It’s never too early to introduce children to the fields of math and science. Even at the age of 4, children can begin to grasp the basics of STEM subjects. STEM toys are a great way to encourage an early interest in these subjects. They also give children the foundation they need for greater success as they continue to grow and develop. We’ve chosen toys that are basic and simple enough for a 4-year-old to use while still providing a great introduction to STEM skills.
Children are natural-born engineers. This 163-piece kit includes blocks, wrenches, movable wheels, plates, nuts and bolts that children can use to make everything from basic shapes to buildings and vehicles. This set encourages children to problem-solve as they figure out how things fit together, and it teaches the fundamentals of geometry as kids explore different shapes. The set comes with a large, full-color guide to help children build a variety of different projects.
This kit allows children to experience the plant life cycle for themselves as they create their own terrariums. The kit includes a jar and lid along with wheatgrass and chia seeds, soil, sand and plenty of decorative items — like miniature bunnies and mushrooms — for personalizing their terrariums. Additionally, the terrarium can be illuminated with LED lights, making it a fun night light. Kids will enjoy the process of designing their terrariums, but the real magic begins as they sit back and watch plant life bloom. The kit comes with a step-by-step instruction booklet that makes assembly fun and helps children learn more about plant growth.
This set is a unique spin on the typical building toy, consisting of interlocking discs that fit snugly together to produce interesting shapes, animals and other creations. Among building toys, this option is particularly great at encouraging problem-solving and enhancing construction skills. Children can start simple, learning how to use the discs to make basic shapes, and later move on to more complex designs such as balls, swords and cars. The set comes with an instructional guide that teaches children how to build various objects.
This microscope presents a close-up way for children to get excited about science. Kids can magnify an object by up to eight times using the dial on the side. It’s a great introduction to microscopes and using scientific tools. The kid-friendly size is useful, with two wide eyepieces and a large focusing knob that is easy for kids to grip.
Many children love dinosaurs. What better way to get a child excited about building than to give them their very own dinosaur toys to take apart and put back together again? The set features six dinosaurs, including T. rex, triceratops and brontosaurus. Working with the tools to assemble and disassemble the dinosaurs helps promotes fine motor skills while also encouraging problem-solving as kids figure out how the pieces fit together.
“For an introduction to STEM at this age, it’s important to have activities that are challenging enough that children learn, but not so difficult that they give up or become discouraged. These toys strike that perfect balance.”
Our Expert Consultant
Kelsey Daubenmier is a licensed primary school teacher with over 10 years of experience in primary education. Kelsey thoughtfully balances the demands of raising four children with the never-ending stack of papers to grade and lesson plans to prepare. In the last decade, Kelsey has gained experiences educating children as young as 5 and as old as 11. She is passionate about bringing the best possible baby and children’s products to you and your loved ones.