For shoppers out scoring some Black Friday discounts, a Purdue University researcher suggests looking beyond the bargains when buying gifts for children.
Women in Engineering Director Beth Holloway says buying toys that encourage science and engineering help kids build important skills.
“I think it’s important that parents encourage their children’s interests — both their boys and their girls — interests in a wide range of things,” she says.
Holloways says that once girls reach middle school age, it is extremely difficult to pique new interests and excite them about science or math if they don’t have an interest in those areas already.
“Girls become interested in the things that they’re confident they can do,” says Holloway. “So it’s really great if parents can help their children, help their girls, build confidence in things like creating and building and envisioning new things. And then, the interest will come from there.”
Holloway suggests toys such as building tools, chemistry sets and geode kits.