Best STEM Toys for 4-Year-Olds

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With this kit, children can create their own dinosaur toys: a T-Rex, Triceratops and Velociraptor. But kids can also mix and match the pieces to explore their creative side and make their own imaginative dinosaurs. All of the pieces are textured and look like normal dinosaur toys, offering a neat tactile and visual experience. When the toys are assembled, they can even press down on each dino’s tail and it will move in some way: for example, pressing on one tail will make the dino’s front leg move, or its head to turn from side to side. No batteries are required. Children will love to play with the fully assembled toys, but they’ll also enjoy taking them apart and exploring how they work and fit together. A plastic screwdriver and electric drill are included.

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This kit includes three pre-built dinosaurs that can be disassembled and rebuilt all over again. Each has its own screwdriver for assembly, which helps children work on their motor skills and focus. The screws and pieces are large and colorful, making them easy for children to use and manipulate. Kids will love to play with the dinosaurs, but they’ll also love exploring how they’re put together. These toys don’t require batteries.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Expert Commentary

“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.”



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