As a parent, you’ve probably heard the words “STEM Toys” thrown around as buzzwords on holiday wish lists. But what are these “STEM Toys,” and how can they help your kids?
STEM toys introduce children to basic concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through the world of educational play. Many different kinds of toys encourage these concepts – from simple building blocks to complex kid-friendly computers.
These particular toys are designed to stimulate young minds and provide a more educational experience – which is an important factor for many parents when they’re choosing a new toy for their child.
If you’re looking to introduce some new toys that provide both fun and promote learning, here are 12 reasons you should invest in STEM toys for your child.
STEM toys are fun!
Most important of all, toys are supposed to be fun! For the kid who loves to tinker, STEM toys can provide a safe opportunity to explore the world in a hands-on way. Children can take something apart and put it back together again, without causing irreparable damage to the household toaster. From simple robots to complex coding kits, there’s a STEM toy tailored to every age group and interest. And many of them are just plain cool!
Enjoy quality time together
While many STEM toys are simple (such as a set of stacking wooden blocks or puzzle depicting the solar system), others require a little adult intervention. Intricate coding toys inspire parents and children to work together to solve problems and learn something new. These toys give parents a chance to interact with their kids on their level, and spend quality time together.
Present new challenges
How do computers work? Why not build your own and find out! From simple coding toys aimed at toddlers to computer-building kits for tweens, STEM toys present new and exciting challenges for every age group. Once your child masters the concepts of a particular toy, there’s always a new one out there to try next.
Replace passive screens with active engaging play
The World Health Organization recommends that toddlers and preschoolers spend as little time sitting in front of screens as possible – less than 1 hour a day. Replacing passive screen time with active, engaging play through toys is essential for a child’s good health. Playing with toys fires up a child’s mind and sparks their imagination.
“STEM toys” encompass thousands of options
STEM toys aren’t limited to just robots and computers. Building blocks, magnetic tiles, marble runs, and dolls can all be considered STEM toys. Any toy that promotes a facet of these disciplines is a STEM toy. Check out our Fossil Hunter and Stargazer dolls to introduce Archaeology and Astronomy to your child in a playful way!
Enhance free play
Open-ended STEM toys such as blocks or magnetic tiles can enhance a child’s imaginative world. Children can build their own elaborate empires with these classic toys – constructing feats of engineering in minutes flat.
STEM toys get the brain moving! Children are presented with problems to solve, instructions to follow, and results to achieve – sometimes all at the same time. Children are hard-wired to learn through play, and toys help get the ball rolling on those brand-new neural pathways.
Introduce complex concepts
Even the most simple toys can teach kids the fundamentals of math concepts they’ll need down the road – whether they know it or not. Toy blocks teach shapes, ratios, addition, subtraction, and complex towers often require feats of engineering.
Develop skills in core areas
Nineteenth-century educator Friedrich Froebel believed children learn about complex math concepts like geometry from simple wooden blocks. Foster your child’s motor skill development by introducing them to shape sorters and other simple STEM toys at a young age.
Introduce them to career possibilities
Children discover things about the bigger world through their play, and giving them new tools to explore can foster an interest in a future career. After all, Stargazer Lottie is a bona fide astronaut, traveling aboard the ISS with astronaut Tim Peake!
With so many interesting STEM toys on the market, you’re bound to find one that sparks your child’s imagination. Whether they’re interested in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, astronomy, physics, archaeology, robotics, technology, or medicine – there’s a toy for that. The possibilities are endless!
Invest in your child’s future
The rise in STEM careers has grown exponentially over the past 30 years. Will playing with a chemistry set turn your child into a future scientist? It’s certainly possible. Introducing your child to a wide range of toys that spark their imagination could foster an interest in a future career as an adult.
At the very least, investing in STEM toys can cultivate creativity, inspire imagination, and most importantly – foster some fun! And that’s what toys are all about.