As toddlers begin to play more and interact with different objects, it’s the perfect time to introduce them to STEM toys. Not only do STEM toys offer kids hours of entertainment, but they can strengthen children’s development even at an early age. Parents looking to introduce these toys into their children’s playtime will find there are a few top STEM toys available featuring creative designs and quality parts.
This activity is made to promote the development of fine motor skills. With this set, children ages 3 and up stack and sort oversized pegs on a foam mat. They’ll begin to recognize the different colors of pegs and develop confidence as they build a range of structures. The variety of colors can also help children learn about patterns and repetition. Additionally, a lacing string is included that can be inserted into each peg, boosting the user’s fine motor skills. For extra portability and storage, a carrying bag is included with the set to keep the pieces together. The pegs are easy to insert into and remove from the foam board, which ensures kids can practice the activity without the assistance of an adult.
Bristle Blocks by Battat are colorful, encouraging children to interact with them and use their imagination to create different structures. The 80 chunky pieces include wheels, spheres and a variety of other shapes. The blocks are easy to rinse clean and uphold their structure and quality with frequent use. As children play with the blocks, they can improve their attention span, become more creative and even strengthen their memory. They can also develop better hand-eye coordination, and the blocks are safe for any child over 2. The bristles are easy to press together or pull apart, and the convenient jar the blocks arrive in keeps all of the pieces contained.
The pipes included in this set come in five shapes that can be used individually or together. The convenient suction on the pieces secures them to the wall to ensure the water goes back into the tub rather than onto the floor. Kids can pretend to be a plumber as they use the sturdy tubes, which won’t crack or break easily. Small fans and flippers are included in the set to add extra entertainment and interaction, as they spin when water hits them. The pipes offer sensory play to toddlers who are beginning to learn how to use their hands and understand gravity. Additionally, the bath pipes allow children to learn the basic principles of physics. With the use of a plastic cup, kids 1 and older can pour water into the tubes and control where it goes for plenty of independent play. The suction cups work well and don’t slip or slide once they’re secured to the tub wall, while being easy enough for kids to pull off without a lot of strength.
These magnetic tiles come in a variety of colors in both triangle and square shapes. Children learn precision when putting the pieces together. They can be combined into 2D and 3D patterns or even more complex shapes such as planes and houses. The different colors on each side of the tiles allow kids to strengthen their color recognition skills while building. Suitable for ages 3 and up, the pieces are made with rounded edges for added safety and have undergone 3,000 anti-throw tests to ensure they can hold up well without breaking. Kids can gain inspiration browsing the included idea booklet to decide which types of models they want to build.
This award-winning microscope entices children with its colorful features, including a bright orange knob and green accents. With this fully functioning microscope, kids ages 3 and up can use the LED light and the lens, which offers up to 8x magnification for enhanced viewing. The non-skid feet on the microscope keep it secure as it’s used by little hands. The sturdy quality of the parts allows it to stay intact and avoid scratches even if mishandled or knocked over. Despite its durability, it’s still lightweight, making it easy for kids to handle and transport. Budding scientists can use this microscope to learn about scientific subjects such as cells and organisms. The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to the items kids can examine under this microscope.
“An early introduction to STEM is crucial to your child’s development — what better way to incorporate these problem-solving foundations early and often than through these fun, interactive toys? I wish they had these when I was growing up!”
Our Expert Consultant
Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.