Best STEM Toys for Toddlers

Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by ellen

If you’re looking for the best STEM toys for toddlers, check out my thoughts on stem toys that help improve fine motor skills and encourage STEM learning.

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If you're looking for the best STEM toys for toddlers, check out my thoughts on stem toys that help improve fine motor skills and encourage STEM learning.

Best STEM Toys for Toddlers

I’ve been having so much fun introducing hands-on learning projects to my granddaughter. Developing problem-solving skills is an important part of school readiness.

Benefits of STEM learning

STEM learning, even at a toddler age, sets a robust foundation for children’s cognitive and creative capabilities. Through STEM toys, toddlers begin to understand basic scientific principles, numerical concepts, and technological workings, which are integral parts of the world surrounding them.

This early exposure not only cultivates an interest in these fields but also improves problem-solving skills by encouraging analytical thinking. Simultaneously, the design and construction aspects of STEM toys enhance fine motor skills and spur creativity.

In essence, STEM learning fosters an environment of exploration and discovery, making education an engaging and enjoyable pursuit for toddlers.

toddler playing with magnet toys

Explanation of STEM learning benefits

STEM toys do wonders for little ones. They help them to start understanding the world around them. Science ideas, number facts, and how technology works are all things kids can start learning.

Playing with these toys also helps children think logically and solve problems. As they build and create, they also get better at using their hands. STEM makes learning fun and exciting for young children.

a girl learning to tie her shoes

How STEM learning helps in the future

STEM learning is super important for kids’ futures. We live in a world where technology and data are everywhere, so STEM skills are needed more than ever. When kids play with STEM toys from a young age, they learn about these subjects early.

This early start makes them curious and helps them get ready for changes in the future. Plus, STEM builds skills like creative thinking and problem-solving, which are important in lots of jobs, not just in science or technology areas. By giving kids a chance to learn about STEM early, we’re helping them get ready to do well in their future work.

If you're looking for the best STEM toys for toddlers, check out my thoughts on stem toys that help improve fine motor skills and encourage STEM learning.

What is a STEM toy?

A STEM toy is a type of learning tool specifically designed to encourage children’s interest in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The best STEM toys challenge kids to think critically and solve problems, promoting cognitive growth and enhancement of their creative abilities.

To illustrate, let’s consider a toy involving magnets. A magnetic building set, for example, can be an excellent STEM toy. The colorful, magnetic pieces can be joined together to form different shapes and structures, captivating toddlers’ attention while subtly teaching them about the principles of magnetism and construction. At first glance, it might look like simple play, but in reality, it’s a hands-on physics lesson!

These types of toys are also great for developing fine motor skills. As toddlers grip, stack, and connect the magnetic pieces, they are honing the control and coordination of their small hand muscles. This practice is vital for tasks they’ll encounter later in life, such as writing or tying shoes. Therefore, not only are STEM toys a fun way to learn, but they also contribute significantly to a toddler’s overall development.

child coloring with crayons

What are fine motor skills?

These skills are the abilities needed to carry out smaller movements that use the small muscles in our fingers, hands, and wrists. These skills are important for everyday tasks like picking up small objects, holding a spoon, or scribbling with a crayon. When your toddler is using fine motor skills, they are learning to move and control their hands and fingers in precise ways. This is important for when they grow up and need to do things like write neatly or button their shirts.

Toys that help develop fine motor skills are often used in play activities. For example, a toddler who is building with blocks is using their motor skills to pick up the blocks, turn them over in their hands, and place them on top of each other.

Or, if they are playing with doll clothes, they are practicing these skills as they try to put the doll’s clothes on. So, when we say a toy can help improve fine motor skills, it means that playing with the toy can help a toddler get better at these kinds of small, precise movements.

STEM toys fit into everyday learning by introducing math concepts and pattern recognition.

If you're looking for the best STEM toys for toddlers, check out my thoughts on stem toys that help improve fine motor skills and encourage STEM learning.

