Play is one of the most important ways for children to learn. Playing productively and with purpose from a young age helps to develop the brain, awareness, and motor skills. Plus, it means that kids are having fun and enjoying their time.
A recent trend in toddler and child play is with stem toys. Many parents are now asking what is a stem toy. Here we will find out more about stem toys and how they can benefit children while playing.
What are stem toys?
The meaning of stem toys comes from an acronym. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These are core factors of importance in the foundations of a child’s learning. Promoting these areas of learning through play helps children to progress further in the fields throughout their schooling.
Stem toys are about promoting and engaging all children in science fields. This includes boys and girls. Traditionally, there is more interest for boys in the areas of science and engineering. Stem toys help to change this by retaining young girls’ interest more with things such as coding a princess doll to dance or programming a puppy toy to interact with them. Of course, stem toys don’t aim to be gendered, they just aim to appeal to a broader audience.
Beyond this, stem toys promote confidence and skill in abilities. Things like spatial awareness and problem solving come to the forefront when playing with stem toys. These are invaluable and transferable skills. They also encourage a longer attention span for younger children, especially as they are appealing with their bright colors and interest.
Stem toys for children
Stem toys are available for productive play at any age. They can be of interest to toddlers and children up to the ages of 12 or 13. It isn’t uncommon for teenagers to remain keen on playing with stem toys and continuing learning from them.
Here are some examples of stem toys available and popular on the market.
- SparkleLabs: making solar powered battery circuits
- IDO3D Printer: printing 3 dimensional objects
- Legos: a classic building blocks favorite
- Fur Real Makers: programming pet puppies and animals to have personality and skills
- Star Wars: controlling characters through remote control
- Dance Code Belle: coding the Disney princess to have unique dance moves
- Wonder Workshop Robot Cue: programming and coding a robot toy
- VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox: a play drill toolbox
Stem toys are about play and learning at the same time. They are designed to give children of all ages and gender more interest in science and technology. Through play, children are able to develop lifelong skills that can give them more academic and professional success. Given how technologically focused the world is becoming, there is no better time to start playing with toys that provide essential skills.