It’s no surprise that STEM and STEAM toys are HUGE again this year. They picked up steam (pun intended) last year and they are plowing through again. There are STEM toys for every age level! Start them young.
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. These areas are focused on together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively.
One of the brand’s that have been leading the charge in STEM toys is Hexbug. Their variety of STEM toys have grown over the years and they’re bringing full engineering kits to the market at an affordable price point. What once were kits designed for school building clubs are now available to the general public.
Brand new to the market this year is Wonderhood Toys. I had the opportunity to check out Wonderhood Toys and their line at Toy Fair 2016. Wonderhood Toys is the producer of open-ended building systems to engage girls in STEM with two building sets. The Grand Hotel (seen above) is a deluxe building set complete with a working elevator system, two sets of stairs and beautifully illustrated design panels. The Corner Shops set allows girls to create their own storefront shops using the themed design panels, a set of stairs and one figurine. All of the modular parts are interchangeable across sets, allowing users to create even larger structures.
Looking for more STEM toys for your Holiday list? Check out our top favorites!
Top STEM Gifts for 2016
Barbie STEM Kit
Learn and play with the Barbie STEM Kit! Each kit comes with a 32-page, full-color storybook manual. Learn important engineering lessons as you build 7 models and conduct more than 10 science and art experiments. Buy here
Brackitz is a toy with unlimited potential that encourages children to create, invent, and experiment. Unlike other building toys, Brackitz’ unique connect-anywhere system allows builders of all ages to design and construct any structure they can imagine. Buy here
With the new 3Doodler Start your creative kids can finally bring all of their wonderful and imaginative ideas to life in 3D. This kid-safe 3D printing pen melts plastic that cools and hardens rapidly, allowing kids to literally draw in the air! Buy here
Bring out your inner architect! Arckit is a multi award-winning reusable freeform model system that allows budding architects and model enthusiasts to physically explore architectural designs and bring projects to life. Buy here
Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
Introduce children to the fun of coding and puzzle solving with this colorful, programmable mouse with maze! A great way to introduce young children to science, technology, engineering, and math. Buy here
Bloxels is an innovative video game development platform that allows you to create your own video games. With easy-to-use physical and digital tools, the imaginative gaming worlds of young gamer's come to life in a cool retro arcade style. Buy here
A STEM Building Toy for Girls. Girls can bring their architectural dreams to life with RoominateTM Townhouse! Using the included circuits and modular pieces, girls can construct a customized, cozy townhouse for their Roominate dolls by creating a working doorbell, spinning fan, elevator, or whatever their imaginations can dream up. Buy here
In 100BC, Greek and Roman engineers changed the face of the battle with the invention of the most powerful long-range weapon the world had ever seen. Now kids everywhere can experience the thrill of launching objects with the new VEX Robotics Catapult by HEXBUG! Buy here
Wonderhood Grand Hotel
Create endless designs with this deluxe building set, featuring Wonderhood’s favorite aspiring architect, Chelsea. Design and build anything you can imagine, using 24 beautifully illustrated panels, a colorful staircase, and a working elevator! Buy here
Survive the Quake
Put your building skills to the ultimate test…the earthquake test! Kit includes an activity book that gives kids a look into the world of earthquakes and engineering. Buy here
The BOSEbuild Speaker Cube is a build-it-yourself Bluetooth speaker that enables kids to explore the world of sound, music and speakers through app-driven, hands-on activities. The Speaker Cube takes kids on a journey that starts with a basic magnet and coil and ends with them building their very own durable and great-sounding Bluetooth speaker.
Bitsbox provides monthly coding projects that teach gradeschoolers how to program apps. It's a code academy for kids.
Each month, GIRLS CAN! CRATE delivers everything you need to inspire girls to BE and DO anything by introducing them to fearless women who changed the world!
ZOOB S.T.E.M. Challenge gives you the tools you need to design and build creations to solve challenges, such as hitting targets and making balls bounce.
The Osmo Creative Set combines creative tools, games and cutting edge technology to foster creativity and problem solving skills. It's the perfect upgrade for 3 amazing games: Monster, Newton and Masterpiece. Works with iPad Pro 9.7 inch, all iPad Mini, all iPad Air, all iPad 2 & up. *Requires the Osmo Game System, found in any Osmo Kit.
Code-a-pillar inspires little learners to be big thinkers by encouraging preschoolers to arrange (and rearrange) the easy-to-connect segments in endless combinations, sending Code-a-pillar on his path. This learning toy encourages experimentation while developing important skills like problem solving, planning & sequencing and critical thinking.