What to look for in a STEM toy for toddlers

When looking for a suitable STEM toy for your toddler, there are several key features to consider. First and foremost, the toy should be well-made, with sturdy construction that can withstand a toddler’s enthusiastic play. The quality of materials used in the toy is a direct reflection of its durability and longevity.

Additionally, the toy should be designed to fit comfortably in small hands, with no sharp edges or small components that could pose a risk to a toddler’s safety. A good STEM toy for a toddler will have rounded corners and large, graspable pieces to prevent any potential injuries.

Finally, the toy should come in bright, eye-catching colors. Vibrant colors not only make the toy more appealing to toddlers, but they also stimulate their visual senses and help them understand the concept of different colors. This multi-sensory engagement enhances both the fun and learning aspects of playtime.

In sum, a good STEM toy for toddlers is durable, safe, appropriately sized, and vibrant, enriching the learning experience while ensuring the child’s safety and enjoyment. Check out these magnetic STEM toys.

MyFirst People toy

MyFirst People

Start on the right foot with My First People. You can make a cook, a builder, a garden lover, a firefighter… or mix the funny faces with the different hats and bodies to create your own silly combinations. Learn about the exciting world of magnets, practice coordination of your hands and eyes, and let your little one’s imagination run wild. This set can be combined with all other

SmartMax sets and is a great extra for your SmartMax collection.

Find it here.

MyFirst Pirates!

Prepare for some swashbuckling fun with MyFirst Pirates! Prepare your little buccaneers for a nautical adventure – securing the ship or embarking on a treasure quest on an island. The metallic playbox serves dual purposes – as a play area and a storage space. Experience the wonder of magnetism with this playset, conveniently packed in a travel case.

My First Pirates is compatible with all other SmartMax sets and enhances fine motor skills, balance, and imagination. Set sail!

Find it here.

If you're looking for the best STEM toys for toddlers, check out my thoughts on stem toys that help improve fine motor skills and encourage STEM learning.

MyFirst Build & Drive

Get ready for some fun! My First Build & Drive starts your creative journey. It’s a toy that has two ways to play: little ones over 18 months can build and play, while older kids from 2.5 years can try to rebuild one of the 24 challenges.

Flip the vehicle for harder building tasks! Learn about magnets, colors, magnetic shapes, and positions like above, below, up, and under. You can use My First Build & Drive with all other SmartMax sets. It helps improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and creativity. This toy provides many hours of building and playing fun!

This is an open-ended toy that helps improve reasoning skills. Your toddler can use the various shapes for color recognition and problem-solving. They are so much more fun than plain wooden blocks.

Get it here.

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MyFirst STEM toys for toddlers review

The MyFirst People set is an exceptional toy that truly embodies critical thinking. The little ones can explore the fun side of magnetism while enhancing their hand-eye coordination skills. It’s an engaging way to introduce your toddler to different professions, and the mix-and-match possibilities encourage creative play. It’s safe, durable, and compatible with other SmartMax sets, making it a worthwhile addition to your child’s playroom.

MyFirst Pirates! is another excellent choice for little explorers. This set not only engages toddlers in imaginative play but also introduces them to the fascinating world of magnets. The playbox’s dual functionality serves as a wonderful bonus, providing both a play area and an easy-to-use storage solution. Amazingly vivid colors and safe, toddler-friendly pieces make this toy a standout pick for budding adventurers.

Lastly, MyFirst Build & Drive offers an excellent balance between play and learning. The versatile play options cater to varying age groups, making it suitable for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

This STEM toy is an exciting way to introduce concepts such as colors, shapes, and positional words. With this toy, your child can explore magnetism while also developing their hand-eye coordination and critical thinking. The fact that it’s compatible with all other SmartMax sets offers limitless possibilities for creative play.

These toys are perfect for babies and children ages 18 months and up. Your child will love this hands-on toy that helps learning development.

This STEM toy set will help your children learn and encourage creativity. Find them here.

You may want to learn more about water play.

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