Best STEM toys for kids so they can play and learn

·6-min read
 (STEM toys)
(STEM toys)

Screen time management is becoming an ever more important part of how we bring up our children.

It’s vital to maintain a sense of balance in their lives and help support their learning and growth, whilst also having fun and imaginative playtime. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the ever-growing market of educational toys lends itself to playthings for all age groups that will get their imagination and creativity flowing, while also picking up on new skills.

On world STEM day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), we’ve tested and rounded up the best products for you and your aspiring Einsteins to look out for.

We’ve ordered in age appropriateness.

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Rosa & Bo Woodland Friends Nesting Babies with Chiming Benji Bunny

A fun, simple and stylish twist on Russian dolls, these are the perfect accompaniment to your little ones’ nursery, but can also be used in the bath or on the beach. Great for hand-eye coordination, they’ll make friends with Roxy Fox, following on to Basil Badger, then Olive Owl and finally unveiling Bengi Bunny that is complete with a charming chime. Simple but incredibly engaging. Age 1+.

Buy now £22.00, Amazon

V Tech Leapfrog Count-Along Basket & Scanner

This shopping basket focuses on shapes, colour and food. There is a choice of three game modes encouraging counting mixed with role play fun. Children can scan their own shopping basket of food with the mini hand held scanner, and the basket also extends to a trolley. Age 2+.

Buy now £33.97, John Lewis

Tonies Tonie Box and Tonies Characters

This brilliant and durable speaker system gives your kids complete control on what they want to listen to, and helps make bedtime so much easier. There is an extensive list of over 60 mini figurines ranging from The Snowman and the Gruffalo, to Beethoven and The age of Dinosuars. It also durable with a soft and bouncy construction, and has superb battery life even when not connected to the docking station which makes it brilliantly portable. A great intro into music technology. Age 3+.

Buy now £69.95, Amazon

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Rising Cake Oven Playset

This play oven and colourful assortment of Play-Doh and mini baking utensils is a great way to give young bakers full control in making their own masterpieces. They can bake a two tiered masterpiece and use the ornate piping and shape cutters for some flamboyant decorations. A great introduction to food science. Age 3+.

Buy now £25.00, Argos

Little Tikes My Real Jam Electric Guitar

A play guitar that really does look and feel like the real deal. Four play modes encourage imaginative and interactive learning. The option of syncing to any Bluetooth-enabled devices lets your little rock stars jam away to their favourite songs. The packaging doubles up as a stand or case too, which is both clever and sustainable. The perfect package. Age 3+.

Buy now £36.99, Amazon

Magna Tiles

This is another great addition to the arsenal of your young engineer. They can create castles, mazes, or even space rockets with the lightweight and transparent coloured tiles that snap together on any edge using magnets. It gets your little ones mind familiar with how various 2D shapes interact to form 3D forms. Highly addictive and brilliant for a cosy afternoon in or equally a quick five minute bit of fun. Age 3+.

Buy now, Amazon

V Tech Marble Rush Launchpad

A great intro to engineering, your kids will be challenged by the build of your space launch pad, and have hours of fun racing the marbles through the course. Additional sound effects and music help enhance your child’s senses, and creates an action packed outer space adventure. Age 4+.

Buy now £25.99, Amazon

Maped Lumi’ Board

The ultimate lightbox, the set comes with 250 picture templates and a set of 12 felt tips to aid in their artistic developments. With a range of five difficulties, your child will quickly gain confidence in their colouring and drawing skills. The board also doubles up as a great carry case for you budding Picasso, so they can work up their creations wherever they please. Age 4+.

Buy now £37.99, OnBuy

Green Science Wind Turbine

With climate change and environmental issues at the forefront of our agenda, this wind turbine will show your children how we can work with nature - wind in this case - to create light. Most importantly it will help them understand the values of renewable energy. It’s also a great bit of mini engineering to show the inner workings of the full scale versions that we see more and more of these days. Age 5+.

Buy now £25.00, Amazon

Smartivity Roboformer

A car that can be turned into a robot... the toy of their dreams. The Smartivity Roboformers Rover-Bot 2-in-1 allows them to build two different toys using the same parts - a wind-up rover, and an attacking bot. In the process, children will be introduced to core understanding of STEM concepts like wind-up mechanism, gears, elasticity, torque, transfer of energy and laws of motion. Age 6+.

Buy now £12.99, Smart Toys and Games

Janod endangered wildlife puzzle

Inspire budding Attenboroughs with this charming and enlightening puzzle from Janod’s charitable collection with WWF. The puzzle depicts the most endangered animals on each continent once made, sure to spark curiosity in the littlest of adventurers and educate on the previous world around us. Age 7+.

Buy now £31.46, Amazon

George's Marvelous Experiment Kit

While some science kits can be disappointing, this one balances imagination with science perfectly. It is made up of 15 brilliant experiments linking to the classic Roald Dahl story. It does need a few household ingredients - and a big packet of skittles - but can be used time and time again, and really inspires the inner lab technician. Age 8+.

Buy now £24.99, Very

Build Your Own Kits microscope

Always a winner to reduce screen time, the relatively straight forward but fun build opens up a world of exploration and science. A 30x magnification shows brilliant detail in even the tiniest creepy crawlies and garden treasures, and is surprisingly sturdy. It is made from sustainable cardboard. Age 8+.

Buy now £16.99, Amazon

Dynamix Bionic Power

The most advanced STEM toy on our list, and definitely the most mind blowing for curious little ones. Adult supervision advised mainly because this is so much fun for parents to interact with as well! The bionics used here will allow your child to explore four natural extensions of their arm - a claw, a tentacle, a Grapple and a Crossbow. The kit also allows your child to explore their own imagination and encourages them to invent their own prototype. They (and you) will have hours of fun, guaranteed! Age 8+.

Buy now £23.51, Amazon

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