If you haven’t already noticed, here at Smarty Pants Builder’s Club, we’re all about STEM toys. We also know that it’s a bit overwhelming to choose the perfect toy that has checks in all the right boxes: fun, educational, engaging and developmentally stimulating.
To help take out some of the guesswork, we’ve created a Holiday Stem Toy Gift Guide with our favorites.
Smarty Pants Builder’s Club Magnetic Tile Kits
Magnetic tile kits continue to top the charts of every STEM toy list. It’s no surprise as our magnetic tile kits encourage cognitive thinking, build motor skills and require kids to apply concepts of both geometry and engineering. They also span a huge age range as they are suitable for kids as young as 3 years old and up to 10 (although we’ve seen older siblings and even adults enjoying them too!)
Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab
Designed for kids ages 5 and older, this STEM toy teaches kids about chemistry as they create their own figurine or rather, “beaker creature.” It’s the perfect miniature lab for budding scientists that takes an experiment to next level by having kids create their own toy that provides playtime fun even after the lab has been put away.
Design and Drill My First Workbench
This little workbench lets little builders get busy as they safely hammer nails and drill bolts to create colorful patterns. The building set, designed for kids ages 3 to 6, supports STEM learning through early engineering play by developing fine motor skills and patterning (an early math skill!).
Fisher-Price Think and Learn Rocktopus
The perfect toy for the budding musician, the Rocktopus encourages kids to explore a variety of musical styles while they learn about instruments, rhythmic patterns and more. This STEM toy designed for kids 3 and older, uses music to help develop early math skills.
Kids First Coding and Robotics
This STEM toy for kids 5 to 8 years old teaches the fundamentals of coding and programming – without a tablet or a smartphone! Kids lay down a series of code cards and Sammy the robot drives over them to load the cards. Kids then use map cards to run the program. The 30 coding lessons are aligned with teaching standards developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and code.org.
3Doodler Start Make Your Own Hexbug Pen Set
Kids 6 to 8 years old will love making their own HEXBUG creatures with this 3-D printing pen. Kids can doodle the bug’s body and legs using the DoodleMolds or their own designs, then let it crawl around with the HEXBUG motor. Part of the 3Doodler Start STEM series this unique kit allows kids to design and experiment with different robotic structures while encouraging creativity, planning, building, and spatial understanding.
Crayola Color Chemistry Lab Set
This chemistry set allows kids to explore 50 experiments inspired by STEM and STEAM learning. These experiments, ideal for kids ages 7-10, were created by real Crayola scientists.
Nintendo Labo: Vehicle Kit
Nintendo Labo combined with Nintendo Switch puts kids ages 6 and older in the drivers seat. Kids can build cars, a submarine, two planes, two keys and more. By inserting a key into the vehicles kids can then play with their newly engineered creations.
Scientific Explorer Veterinary Science
Kids learn all about what it takes to be a veterinarian with this STEM kit. With this science kit by Alex Brands, kids 6 to 8 years old can simulate taking X-rays and sonograms, practice suturing and stitching, prepare plaster for casts and learn about ticks.
Discovery Extreme Chemistry Lab
There are STEM toys for tweens too! This chemistry kit allows kids to conduct more than 40 experiments and simple chemical reactions for fun, hands-on, interactive learning. Kids can also experiment and create their own concoctions.
We hope our Holiday Gift Guide makes your holiday shopping a little easier! At Smarty Pants Builder’s Club we know it takes a village, so please feel free to comments on our recommendations or add your favorite to the list by leaving a comment below!