STEM toys kids build a foundation of real-world problem-solving skills using creativity, logic, and collaboration.
STEM toys challenge young minds with them, giving little thought to learning. You can say they are detractions the same way playing sports are a form of exercise. Playing while learning is the best way of learning.
Our STEM toy buyers guide will go over everything you’ll need to know.
How do I choose a STEM toy for a gift?
It may be challenging to know how you can successfully nurture their minds based on their unique interests and attributes. The first thing to remember is that you genuinely cannot go wrong buying a STEM toy gift. This STEM toy buyers guide will go over everything you’ll need to know.
Many of the toys available to engage their STEM mindset do an excellent job of blending the different fields so that they are gaining traction in every subject, even if minimally.
Still, the pressure to find the right toy to build their curiosity may continue to weigh you down.
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How to Buy a STEM Toy for What Kids Are Increased In
First, you’ll have to decide whether you want to build on their interests or help advance a skill you feel may be a little less developed. If it’s a STEM toy gift for someone, it might help to ask their parents.
You’ll also need to find age-appropriate things for your child to ensure how much assistance and guidance they’ll need when playing.
Some STEM toys will help develop their creativity with minimal instructions. In contrast, others will give you countless guidelines that help you follow instructions to a proven list of fun experiments.
Ultimately, this is up to you, but ideally, you will want to have various options to meet every need of a child.
The toy industry’s possibilities geared toward STEM learning are endless, so don’t drive yourself crazy searching for the perfect fit; they’ll all work out in the end.
So, what type of STEM toys will your kid want?
An introduction to robotics and STEM concepts naturally will come from robot kits. They can help develop cognitive skills through the application of coding, computer science, and robotic design.
Kids can see the process of how robots complete simple tasks to build their own robots from scratch.
The development of creating robotic assistance for human life is continuously increasing, and a robotic kit may be the perfect way to channel those early strategic and problem-solving skills.
Best Robotic Kits for kids
- The best overall starter robot – mBot coding robot.
- Robot Kit for Kids – Remote Control Robot Toy (For younger ages).
- LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox – Robot Building and Coding Set.
- UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit – Robotic Learning Building Kit.
- Tinkering Labs Electric Motorist Catalysts – Robotics STEM Kit.
- ELEGOOO UNO R3 Robot Car Kit – Smart Robot Car Kit.
These are a couple of articles we have where we deep dive into Robotic Kits, Guide to the Best STEM Robotics Kits
STEM Programming Kits
Programming kits are designed to provide an innovative way to progress a unique set of STEM technological skills and develop their computational thinking.
Through the application of coding, kids can improve their coordination, critical-thinking skills, and cause-and-effect problem-solving competencies.
With these kits, they are expanding their capabilities of intertwining the digital and physical products of construction.
Best Programming Kits for kids
- SPHERO Bolt – SPHERO Bolt.
- Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics – Intro to Coding & Robotics (For younger ages).
- LEGO Mindstorms – Robot Kit with Programming.
- KANO Harry Potter Coding Kit – Harry Potter Coding Kit.
- Anki-Cozmo Robot – Robotic Coding Toy.
These are a couple of articles we have where we deep dive into STEM programming kits, Sphero vs. Cozmo: Which programmable robot should you choose? & 8 Best Coding Robots to Teach Kids to Code (for all ages!).
If you really want to get into coding, we have a great article on that, What Is Computer Science For Kids? How to Get Kids Started Coding.
STEM Circuit Kits
Electronic kits are a quintessential way to navigate the world of circuital learning.
If they’ve ever asked how a light switch works or what’s inside of an iPad, a circuital kit may be exactly what they’re craving without even knowing it. In some cases, they utilize multiple components to create their own electronic device.
Many of them may overlap with a computer or programming kit, but circuit kits are still unique in and of themselves. Whether it be a fun hobby or a way to quench their thirst to learn, they’re guaranteed to enjoy it.
Best Circuit Kits for kids
- Bitbox is a monthly subscription founded by two ex-Googlers geared toward computer science.
- Electronic Snap Circuits – SC Classic – 300 Electronics Exploration Kit.
