It’s never too early to introduce your children to the gift of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and with the munchkins off from school right now, there’s really no time like the present.
As your little one is trying to navigate this sudden shift in their world, it’s important to keep things as consistent as possible. Many schools have opted to offer online classes, but for younger children the onus will be on the parents to provide stimulation that isn’t just fun but also educational. One of the best ways to do so is by surprising your little genius with a STEM gift. And let’s be honest, it’ll be a gift for you too because the grind doesn’t stop…even during a pandemic.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of amazing toys for kiddies of all ages. From anatomy play sets to coding kits, we’ve got plenty of options to help you make learning fun while staying sane in the face of uncertainty.
Magna-Tiles will keep your kids entertained for hours as they fuse together math, science, and creativity. If they can dream it, they’ll be able to create it with this 3-dimensional magnetic building set. This set comes with 32 translucent, colorful pieces, but you can also opt for larger packs or packs with tiles that glow in the dark. Magna-Tiles are recommended for children ages 3 and older.
Your budding chemist will have the time of their life with this science kit from Crayola. The set comes with 50 educational activities, including 16 experiments designed by real scientists. Together you’ll be able to create erupting volcanoes, glowing worms, and even tiny tornados right out of the box. The Crayola Color Chemistry Set is recommended for children ages 7 and older.
Meet UnicornBot! This enchanted kit has everything your child needs to create, code, and play with the first-ever UnicornBot robot. You’ll be required to download the accompanying app, which will provide step-by-step instructions to help your munchkins get the most out of this mystical robot. The award-winning interactive robotic system is suitable for ages 8 and up.
Lego is known for creating some of the best STEM toys on the market, and its Star Wars Boost Droid Commander is exactly that. The company’s software is super simple to use and features helpful symbols to guide your child along their coding journey. While playing, they’ll develop creative problem-solving as they attempt to navigate 40 interactive missions. This set will be particularly exciting for young Star Wars fans as it replaces the generic robots with droids from the franchise. Suitable for ages 6-11.
If your child is interested in geology, this kit will make the perfect gift. The 4M Crystal Growing Experiment will teach kids about the process of growing crystals with simple to follow but detailed instructions. The kit includes enough compounds and mixtures to make seven unique crystals and comes with special display cases to display each new creation. 4M also has a wide variety of other science kits, including a Solar System Planetarium and Weather Science Kit. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
If you have a Harry Potter fan on your hands, this kit will definitely take them into the wizarding world of Hogwarts by teaching them the magic of coding. Your child will be able to make feathers fly, goblets multiply, fire flow, and pumpkins grow with the wave of a wand. This witchy kit is recommended for kids 6 and older.
For the STEM kid who’s also a little bit artistic, GoldieBlox’s DIY Scratch-Art Starlight Projector will be the ideal gift. The kit comes with a projector, colored films, a wooden stylus, and instructions that’ll guide your child as they create their own art show constellations. GoldieBlox’s kits make great gifts for kids 8+.
Help your little one get to know their body with this magnetic play set from Melissa & Doug. The kit comes with 24 magnetic pieces that’ll help your child visualize the skeleton, internal organs, circulatory system, and more. It’s recommended for boys and girls ages 3-5.
Encourage your child to read all things STEM (and anything else that sparks their interest) with an e-reader made just for them. Amazon’s Kindle Kids Edition comes with the option to subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited, which gives your child access to thousands of kid-friendly titles. You can also whitelist books using Amazon’s parent dashboard. If you’re looking for a few good STEM reads to get started, consider A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, in memory of the late Katherine Johnson.