What is a stem toy occurred to me while I was searching for toys that can make my children smart. While searching on browser about toys that make children smart I came across a term steam toys. At first, I didn’t understand what is that some brand new idea of a toys nowadays, but when I dug into it I realized, that those toys are actually the best tool for preschoolers to educate on many levels.
So stem is a word made of initials, and those are SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING and MATHEMATICS. There is also STEAM and STREAM – additional A means art, and additional R means for reading and writing. So modern times gave us more advanced toys ( what is something that we should be happy about ) so children can learn basics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
So stem toy is either a toy that has science nature, or technology or engineering or mathematics, it does not mean that stem toy should include all four subject, at least one and then it’s a stem toy.
When I was a child, there weren’t any stem toys, and people were unaware of the e fact that stem toys could be beneficial for children. I just started to learn at the age of 30 a little about technology and engineering and how important is now to know about those topics. They are necessary because technology, science, engineering are developing at lightning speed and children should be taught in this way.
I’m going to talk about those four topics in this article and present you what kind of toys are moving in some topic and how are they beneficial for child’s development.
Science toys are all toys that deals with nature, biology, weather, space, physics, chemistry and everything that falls in science category. One thing is for sure that children love to play science kits like a chemistry kits, and they learn basics of chemistry. I will write some examples of science toys that are really good:
- Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions- so this Lego set is for lovers of a Lego ( I guess all children ), so basically you get ten instructions for different machines like ramps, seesaw, falling hammer. So with this set children start to learn basics about physics and in the instructions there are explanations behind each “machine”. It’s a very good educational LEGO set.
- Snap Circuits Electronics Discovery Kit – this toy was award-winning toy and it’s designed¸to teach kids about electric, circuits and it contains about 100 projects. They come with 30 color coded circuit components and it can easily snap to create electric systems. There are a lot of packs you can buy them additionally and you can set a big electric “thing” in your home.
Technology is the far most advance thing there is in the world. Basically everything depends on technology use, so I believe children should be exposed to technology basics in their early age. I’m not talking when they’re a year old, but let say when they learn to read is maybe the smartest thing to introduce them to technology. I’ve gone through some article about technology and how many people are employed in technology business, let just say, that in the future, almost every job will be in technology sector so that is why children should start to learn about technology in early years. Here are some examples of tech “toys” that are almost a must have these days for children:
- Smartphone- I know a lot of people will disagree with that, but hey, I’m not down for children to use smartphones in early ages as well, I grew up outside in the nature, hanging out with my friends, playing ball with my friends. In my childhood there weren’t smartphones, or mobile phones, a PC was the most we had hi-tec, but now it’s like this- if the whole classroom ( 30 or something children ) have a smartphone, and one child doesn’t because their parent’s belief aren’t smartphones, than this poor kid will be an outlaw, so in that point of view is a must have.
- LittleBits Star Wars droid inventor kit. In one of my articles I wrote about this R2D2 droid that you link it up, connect cables to chips and start to completing missions that are within instructions. Ton of fun, all missions are easy to make so it’s a good technology start for young ones.
Engineers are responsible for everything that stand up and stands still- bridges, houses, railways, tunnels etc. They are also responsible for development of a new infrastructure. So we have to encourage our youngsters if they are tech junkies with getting them instead of action figures real engineering toys. Here are some example of engineering toys:
- Lego- we all know Lego, it’s the best and far most educatioanble toy there is. Build a city, train tracks and trains, fictional movie scenes, basically anything you can because a lot of pieces allows you to explore new inventions.
- K’NEX is a building set, but instead of blocks there are different variate of pieces that click together, and it’s aiming for mechanism. So K’NEX is a steam toy that teaches children about simple mechanism.
Mathematics And Counting Toys
I guess that that math topic in stem toys is the biggest and easiest to get anywhere. Basically those toys start with age year and more. Its everything that you can count, cup sizes, cubes, there are a lot of them, just your time while shopping for appropriate toys for you children, and don’t get overwhelmed with what toy is then more appropriate. Believe me, they’re all OK if they have an educational note in them.
There are a lot stem toys now to choose from, I suggest you don’t move in one circle, like in chemistry kits, circle around, get them tech toy, when those get “expired” try engineer toy. There are a ton of them, and why wouldn’t you test your child if he is a bit tech-savvy?
If you have any comments, questions or anything else please write and I will be glad to reply.