Parent, Toys

Over 30 STEM Toys That are STEMTASTIC For Kids

American schools are making STEM a huge deal in the classroom. If you want to supplement their learning at home, why not urge your child to play with toys that teach? If you’re a parent, auntie, or uncle you may feel overwhelmed by all the options on the market. Don’t feel frustrated because you’re not sure what to offer the children in your life. Below, I’ve compiled a few STEM toys that will help cultivate learning about art, science, technology, engineering, and math.STEM toys that teach kids

I. Puzzles help increase cognitive and spacial learning skills. 

For the youngest kids interested in STEM, start with puzzles. While you may remember your grandmothers 1000 box puzzle set from old school years puzzles are much more advanced than in the past.  Geometric puzzles can help students learn about conceptual ideas such as division. For instance, when separating pieces they can learn that dividing each piece means they are separating the shapes into equal groups.

II. Building blocks promote creativity and problem-solving skills. 

  • Lego Bricks – Lego toys really have withstood the test of time. If you have a child who is interested in building subscribe to their free Lego Club Magazine.
  • K’nex – Last year my kids received a K’nex roller coaster that included STEM experiments for them to test on their own. They both thought the building experience and experiments were incredible.
  • Tinker Toys – Mostly for younger children Tinker Toys have been around for years. In my post “Toys That Teach: Brilliant Building!” I discuss why Tinker Toys, k’nex and other building blocks make fantastic choices for young engineers.
  • Goldie Blox – Geared towards girls and STEAM Goldie blox uses ticker toys, stickers, and cardboard to build imaginative things like a Ferris-wheel.

STEM toys that teach kids

III. Chemistry Sets

IV. Bring science class into your home with a microscope and specimen kit

STEM toys that teach kids

V. Introduction to learning about circuits and electricity

  • Circuit Kits – The kits provide a way for kids to understand electricity on an elementary level. The kits teach problem solving and exploring skills.
  • MudWatt STEM Kit: Clean Energy from Mud!

VI. Coding robots give kids their first look at programmable toys that teach them how to code.

As technology and computer fields continue to grow, the need for more coders will also increase. So in essence, these toys are not just for play but may give your kids a competitive advantage if they have a knack for it.

  • Osmo
  • Sphero – My kids have owned a Sphero for about a year. They learned how to use it well and only play with it intermittently. 
  • Lego Boost – The next Lego robot my husband and I buy for our kids will be Lego Boost.
  • Mindstorms – I think Lego Mindstorms EV3 is really the best coding tool listed here, but it is also one of the priciest choices.
  • JIMU robot
  • Meccano-Erector – Micronoid Code Magna Programmable Robot

VII. Board Games can often help children develop learning skills without them realizing it. 

At home model rocket, STEM activity for kids

VIII. Build 3-Dimensional models

  • Model Rocket – Remember when purchasing a model rocket, make sure the kit includes everything needed for launching. If it doesn’t also purchase the additional items like engines at the same time.
  • Human body
  • Animal Model (i.e., shark, etc)

STEM toys that teach kids

VIIII. Build a computer. 

X. Make math fun with these toys. 

Geometric puzzles can help students learn about conceptual ideas such as division. For instance, when separating pieces they can learn that dividing each piece means they are separating the shapes into equal groups.

 
 Even if your child is not an aspiring engineer, astronaut, scientist, researcher, doctor, or mathematician these toys are still a lot of fun. 

 

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  • Keri @flipflopweekend

    This is a fantastic list! My 6 year old son LOVES legos and puzzles and we always prefer these educational, cognitive-building activities over screen-time. I am definitely going to need to check out that 3-D globe puzzle. He would love doing that with my husband.

  • STEM usually brings great fun to my house. I never thought how much my son would love it!

  • Oh this is a sweet list! I know that we have quite a few STEM items in our house, but more never hurt anyone. Or am I just that person who likes buying educational items for their home?

  • EG Green

    These are all awesome toy ideas, some of which I’ll definitely have to purchase. I sometimes struggle with clawing my daughter away from the screen but as long as the activity is fun and challenging it’s usually enough to capture her attention.

  • Eva

    My kids just got rid of pretty much all their toys… except legos. They are at the gift card stage now. I LOVE the globe puzzle. I think they’d like that… and the rocket. These are great ideas for gifts for nieces and nephews and friends though!

    • The circuit kit is one of their favorites too. They can make lights and radio recordings. They also have a game where they make video game characters. Like you, we got rid of a lot of their older toys this year. I keep a few things around that they don’t play with for my friends younger kids who visit us. For Christmas I bought my girls the Lego Stop Motion Kit. I can’t wait to share their next video.

  • Darlene Lee

    These option are just amazing. I haven’t even heard of a lego boost before now. I will look into the coding, rocket and puzzle toys!

  • These are all great ideas, growing up I was addicted to puzzles. My kids both have that same love for puzzles and Lego’s.

  • That globe puzzle looks fun! I love the idea of toys that help children learn while they’re having fun.

  • Bernetta

    I love this list. It’s some great things on here. I love the puzzle globe as well. My youngest and oldest are really into them.

  • What a great list of toys! My niece would love all of them.

  • Kasi Perkins

    This is a great list! The globe puzzle looks so cool, I’d love to do it myself! Tinker toys were a childhood fav of mine.

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