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11 Awesome STEM Toys for Kids

11 Awesome STEM Toys for Kids

These STEM toys for kids will facilitate learning and critical thinking and strengthen kids' interest in STEM.


If it wasn’t for your grade school children, you may have never heard of the term STEM learning. Initiated by the National Science Foundation, STEM education stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. While the geezers in the back (ahem, that’s us!) played with Barbies and G.I. Joes, this emphasis on instilling an attitude of curiosity and inquiry for children of a young age is quite highly regarded. 

As parents, we should be introducing our children to the scientific method, a systematic and logical approach used to answer a question or solve a problem. This lets our children see the world from a different perspective and gives them the desire to learn how things in the world actually work, and why they are the way they are. Sure, a lot can be learned by reading books, but the value of having a child do STEM activities to solve problems for themselves is really the key. 

RELATED: STEM and Nature Camps for Kids

STEM games for kids are a great way to have a kid or teen's mind practice different ways to solve problems, thinking through each step like a game of checkers. Here are 11 fun STEM games for kids:

STEM Games for Kids Ages 3-5

Galaxy Rocket Ship
Recommended ages: 3 and older
MagnaTiles has turned into a household brand, so its partnership with CreateOn just seems like a natural fit. With the Galaxy Rocket Ship, your child can unlock a world of learning about planets and the solar system. Side one builds a rocket ship, while side two includes all the planets of the solar system, two versions of the sun, the moon, and an astronaut.

Botley 2.0
Recommended ages: 5 and older
If you’re tired of having your kids sit in front of a screen (I’m talking to you, remote learning), then Botley 2.0 is a great choice. It lets kids enjoy educational, screen-free STEM fun with hands-on coding and critical thinking without the need for a phone or tablet. Children will code their way through obstacle courses with simple sequences and explore ways to code through colors and movements.

Kodable
Recommended ages: 5 and older

Kodable is a STEM curriculum that allows kids as young as kindergarten to learn coding basics. The award-winning learn-to-code program provides easy-to-follow lessons and games that can be done at home. With Kodable, kids through fifth grade have the opportunity to think like a programmer and grow to learn how to write JavaScript.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kodable (@kodable)

The Young Scientists Club Magic School Bus Space Lab Kit
Recommended ages: 5 and older
Who doesn’t love Ms. Frizzle and all her wild, wacky adventures in the Magic School Bus series? In The Young Scientists Club Magic School Bus Space Lab Kit, she takes her students on a space exploration. Using a specialized astronomical device called the Star Pilot, children get to locate constellations both on the star ball and in the night sky, and enjoy experiments and activities like learning the life cycle of a star, create a solar system mobile, and make a constellation box. Bonus: There are also chemistry, human body, engineering, microscope, and weather lab kits! Ages 5+

STEM Games and Toys for Kids Ages 6-8

Build Your Own Solar Powered Car
Recommended ages: 6 and older
With Teni and Tayo’s kit, car-loving kids can build their very own solar-powered car. This STEM activity calls for attention to detail and problem solving skills as children build a wooden car that actually runs on solar energy once complete. What an accomplishment!



Shashibo
Recommended ages: 7 and older
Tap into a child’s imagination with Shashibo, which is just as interesting as the name suggests. The shape-shifting box (that sort of resembles origami?) transforms into more than 70 shapes. If you have the opportunity to get more than one, your child will be able to combine several cubes to build even larger shapes, sculptures, and structions.

K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations Roller Coaster Building Set
Recommended ages: 8 and older

K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations Roller Coaster Building Set allows kids to build exact replicas of real-world machines and contraptions and understand the principles that make them work. This is great for a family with siblings, since it’s recommended that a team work together to build and exchange ideas. Once the ride is built, an accompanying activity book guides the kids through three hands-on experiments. Ages 8 and older

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by K'NEX Brands (@knex)

Code Cube Wearable Tech
Recommended ages: 8 and older

For children in third-fifth grades, Code Cube Wearable Tech gives them the opportunity to code things to wear. Using a programmable LED screen, students use block-based programming to create artistic animations, colors, and patterns that can play sounds or change as they move around. Ages 8 and older

Circuit Maze
Recommended ages: 8 and older
Thomas Edison would certainly approve of Circuit Maze, a single-player circuit building game that traces the concept of electricity. As challenges become more complex, the child really needs to use reasoning, logic, and problem-solving to think about how to make the circle work.

STEM Games for Kids Ages 9 and older

Celestron Kids Microscope with Smartphone Adapter
Recommended ages: 9 and older
For the older kids who may already have smartphones, the Celestron Kids Microscope with Smartphone Adapter is all the rage. With 50x-200x magnification, the microscope allows children to examine their specimen, while the smartphone adapter lets them capture and share images with friends, or keep for themselves.

LINGO’s In the Driver’s Seat Kit
Recommended ages: 13 and older
The LINGO coding kit was created by a former NASA rocket scientist, so if that doesn’t sell you, let’s keep going. The self-paced, home-learning coding kit enables learners to explore and enhance STEM skills in a way that’s fun and engaging: by building a backup sensor for an autonomous car. So find someone with a Tesla, and put your kids to work!

 

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