5 Best STEM Toys – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Toys

5 Best STEM Toys

5 Best STEM Toys

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – core subjects that give kids the building blocks for future success in fields like robotics, computers, and natural sciences. With STEM toys, all kids have to do to shape tomorrow is play.

STEM toys encourage kids to develop skills in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

We chose these STEM toys because they have clear goals and encourage kids to learn STEM skills while having fun.

1.The Wonder Pack from Wonder Workshop
What it is:   Robots that make learning to code fun!

A picture based language built for kids, Wonder is the coding canvas that gives kids the joy of creativity as they bring Dash and Dot to life. Wonder makes the world of engineering and technology a delightful experience for every child.

Kids use tablets or mobile phones to easily program their own real-world robot, providing a stepping stone to the advanced world of robotics, engineering, and technology. Design behaviors and interactions for Dash and Dot to provide the robots with personality and intelligence. Wonder is visual and intuitive, a revolutionary new framework for kids to learn how technology works in their everyday lives.

In addition to the robots and apps, the website offers a variety of fun activity ideas and challenges for you to take on with your new robot friends. Start with these and then invent your own uses for Dash & Dot.

What you get:

The Wonder Pack contains Dash and Dot the robots, 4 Building Brick Connectors, 2 Charging Cords, 1 Tow Hook, 1 Bulldozer Bar, the Launcher and 3 Launcher Balls, 6 Target Stickers, 2 Bunny Ears, 1 Bunny Tail and the Xylophone for endless hours of robot fun.

How it works:

No instructions needed! The Wonder and Blockly apps feature built-in challenge tutorials that teach you how to program Dash and Dot from the very beginning of each program! Forget coding camp – you can easily learn Blockly and Wonder right in the app.

Use your Apple, Android or Kindle Fire compatible devices to program Dash to move, dance, light up, make sounds, avoid obstacles, and even react to their voice. With the revolutionary free app Wonder, kids can program Dash to be the real robot pet, pal or sidekick of their dreams. Program Dot to be a Magic Dot Ball, a Light Sword, or whatever else you can imagine!

Awards: 2016 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, Good Housekeeping Top-Tested 2015 Toy of the Year Award, 2015 National Parenting Gold, Time to Play Magazine 2015 Holiday Most Wanted List, Opening Minds Innovation for Schools, ISTE Best of Show for Schools.

2. Osmo Coding Game (Add-on)
OSMO coding game: Don’t just play on the iPad, program it.
What it is:

Kids love and understand building blocks. The most natural way to learn to assemble coding sequences, is simply to play together.  Inspired by over 50 years of research into computer programming education, Osmo Coding combines tangible blocks with an interactive game to fire up a child’s imagination and build confidence.  The physical blocks help drive tactile learning.  Each block represents a different command. Watch your child’s eyes light up as they explore, discover, and master this magical world.

What you get:

Osmo Coding teaches problem solving and logic skills, it helps kids succeed in an increasingly digital world. With Osmo, coding is approachable, creative, and fun. Just snap physical blocks together to create sequences of commands and easily learn computer programming fundamentals.

How it works:

Works with iPad Pro 9.7 inch, all iPad Mini, all iPad Air, all iPad 2 & up. *Requires the Osmo Game System, found in any Osmo Kit.

3. Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit
What it is:

Educational playtime! Children will learn to create working electronic circuits using easy-to-follow instructions.  Snap Circuits gives your child a hands-on education in how electrical circuits work to run the everyday devices that they’re familiar with. They’ll also gain valuable lessons in building and in following instructions. The project manuals include large color illustrations and simple directions for each project.  Kids can create simple projects like sound whistles, doorbells, electric fans, and  flashing lights, or more complex projects like a solar alarm, a rechargeable battery, and a vibration detector. With these projects, children will learn about electric switches, integrated circuits, digital circuits, fuses, and more.

