STEM toys have become all the rage in the last couple of years as parents and educators strive to find engaging educational tools to prepare generations for their future. With the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a sharp increase in jobs in STEM disciplines, there is a critical need to prepare the next generation of students and workers for those roles.
Perhaps you’re new to the parenting or education scene, so we’ll start by giving you a little STEM toy 101. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In some circles, it’s become known as STEAM, adding “Arts” for the “A”.
STEM toys can be broken down into three categories: academic, cognitive thinking and motor skills. Academic toys include math and science kits, as well as language learning toys. The idea behind these is that the toy should require a child to think, interact with and/or manipulate concepts and ideas.
Cognitive thinking toys include puzzles and construction sets that require children to think logically and apply reason. These toys cover a large age span including products like Rubik’s Cube, LEGOs and Smarty Pants Builder’s Club magnetic tiles with the more advanced toys requiring users to apply concepts of both geometry and engineering.
Motor skill-building toys are a growing subset of STEM toys that apply primarily to younger learners. Examples of these types of toys include workbench sets or well-designed building blocks that allow young learners to develop physical skills needed to move and manipulate objects. Smarty Pants Builder’s Club magnetic tiles fall into this category as well.
For parents and educators who want to provide children opportunities to learn and practice STEM skill, quality STEM toys can be a great option. However, in a growing market, it’s important to do your research and decipher those toys that encourage dynamic, hands-on, learning as opposed to those who use the STEM label for toys that are simply fun and passive.
Of course, quality STEM toys ARE fun. But they’re so much more. Not only should a proper STEM toy be engaging and interactive, it should teach intangibles like creativity, perseverance, learning from failures and evaluating the effectiveness of a solution. These are necessary skills for not only the job market – but valuable for real life experiences.
Smarty Pants Builder’s Club magnetic tiles provide checks in all the right boxes for quality STEM toys. And then they do one better… their magnetic tile kits provide high quality AND they’re affordable. After all, we’re parents too. That’s why our mission is to provide safe, valuable toys that are accessible to all. Our products are made from materials that are BPA free, non-toxic AND we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
So join the Smarty Pants Builder’s Club and Imagine, Create and Learn.