Educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) toys and books spark children’s scientific curiosity and encourage them to develop key scientific skills. Foster girls and boys’ scientific curiosity with outstanding toys and books designed to help them become lifelong learners. From observation to hands-on experimenting, science toys will keep children engaged while exercising their STEM skills.
Why STEM Toys for Children?
From the day they are born, children are actively exploring the world around them. Being a good role model for this curiosity is the most important thing for parents to do. This involves guiding children to understand the world and develop scientific skills by allowing them to explore, observe, and find out about the human body, earth & space, technology & STEM, and the environment.
Over the years, research has helped us understand that children learn better when they enjoy the experience and are allowed to observe phenomena from different contexts, in order to form their own conclusions and connections. STEM toys give parents and tutors the best opportunity to provide such an experience for their kids. STEM is much more than just a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics acronym. It is a philosophy; a better approach towards helping students acquire inter-disciplinary knowledge and encouraging them to think in a holistic way.
At such a young age, children are receptive to new and creative experiences. Parents and teachers thus have a variety of ways to introduce STEM concepts even without using science toys. By simply allowing them to investigate, encouraging them to ask questions about the real world, and engaging them in activities as simple as visiting a museum, gazing up at the stars in the night sky, or going outside to explore nature and look at insects, you are actually introducing children to STEM. Yet, science toys provide rich opportunities for children to develop their STEM skills and to ignite their creativity! STEM Toys and science kits for kids support the National Curriculum requirements for early years (EYFS) and primary years (KS1 and KS2).
What Children Can Learn from Science Toys
Sometimes parents are not sure what age to start teaching STEM and how best they can integrate it into their child’s early education. The answer is: the earlier the better, and one of the best ways to teach STEM is to integrate learning with what children naturally enjoy doing: playing. By associating the learning experience with what is already fun, we allow kids to make their own discoveries and connections between objects and phenomena. There is a variety of science toys for kids that are specifically designed to promote investigation of a wide range of scientific areas, including STEM toys and science kits for kids to learn about nature, human biology, earth & space, light, materials, electricity, forces, robotics & coding and technology.
The best way to teach STEM is highly dependent on a child’s age, interests, and level of intelligence. Parents therefore sometimes struggle to find the best approach and materials to use when introducing their children to STEM. The trick here is to start with a few different STEM toys, and observe what the child is drawn to the most.
STEM Toys for Toddlers
For children under two, parents can give their babies interesting everyday things to play with such as spoons, blocks, or shiny balls. This will encourage kids to explore and develop imagination, self-awareness, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Children should also be encouraged to explore the world using all of their senses. Bath time provides a perfect opportunity for kids to explore water, pouring from different containers and filling them again, making bubbles, and playing with bath toys. For preschool children, a wide range of resources are found under “Understanding the World“.
STEM Toys for Children to Explore Nature
For children that are a bit older, or more mentally advanced, it’s important for parents to explain things that kids discover, and to try and explain the science behind these discoveries. For example, kids may notice that their shadows grow longer as the sun begins to set. These are chances for parents to explain the nature of light and how it travels. Children in this age group sometimes just enjoy imitating what their parents are doing, and participate in grown-up activities. A great way to leverage on this interest is to take children outside into the garden, with their own set of tools, and let them play with the dirt and plants. This gives them a chance to explore their surroundings, learn what plants need to grow, and discover how a variety of bugs and insects live and behave. Outdoor STEM Toys, such as binoculars, bugnoculars and magnifying lenses are excellent science toys for children to discover nature and learn about biology.
Primo Cubetto, Botley and Artie Coding Robots
Five year olds and older children will have developed more advanced, interests and fascinations. A perfect way to introduce your child to programming at this age is age is the Primo Cubetto coding wooden robot. This is a friendly wooden robot with a screen-less interface, and a coding language that kids can touch and manipulate to program movement. This provides an exciting way to reinforce acquired skills, ideas, and concepts, and make sure they are easily mastered and retained. As well as Primo Cubetto, other coding robots, such as Botley and Artie provide numerous opportunities for kids to learn coding. Artie 3000 is a wonderful drawing robot that can be programmed from the screen to draw any object a child imagines!
Science Kits for Kids
When kids discover something of interest, it is important to listen carefully to what they have to say. It’s important to stimulate their young minds by challenging them to explain their ideas to you, as this will help them to develop their thinking skills. When you choose presents for children, think about buying things which will develop their science skills. Choose toys and games which show mechanisms and how things work, how living things and objects move and the effects of magnetism, light, electricity and sound. Cambridge Brainbox science kits for kids are perfect for promoting creativity while children build electrical circuits and understand electricity. This will ensure that children enjoy their learning experience, and will get a quickly develop key scientific skills. Other science kits, like GALT experiments, include the materials and instructions for hands-on scientific discovery. Science Kits for kids from 4M are excellent for developing scientific skills while creatively building science toys from scratch such as lemon clocks, kaleidoscopes, moon torches, robots and even volcanoes!