What you get:

This kit provides a hands-on introduction to electronics.  It contains over 80 color-coded, real circuit components. The pieces, which include snap wires, slide switches, resistors, an FM radio module, and a solar cell, snap together easily to create working electronic circuits and devices on the included plastic grid–no soldering required. These components combine to create working circuit boards just like the ones found inside televisions, radios, and other electronic devices.  Recommended for children 8 and older, this set offers over 750 do-it-yourself projects that will give your child an entertaining, concrete education on how electronics work. A computer interface option lets children view waveforms and frequencies.

How it works:

Because the projects are arranged in order of complexity, kids can build on their skills as they progress through the manual. The lessons start out with a simple electric light and switch project that demonstrates how electricity is turned on and off with a switch. Further along, kids can put together an LED flasher, a photo solar alarm, an electronic kazoo, and more.  Once children have mastered several of the techniques introduced in this kit, they can use the components to experiment and create their own customized circuits and electronic devices. The Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 can also be upgraded to the Snap-Micro I Standard (SCM-400) with the purchase of a UC-100 upgrade kit. Kids will enjoy additional parts, manuals, and projects that’ll take their kit–and their fun–to the next level.

4. littleBits Rule Your Room Kit
What it is:

Empower Invention and Innovation!  LittleBits electronic building blocks create tomorrow’s innovators and idea-makers.  As the winner of 15+ awards & gift guides, the Rule Your Room Kit empowers your kids to transform any boring old object into an awesome, interactive invention. They’ll have so much fun controlling their stuff with touch-activated inventions, they won’t even realize they’re gaining STEM/STEAM skills.  These easy-to-use Bits make creative discovery and invention a snap for next-generation thinkers, designers, and tinkerers of all ages and genders. No programming, soldering or wiring required.

What you get:

Kids can develop engineering and problem-solving skills through creating interactive inventions.  Build infinitely customizable inventions by combining littleBits with anything your kids own. The Rule Your Room Kit comes with instructions for 8 inventions such as a Burglar Buzzer, Domain Defender, Top Secret Safe and inspiration for thousands more! You get a power plugin, One potentiometer (allows turning voltage up or down to control various projects), One sound sensor, One buzzer/speaker, One servo, A few assorted bits (the hub, a bar graph that lights up LEDs, LittleBits project boards to mount your projects in place).

How it works:

Develop kids creative, design, and critical-thinking skills. Evolve the way your kids think with the littleBits cycle of invention: create > play > remix > share. Whether they use the instructions or build straight from their imagination, they start creating something. Use it, improve it, experiment – then inspire others by showing the world what they’ve created. Build Creative Confidence.

5. Thames & Kosmos Crystal Growing

What it is:

Crystal Growing – Grow dozens of dazzling crystals and conduct illuminating experiments with this classic science

kit.Experiment with four chemically different crystals each with different properties. Grow crystals fast and slow or big and small. Grow one big crystal or many small crystals on the surface of a rock. Learn about the energy of crystallization, the chemistry of crystal growing, and the geometries of different crystal shapes.

What you get:

The Manual: The 32-page, full color manual offers an introduction into the fascinating world of crystals. The step-by-step illustrated instructions guide you through 15 experiments with solutions, crystallization, solubility, temperature, and the chemistry of crystal growing. Fun facts and scientific explanations explain the how and why behind the processes at work as you grow dozens of crystals of all shapes and sizes.

How it works:
The Process

This kit comes with three types of chemicals that can be combined with different colors and shapes to create 13 unique crystal combinations. Start by mixing your solution, then sit back and watch your crystals begin to take form! Growing time varies depending on the crystal, but can range from 24 hours to a week or more. Whether you’re stuck inside on a rainy weekend or looking for a long-term science project, Crystal Growing promises hours of learning and entertainment.

The Keepsake

Mold fun plaster shapes and mix them with four different dye tablets to grow your crystals into colorful stars, pyramids, dolphins, lightning bolts — or even your own crystal geode with a beautiful crystal cavern inside.

Each kit comes with a clear treasure chest with a locking lid to display your collection of crystal creations.

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