54:01

Look at K'nex - you can build ferris wheels and all sorts of things. Meccano is a bit rubbish these days, all kits to build one set thing and you're right, very dull and uninspiring things usually.

Have a look here for lots of ideas:

Also just go to somewhere like Toys R Us and look at the science kits they have, lots of interesting things. Magnet sets, chemistry sets, crystal growing, electric circuits, you might find something like a spy kit. Horrible Science do a set of kits, DS got one about slime for his birthday. (The Horrible Science books are brilliant too). And The Science Museum do a range of toys/discovery stuff which isn't gendered.

You can get some "science kits" aimed at girls, perfume making and stuff but it's so pink, I'd look at the more unisex type offerings, I think that's better than giving her the idea that there is "girls' science" and it's something different to normal science.

You can get loads of cool things in Germany but I'm sure the UK must have some good ones too, you just need to find a big enough toyshop to stock things like that.

FramboiseCoulis Fri 14-Nov-14 22:03:30

OMG this is fabulous, thank you!!!!

Fresh01 Fri 14-Nov-14 22:47:00

The Hot wires! I have a DD 8 who claims it had been one of her best presents. It is a great set and you can buy individual spare parts from the website.

bakingtins Fri 14-Nov-14 22:49:52

Try the website bright minds for this sort of stuff.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 14-Nov-14 22:50:00

DD got Lego mindstorms for her birthday. She and DH have enjoyed it v much!

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Fri 14-Nov-14 22:52:18

Hotwires is awesome- DD got that for xmas last year & loved it. She wants boom, bangs & fizzes this year. I've ordered a magnetic kit, microscope & some chemical tree thing that grows when you add water. There's loads of science kits out there, I think finding the good ones is the hard but but Hotwires is def worth it.

ouryve Fri 14-Nov-14 22:54:58

Argos have a pretty decent collection of Science kits. The John Adams ones are very good.

Agree about k'nex being a good, truly unisex offering - the ferris wheel is fiddly enough to be challenging for a 9yo, but not downright impossible. There's a few roller coasters, too.

SevenZarkSeven Fri 14-Nov-14 22:57:34

You can get books with experiments in for children to do at home with household stuff. I haven't got any to link but I saw one in the shop the other day and it looked quite good grin

Lego mindstorms looks really good fun

trice Fri 14-Nov-14 22:59:20

Did likes her hotwires set. Fischer technic sets are fan.

SevenZarkSeven Fri 14-Nov-14 22:59:32

Also not xmas related but have you seen scratch she might enjoy that

trice Fri 14-Nov-14 22:59:51


northdownmummy Fri 14-Nov-14 23:04:59

How about a Raspberry pi, you say she's interested in how things work. This could be a brilliant introduction to computer programming.
I had a training course on it today and was amazed at how accessible (and affordable) it is.

northdownmummy Fri 14-Nov-14 23:07:41

seven I've only had a short play with scratch but is amazing. Have seen kids as young as 7 build their own games.
Comes preloaded on th Pi

MsAspreyDiamonds Sat 15-Nov-14 15:58:16

The Science Museum shop online is where you need to look.

Leeds2 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:39:48

My friend's sons had a build your own combustion engine, which they enjoyed. The outside was clear plastic, so that you could see the bits inside moving. I don't know who made it though, or price.

gravyandspuds Sat 15-Nov-14 20:29:47

There are those sets where you build things out of recyclables

we have got one of these before for a nephew from memory he loved it.

Also there is that goldieblox stuff,I have never seen the kits in the flesh but always liked the idea of them,but maybe a bit young for your DD.

or this stuff?
This is out of stock on amazon but am sure have seen it elsewhere.

(Was very like your daughter at her age and find myself browsing these toys now even though mine are too young yet!)

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