STEM toys can introduce kids to some pretty complex subjects. But what is it about these toys that make them so engaging for kids of all ages? Keep reading to find out the top reasons kids love playing with STEM toys!
What is a STEM toy?
While it may sound complicated, a STEM toy is just a toy that focuses on one of the four disciplines that make up the STEM acronym – science, technology, engineering, and math. A good STEM toy aims to teach kids something about one of these core subjects, but the possibilities are endless! From simple building sets to complex coding computers, STEM toys give kids a view of the world in a whole new way.
So why do kids love playing with STEM toys? Here are some of the top reasons:
“STEM toys” encompass a wide variety of interests
With such broad categories as “science” and “math,” there’s a STEM toy out there to suit every child’s interest. From chemistry sets to coding robots, you can find a toy that’ll keep your kid engaged for hours. The possibilities are endless, and new toys are being developed all the time.
Here are some general examples of STEM toys you could choose from (but this list is far from exhaustive):
- interlocking bricks
- magnetic tiles
- marble runs
- building sets
- computer kits
- coding robots
- electronic games or puzzles
- lab kits for growing plants or performing simple chemistry experiments
astronaut or archaeologist dolls
- logic puzzles
- math games
No matter what your kid is into, there’s a STEM toy out there that’ll spark their imagination. If the toy centers around STEM topics – then it’s a STEM toy!
They’re fun to play with!
What kid doesn’t love a fancy new toy? Sure, there are plenty of basic and low-tech STEM toy options – but you can also find some pretty cool gadgets too. Kids can build and program their own robots, computers, or even build electric solar-powered vehicles! How cool is that?
Playing with educational toys can also provide a fun opportunity for learning. Children learn through play, and the best toys engage them in a way that sparks their imagination and helps them develop new skills. STEM toys provide an opportunity for a fun and interesting way to learn.
They can introduce kids to new experiences
With the rise in STEM careers over the past decade, these toys can present a window into the future. Introducing a child to new career possibilities can spark their imagination for a lifetime.
Will your child become a future computer engineer if you buy them a coding robot? While the research is still too new to say for sure, if they seem interested – then go for it! If the toy is fun, it doesn’t matter (but it sure doesn’t hurt!).
STEM toys can help build necessary life skills
Did you know that playing with construction toys can help a child improve their spatial reasoning? According to several scientific studies, kids who play with blocks may develop better spatial awareness and mental rotation (this is the ability to rotate and visualize 3-D shapes).
These toys may also enhance “cognitive flexibility,” which is the essentially the ability to switch your focus from one thing to another. This is a necessary skill that kids develop in school, and learning it early can be quite helpful later on.
Even simple toys, like building blocks or magnetic tiles, can promote the development of these skills. Plus, their open-ended nature allows your child to increase their creativity and spark their imaginations. Of course, it’s possible that children who are naturally better at these skills are drawn to STEM toys, but it’s always beneficial to foster such an interest.
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Stem toys get parents involved
While we do our best to buy our children toys that suit their abilities and interests, sometimes they need a helping hand. And what kid doesn’t love the opportunity to play with their parents?
Depending on the age range and the abilities of your child, they may need some extra help putting together that fancy new robot, or some guidance on the instructions of a lab kit. But that’s half the fun! You might find that the most complicated toy is the one they like the most – just because it gets you involved, too. STEM toys allow parents to bond with their children, and they may learn something new as well.
So why choose a STEM toy for your child?
The bottom line? STEM toys are educational and fun to play with. Children love these toys because they give them a chance to explore new ideas. Parents love them because they provide a fun introduction to skills their children may use down the road. A good STEM toy sparks imagination, ignites creativity, and engages children with learning in new ways. Consider a STEM toy when you’re looking for something new to spark their curiosity!