Inside: Do you have a curious kid on your hand? These gifts will enhance critical thinking, creativity, and imagination. The best STEM toys and games for 5 to 12-year-olds, updated for 2021.
We have entered the stage of QUESTIONS. If I am honest, we’ve been at that stage for a while now. And I am constantly stumped — why is the sky blue, but how does the touch lamp actually work, and how many volcanos are there in the world?
Thank goodness for Google. But half of the time I reply with “What do you think?” The theories kids come up with are so creative. Just thinking through the answer to these kinds of questions fosters more curiosity and critical thinking.
Do you have a curious kid in your life? These gifts will stimulate and satisfy even the most curious minds. These Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) gifts are aimed at ages 5 through 8.
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Toys for Curious Kids: Science
These toys are the most exciting science-based toys out there. From Geology to Astronomy – there is something to capture every child’s curiosity.
Kids naturally want to explore their world and these kits allow them to explore in new ways — through microscopes, combining chemical elements, exploring the planet and the stars, measuring elements of the weather, harnessing solar power and so much more!
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Earth Science KitMega Biology SetKids Beginner Microscope STEM KitMagic Chemistry SetSmart Globe4M Weather Science Kit – Climate Change, Global Warming, LabKids First Botany – Experimental Greenhouse Kit4M Kidzlabs Anti Gravity Magnetic Levitation Science Kit
Coding Robots: Technology
My son is really into robots. We recently received Marty the Robot from Robotical to review and my son loves this robot. It is his all-time favorite! Marty comes assembled and is ready to go right out of the box. Once you download the app, your child can start controlling Marty through the control panel immediately! Watch the video below to see how much fun we had with Marty — his dance moves are the best.
Marty uses Scratch coding software from MIT. The Scratch coding interface is so intuitive that my son created his own program within minutes.
We also went through the home learning course to become familiar with some of the finer ins-and-outs of Scratch code language. Marty is also capable of being programmed with Python code, so this is a robot that will grow with your child. There are several options for classroom packs and an entire learning portal for education settings, so Marty is a great choice for schools looking for STEM-based curriculum ideas.
Wonder Workshop Dash was one of my son’s favorites when he was younger. Wonder Workshop Dot is a smaller version and includes many creative coding accessories. The great thing about Dash & Dot is the coding interface in the Apps that you download to your smartphone or device. There are a series of challenges designed to help your child learn coding in a fun way.
Coding is a different way of thinking and these kinds of toys expose children to coding logic in a way that is both fun and educational. It is also great exposure to learn code when they are young and their brains are primed for learning new types of languages. Coding, like music and math, is a type of language.
Building Toys & Projects: Engineering
Nothing quite captivates curious kids better than an open invitation to create and experiment.
Hands-on activities that involve planning, trial and error, and critical thinking are the most engaging. All of these building or project kits are things that help stimulate kids to get started on an afternoon of strategic problem-solving!
Lego Chain ReactionsLego GadgetsQ-BA-Maze 2.0 Mega Stunt SetCity Engineering and Design Building Set5 Set STEM Kit,DC Motors Electronic Assembly KitStructural Engineering: Bridges & SkyscrapersNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Solar Model KitKEVA Building ContraptionsMoving Creations with K’NEX
Games and Books: Math and Logic
Some of the most fun games are also great practice for math skills. We love Rat A Tat Cat and if your child’s grandparents like card games, this is one they can play together.
STEM Books Kids Will Love
My son loves to pour over books that have tons of facts. These books do just that but in a beautifully illustrated way. These books will captivate your curious kid for hours.
The Planets: The Definitive Visual Guide to Our Solar SystemThe Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and BeyondEngineered!: Engineering Design at WorkNature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural WorldScience StumpersThe Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its EcosystemsThe Street Beneath My FeetTimelines of EverythingKnowledge EncyclopediaAtlas of AdventuresLife in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
I hope you and your little curious minds have an imaginative and creative holiday!