STEM Toys are a hot item this year for Christmas – but let’s talk about STEM (actually, I should say S.T.E.M.). STEM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM Toys encourage learning, playing, thinking in each of those elements.
Two of our boys are already showing interest in engineering. Our oldest son, after watching a Rube Goldberg machine on Youtube – he has been on a mission to create various versions of his own. While I love his creativity and desire learn how to see this chain of items react – if he could just find the say love with maybe toys and not household items, that would be fabulous.
Here’s a large collection of toys that help foster STEM skills and hopefully help cultivate a love for your child to learn more through play.
App Controlled Robots
I saw these app controlled robots at CES 2014, and I thought “GET OUT OF HERE! MY SON SO NEEDS THIS!” Sphero has created (so far) 2 amazing products that will get your kids playing and learning. These robots are controlled through an app on your smart phone. And to make this an even cooler tech gift for you kid, these robots can teach your kids to code.
Ollie rolls at speeds of up to 14 mph and connects instantly to your device via Bluetooth LE with a range of up to 100 feet. Turn on a dime with the included Nubby Tires or take them off to drift like a street racer. Powered by USB charging, Ollie glows in millions of colors and is ready to roll out. Buy an Ollie
Sphero 2.0 rolls at speeds of up to 7 feet per second and pairs to your device via Bluetooth with a range of up to 100 feet. Powered by induction charging, Sphero 2.0 is three times brighter than the original. Buy a Sphero
Goldie Blox hit the scene last year, with a goal to get girls building.
Goldie Blox and The Builder’s Survival Kit – With more than 190 pieces, GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit offers hours of fun and endless possibilities.
The boys received a huge set of Magna-Tiles last year for Christmas from my in-laws and these toys are still played with every single day. We have 3 boys, ages 3, 4 and 9-years-old and each will spend hours building with these things. Sure, we’ve lost several (which means, THIS is what my toddlers’ big Christmas gift will be!) – but I can’t stress enough how durable Magna-Tiles are.
We all hear about magnets and babies or toddlers and how dangerous they are, but these things have been thrown off the balcony from the second story and survived the fall. We have never had a magnet come loose. Our boys LOVE building towers, and LOVE swiping and destroying the towers that they build. So these blocks go FLYING and we’ve never had one break.
To make any large structures – you will need at least 100 Magna-Tiles, but the smaller packs work as well.
This was our oldest son’s favorite gift last year, a science experiment kit. The kit contained quite a few small science experiments for him and my husband to do. Some our toddlers could join in on and turned out to get a great gift for father and son to do together.
We love visiting Science museums and during a visit our boys discovered Snap Circuits. The idea is that you snap together circuits in an effort to make something happen. Snap Circuits are recommended for ages 2nd grade and up.