Best STEM toys for kids

Educational Toys

STEM activities don’t have to involve screens. Interactive toys and games that encourage simple science, technology, engineering and math skills are wonderful tools for children.

Quality STEM toys for kids

People often think that science, technology, engineering and math learning starts in second or third grade. Believe it or not, STEM learning starts at birth, as soon as babies open their eyes and begin to look around and explore their world. 

When babies and young children are starting to learn STEM concepts, the primary focus is on sensory exploration and the development of sensory skills. Children use their senses of vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch to learn about their world. Parents and caregivers can encourage this early exploration by providing interactive and engaging activities as well as language that supports specific STEM learning. 

What to consider when choosing a STEM toy for kids

It’s important to expose young children to STEM concepts before they start kindergarten so they come into school with the skills necessary to learn and be successful.

Children learn through play, so introducing these important concepts through toys and games is the perfect way to help children gain an understanding of early STEM skills while having fun, interacting with others and learning new language and vocabulary. Adults should join in the play sometimes to introduce more advanced concepts and new vocabulary.

5 best STEM toys for kids

Best toy for science discovery

Discovery Kids #Mindblown Food Science Kit 

Discovery Kids #Mindblown Food Science Kit 

What you need to know: This science experiment kit allows children to combine edible ingredients into recipes that are also chemistry experiments. When they’re done learning, they can eat the results.

What you’ll love: This kit is very practical for children, as it uses everyday ingredients to create experiments. The kit includes test tubes, colanders, syringes, molds, pastry cutters and much more to learn the science behind baking and cooking. This kit fosters creativity while learning early science and math concepts including mixing ingredients, measuring, volume, following directions and problem-solving.

What you should consider: Some ingredients are not included and are difficult to find, such as yogurt starter. Adults should always supervise children while cooking.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best toy for technology and use of simple tools

Kabeaty Jumbo Dinosaur Egg Kit

Kabeaty Jumbo Dinosaur Egg Kit

What you need to know: Technology isn’t necessarily the use of computers but the use of tools and ingenuity for innovation. This excavation kit makes use of simple tools such as a hammer, chisel and brushes to extract dinosaur fossils from a giant egg. Children can decide which tools are best for the job at hand. Once extracted, the dinosaurs make fun toys to play with. With use of the accompanying cards, children can identify each dinosaur. Parents can use words like species, extraction, fossil, elements and types of dinosaurs to add to children’s vocabulary and overall learning experience.

What you’ll love: This activity necessitates a lot of problem-solving to dig into the rock-hard egg. Children may need to add water to soften it or find additional tools. Parents and caregivers can guide the process of problem-solving by asking questions and expanding the child’s thinking. This activity also helps to build fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and strength.

What you should consider: Young children may need help with the digging and extraction.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best toy for engineering and creation

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Falling Marble Logic Game

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Falling Marble Logic Game

What you need to know: Children need to use logic and engineering skills to plan and construct towers for marbles to travel through. This game builds critical engineering, spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills.

What you’ll love: Children need to use fine motor, visual motor and direction-following skills to engineer the towers. They’re able to immediately test their results by seeing how the marbles move. This is a great introduction to the scientific method. Parents and caregivers can encourage children to record their findings in a journal for future use. This game also presents an introduction to electrical circuitry engineering.

What you should consider: This game is a little bit advanced for young children; it’s recommended for children 8 and up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best toy for practicing math skills

Top Bright Wooden Count & Match Numbers

Top Bright Wooden Count & Match Numbers

What you need to know: This game is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers and is a great way to teach number recognition, sequence and size, because the higher the column, the larger the number.

What you’ll love: The colorful discs are easy for young children to manipulate and count. The game helps to build fine motor skills and visual motor skills.

What you should consider: Small pieces could pose a choking hazard to young children.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best toy for teaching logic skills

Jericetoy Wooden Brain Teasers

Jericetoy Wooden Brain Teasers

What you need to know: This game requires logical thinking to determine how to move the pieces with the fewest steps and in the shortest amount of time.

What you’ll love: This game builds visual motor skills, problem-solving, higher level logic and critical thinking and strategy. It’s fun and engaging for adults as well. It’s made from natural wood and has brightly colored images. There are 18 different challenges, so it can be played over and over again.

What you should consider: This game requires some patience, so it may be challenging for young children, but it will teach turn-taking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Aimee Ketchum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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