What are STEM Toys? | Do STEM Toys Work?


What are STEM Toys? 

What are the benefits of STEM toys? 

Why are STEM toys important? 

Learn all about it in this Blog Post! 

Let's start by defining what STEM stands for.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

The best definition is “Toys designed with an educational angle that develops STEM Skills"

STEM Toys are dynamic and allow for experiments while pushing your child to use their critical thinking,  imagination, and problem-solving skills to find solutions.

They make cause and effect an interesting endeavor and, as such, help the children to discover their talents and strengthen their skills early on.

They are designed to increase children's interest in various aspects of engineering, science, mathematics, or anything else that involves technology. Considering how the world is technologically oriented, there is no better time for children to start playing and develop lifelong skills that will make their academic and professional lives very successful.

Providing your child with a toy that requires his proactive involvement leads to the development of skills such as responsibility, creativity, and imagination.

STEM Kits focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, which stimulate education, learning, and curiosity in children. It is known that in order to become a sought after employee knowledge in Science, technology, engineering and mathematics greatly improves the ability to compete in today's competitive high-tech industry.   

The most important thing to remember about STEM toys is that they are excellent ways to reinforce the importance of education and learning for your child in an enjoyable and accessible way.

In fact, children do not even realize that they are learning and acquiring valuable skills when they are having fun.

Science STEM Toys 

Science-based STEM toys can include simple chemical experiments or kitchen science. 

Biology-based STEM toys cover a wide range of areas in which they study the human body, plants, animals, and ecosystems. In addition to monitoring, testing, and data collection, such a science kit typically involves activities of growing plants or small animals and observing their behavior from a very early phase. 

Such educational toys are experiment-oriented, so this is a great option if your child is obsessed with cause-and-effect situations.

Technology STEM toys

Robotic toys help children build a cool robot, use a raspberry pi as a part of a smart home system or even integrate their Nintendo switch with the living room's TV. When it comes to robots,  they can be as basic as one-sided robots that spin or walk or perform numerous tasks. There are many other examples such as fully functional items such as a dimmer switch, a wireless keyboard or a   

Engineering STEM Toys 

Engineering STEM Toys introduce children to architecture and engineering. They encourage open play as children can put together their own creations or follow instructions to create a model using building blocks, wooden blocks or colored blocks.  Furthermore, engineering based STEM toys promote building skills and improve motor skills. 

Building complex structures with or without adult supervision, using building blocks or magnetic pieces, is something that a video game or board game  cannot compete with. 

Mathematics STEM Toys

There are numerous types of Mathematics toys that depend on the age of the child. They can start with basic number-sorting games and end with advanced computer science programming and coding basics. Improving Math skills is key in the world we live in as many of our tasks require mathematical thinking. 

Why are STEM toys important? 

Researchers and child education professionals believe that toys that do not require the child to do anything but watch,  promote a passive learning style, which can interfere with learning to think independently. STEM Toys, due to their proactive nature, are therefore beneficial to the development of cognitive, social, and behavioral skills of children.

What are the benefits of STEM toys? 

The main benefits of STEM toys are related to various skills acquired by the child associated  with a fun and engaging activity:

  • Problem Solving Skills: work productively to propose appropriate solutions. 
  • Analytical Skills: by observing the outcomes, the child learns about the impact of his activities on the end result. 
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Observing, analyzing, asking questions, and finding the answers independently 
  • Creativity and creative thinking:  Mistakes are an opportunity to improve the next time. The consistency and determination builds core disciplines that will enhance the ability of the child to cope with future challenges. 
  • Science Skills: Learn the basics of science, cause and effect, and life
  • Motor Skills: Building structures made of numerous materials and different sizes require not only spatial awareness of a 3D environment but also fine motor skills.  
  • Inquiry Skills: The hands-on, proactive approach leads to deeper involvement and accountability. The process entails problem-solving and decision-making, critical skills to have as grown-ups. 
  • The Perfect Gift: Every child and parent will be delighted to receive a gift that doesn't get old after a few days and stands out from the conventional board game or video game. Toys for kids with an added value of learning and education are hard to compete with (not to mention the adult fun) 

Do STEM Toys work?

The short answer is yes. 

Research shows that playing with STEM toys enhances learning abilities, problem solving skills, curiosity and and creativity. 

"STEM Toys are fundamentally important for learning 21st century skills, such as problem solving, collaboration, and creativity, which require skills that are critical for adult success"

American Academy of Pediatrics

 

 


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