Ok, I know that Christmas is still several months away, and I know that this might be an odd place to discuss Christmas shopping; however I also know that most of us participate in the celebration despite our obvious detachment from the "meaning" of the holiday. So, this year when purchasing gifts for my nieces and nephews I intend to base my purchases on my values rather than those of their parents (all Christians BTW). For that reason, at least two of the rug-rats will be receiving the 'Here Comes Science' DVD produced by the 'They Might be Giants' folks. This child oriented DVD discussed the topics that creationists would prefer us all to forget...and I love it. Plus the music is awesome (if you're a TMBG fan you'll know what to expect). However, I can't by the same thing for all my nieces and nephews so I'd love to hear about any suggestions the rest of you might have. Thanks.

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How about a set of scientist action figures:
http://scientificsonline.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_3151301

Of course I loved my microscope and chemistry sets as a child, but then i was a huge nerd...
Pretty cool! I'll probably not get the Newton figure...that man was a freak!
They all look kinda angry. I have a friend who has a little Einstein with fuzzy troll hair, a set of those would be awesome too.
I usually hit up various websites (usually on about.com) and find some stuff we can make with science together. My mom doesn't mind that I'm teaching the kids math and chemistry to make rock candy, peanut brittle and other fun stuff.

I also put my own kits together from stuff I have laying around that I don't really need anymore. That is the cheap graduate student in me doing a bit of educational recycling. The kids seem to love it anyway, even if the equipment isn't new.
Check out this site for some great gifts for kids:
http://www.charliesplayhouse.com/

Edit to add another one:
http://www.philosophersguild.com/index.lasso?page_mode=Home&cat...
I have Darwin and a few of the other scientist dolls for my kids.

Okay, one more thing I thought of (if they are at an age where pop-up books are still cool, but old enough not to tear them apart): "The Story of Everything" by Neal Layton
http://www.amazon.com/Story-Everything-Neal-Layton/dp/0340881712
Angela, I love Charlie's play house.
I love all the suggestions so far, but yeah Charlies Play House is looking pretty cool.
This is from the parenting site, it is the article on the right side of the page. They have links to stuff. Bill Nye videos? I love that guy.

http://forensicscienceschools.org/100-tools-to-make-your-kids-math-...
It doesn't have much to do with science, but LEGO is an awesome toy for getting the mind going. Figuring out how to go from a pile of small pieces to various forms that could end up as one thing or another kinda sets up the mental gears for teaching lots of science and engineering stuff like evolution or chemistry or architecture.
I play with legos to this day, and I'm 44 :)

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