You might think the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is only for those desiring to become the next Einstein or Bill Gates. For example, perhaps you picture future engineers, doctors, scientists, and other similar careers as the only people needing to engage in STEM learning. However, when you look at the big picture, STEM toys help all children develop essential skills for every facet of their lives.
Read our STEM Term A-Z Glossary, essential for all new to STEM learning parents.
STEM toys and activities, and more inclusively STEAM adding art into the mix, help foster positive attitudes toward various disciplines. They are critical for students to help them prepare for professional careers in the worlds of science, technology, and so forth. However, younger children can also benefit from STEAM activities, and the earlier they can explore, the better!
With young children, the best way to incorporate STEM and STEAM learning and toys into their day is through play. It’s key to make these subjects, often perceived as complex, more approachable and fun. The best way to do this is through engaging, thought-provoking, hands-on toys geared toward building kids’ confidence and abilities.
What Are Some Examples of STEM Toys?
A toy or activity that helps sharpen children’s skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can be a STEM toy. STEAM toys add a layer of creativity and imagination into the equation that helps develop an interdisciplinary learning experience.
From simple shape combinations that teach spatial awareness and geometry, engineering, and problem-solving to more advanced robotics games, STEAM toys come in many forms. Other examples are math puzzles, chemistry games, kids maker kits, and board games featuring math, storytelling, or science themes.
Four Benefits of STEM Toys for Children
Choosing age-appropriate STEM toys for children can go a long way in developing the whole child. Here are four benefits of STEM toys:
STEM TOYS HELP IMPROVE COGNITIVE SKILLS
STEM toys encourage problem-solving and decision-making skills, challenging kids to look at things from different perspectives in a fun way. Many toys and activities also help develop important qualities like memory, observation, and thinking outside the box.
STEM TOYS HELP DEVELOP SOCIAL SKILLS
A significant part of play is interacting with others socially. When engaging in activities that require problem-solving and creating, kids must often work together with their peers to find solutions. Therefore, STEM toys encourage conversation, cooperation, communication, and other critical interpersonal skills.
STEM TOYS HELP IMPROVE MOTOR SKILLS
Honing fine and gross motor skills is a primary aspect of a child’s overall healthy development. Many STEM toys include things like building and other hands-on elements that require hand-eye coordination, grasping objects, movement, balance, and similar activities.
Our next game to be released, DNA Factory incorporates learning about DNA with a gross motor skill activity… sign up to our newsletter for updates.
Our Ed-ventures homeschooling kit is great for younger years to refine their fine motor skills.
STEM TOYS DEVELOP IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY
A large part of problem-solving is using creative thinking to come up with different ideas and solutions. Also, many STEM toys involve creating something new, like a robot, model building. Therefore, STEM and STEAM toys help develop children’s imagination as well as inventive thinking.
To help your kids get started with STEAM learning, make sure to check out our line of interactive board games and creative learning resources. Have you already tried out a game? Comment below with your favorite!