- Arduino Starter Kit – Arduino Starter Kit.
- EUDAX Electricity Discovery Circuit and Magnetism Experiment Kit – EUDAX Circuit Kit.
- Littlebits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit – Littlebits Star Wars Circuit Kit.
- Pica Toys Robotics Engineering Circuit Kit – STEM Building Circuit Kit.
We have a couple of articles where we deep dive into Circuit Kits, Arduino Uno vs. Elegoo Uno – Why Kids Will Love Development Boards!
DIY Kid Computers Kits
Computer science is an easy field to overlook when discussing STEM education.
Everyone traditionally values a career as a scientist or a mechanical engineer, but computer science isn’t the most alluring field of study that comes to mind for a parent.
Fear not; this is normal, but it is the 21st century, and computer science is as popular and lucrative as it ever has been.
There’s also the other fear of having your children become “addicted” to computers in the 21st century. You may even be tempted to steer your kids away from computers, which may only hurt their developmental skills of such a crucial educational discipline.
This is a computer-driven world, and it’s okay to let them understand what that means from a scientific and educated standpoint.
Best Computer kits for Kids
- Bitbox is a monthly subscription founded by two ex-Googlers geared toward computer science.
- KANO Computer Kit – KANO Computer Kit.
- Piper Computer Kit – Piper Computer Kit.
- SunFounder Super Starter Learning Kit – SunFounder Starting Kit.
- Boolean Box Build For Girls – Boolean Box Computer Kit.
- ELECROW CrowPi Raspberry Pi Programming Kit – ELECROW CrowPi Raspberry Pi Kit.
We have an article where we deep dive into Computer Kits, 7 Best DIY Computer Build Kits for Kids.
Telescopes & Microscopes
Telescopes offer a fantastic first glance at the science that may fuel a curiosity for learning. The world is full of endless discoveries and questions, dare I say it, to infinity and beyond.
Kids can gain a sense of how macrocosmic or microcosmic this world is. The only downside is you’ll have to take the brunt of responding to a million questions you may not have the answer to; hopefully, it engages your curiosity, too!
Best Telescope kits for Kids
- Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ Telescope – Celestron PowerSeeker Telescope.
- GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope – GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope.
- Levenhuk LabZZ MTB3 Combo – Levenhuk-LabZZ Educational Telescope.
- Meade Instruments – Infinity 80mm Aperture Telescope – Meade Infinity 80mm Telescope.
- AmScope All-Metal Cordless Compound Microscope – Microscope for Tweens.
STEM Science Kits
There are endless science kits ranging from ant farms to explosive chemistry labs.
As one of the staples of STEM education, science needs no emphasis on how important it is for a young child’s development. It is the cornerstone of curiosity and experimentation and must be encouraged as early as possible.
Ensure you provide a diversity of science kits to promote every field to enhance their love of all sciences.
Best Science kits
- Groovy Lab in a Box – This is a monthly subscription for science kits.
- Scientific Explorer First Mind Blowing Science Kit – Mind Blowing Science Kit.
- Kaboom Explosion Combustion Science Kit – Kaboom Science Kit.
- Thames and Kosmos First Chemistry Set – Thames and Kosmos Chemistry Set.
- Nat. Geo. Mega Gemstone Dig Kit – National Geographic Dig Kit.
- Discovery Extreme Chemistry Set – Discovery Science Kit.
Unique STEM kits
As with any STEM toy or activity, it is tough to categorize them into particular categories. You’ll notice that a lot of the kits will overlap.
When you thought you were getting a circuital kit, it ends up having a computer and robotic lessons intertwined in them. With that said, these are some great kits that didn’t quite fit in “one” category but are worth buying to help their development!
Unique STEM Kits for Kids
- Kiwi Crate – At just $20/month, Kiwi Crate is GREAT! Hands-on STEM activities arrive at your doorstep every month. Plus, every box includes a lesson so your kids understand the skills or principles taught through the activity.
- Green Kid Crafts – Why this box? Green Kid Craft is a great combination of science and the arts. This is a great option for young children! They have 3 subscription options according to your child’s age. I love that it combines both a science lesson with a craft.
- STEM Motors Electronic Assembly Kit – STEM kit.
- Giggleway Electric Motor Robotic Science kit – Giggleway Kit.
- Sillbird STEM Robot Toys – Sillbird Robotic Kit.
- Thames & Kosmos Botany Kit – Thames & Kosmos Greenhouse Kit.
- Thames & Kosmos Kids First Stepping into Science Kit – Stepping into Science Kit.
Coding for Kids
I’ve made a few posts about coding for kids, and my oldest son has been dabbling in it. After researching (here’s the post I made on how to get kids into coding), we decided on the programming language Scratch.
The great thing about Scratch is it’s very visual and hands-on, with the ability to create programs by dragging and dropping instructions.
Computer scientists at MIT designed Scratch to get kids to experiment and learn the fundamentals of programming. (link to scratch.mit.edu)
As long as you have a computer, you and your kid can learn to code for free. My son has been having a blast with this book, Code Your Own Games, which we picked up from Amazon.
STEM Toys Buyers Guide
There are kits specifically tailored to grow their Scientific, technological, and mechanical skills through guided projects and experiments.
These specialize in understanding the process and can touch various STEM fields, including studying the fields of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, and Chemistry.
When you purchase technology kits, you are doing much more than just buying the latest video game for your kids. You are providing them with an experience to explore their inner-STEM skills!
Toys like Robot Kits and Programming Kits will help their coding skills and provide them with the foundation of mechanical and electrical engineering capabilities.
There are various types of technological kits too, that can operate entirely online or act as a supplement to the mechanical and electrical kits. If you’re looking for an easy adjustment without much of a mess, there are endless apps available that develop their technology skills, and many can be used to expand on their already owned starter kits.
Additionally, construction kits and designing activities are perfect for developing STEM skills. This can vary from traditional legos to designing and developing an entire tower or bridge.
Regardless, kids have a natural curiosity to learn and will want to grow and develop their minds, and what better way is there to do that than through toys?
Everyone loves toys. They will love whatever you decide to get them, and all the while, they’ll be developing skills that will help them flourish in the 21st century.
STEM Toys Challenge Kids
As parents, there are constant questions to gauge whether we are challenging our children enough. The first thing to remember is that you are doing just fine, especially if you’ve stayed on this article to research this long!
However, it doesn’t hurt to keep improving those challenges, and toys are an excellent way to do this.
If you’ve ever wondered how some kids naturally enjoy learning or reading, the most reasonable answer may be toys.
Toys help develop a curiosity in learning that cannot be found elsewhere.
It is the perfect synergy between growth, development, and engagement.
If the toy doesn’t seem to be “working,” then maybe they have outgrown it or have different interests at the time. Just like any human being, we fluctuate between what we are currently in the mood for and are likely to dismiss something that isn’t even challenging at all.
Kids are the same way, but they may not be able to communicate this feeling so eloquently. It is up to the adults surrounding them to continue to try new methods of challenging their kids, and toys are a crucial instrument in that development.
Many of the toys that can be suggested have overlapping lessons and fields, as with any toy you’ll find on the market. That is the beauty of STEM, and education has no limits or specific categories! Learning is for everyone everywhere! Enjoy getting started!
Common Questions About STEM & Leaning Toy Gifts
Do STEM Toys Work?
In short, yes! STEM toys work in various ways, including developing their curiosity and stimulating their desire to learn. Make sure to research age-appropriate toys or not feel as challenged, thus leading people to believe they do not work.
What is A STEM Toy?
A STEM toy encapsulates the major fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They can vary from robotic kits, chemistry lab experiments, or building legos.
STEM toys are majestic in their power to engage kids while providing a valuable educational tool.
Why is STEM Needed?
STEM addresses every facet of our lives, with or without us knowing it. The skills gained from STEM education go beyond basic science and mathematics.
They consistently develop experience through research and problem-solving while maintaining a level of engagement not seen in other disciplines. STEM education equips kids with the tools to become successful in their lives.