STEM & STEAM lessons, classes and awareness is on the rise, but what about bringing it into the home? STEM & STEAM toys are a great option for holiday gifts because it gives our children a chance to learn & experiment while they are playing. Today I’m sharing some STEAM & STEM gift-ideas. I’ve been gifted these by various companies with the intention of sharing only my favorite & most-recommended ones on this post today. The toys below link straight to Amazon with my affiliate link so you can find the toys that you are interested in.
Everyone knows that I value experiences over toys, but I am a play therapist and I was a teacher… I also see the value of a good toy! Our son, Beau, could build all day long – give him a set of blocks and he will spend the day creating. Give him something to create a fort and he’ll be in his room for hours. So while I love to give gifts that create memories, I also see the huge importance of toys and ways for our kids to create & play.
I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of STEM learning and STEAM learning. Many schools have STEM buildings and others are hoping to get them. So what is it?
“STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!
The logic is simple: the wave of future economic prosperity lies in a workforce that is well-versed in rising job markets like science, technology, engineering, and math. Thus, there has been an increased investment in STEM initiatives in schools. This includes (but is not limited to):
- providing mobile devices for students (sometimes in the forms of computer labs, and other times in the form of 1:1 – a single device for each student)
- after-school STEM clubs or programs
- STEM curriculum, where projects using STEM practices are embedded
- BYOD initiatives (bring your own device)
- STEM days to encourage hands-on exploration within each of these disciplines
- robotics programs
~ This information found on EducationCloset.com.
SciShow is one of the most popular science educational channels on YouTube – they’ve created these awesome kits for your budding scientist that include easy to follow directions and videos! Here are three of my favorite kits they’ve made:
- My kids LOVE all three of these unique science kits from SciShow – definitely a great gift for your budding scientists!
Sensory Science Kit: Sensory Science includes activities that teach you all about sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Easy to follow instructions and videos take you through each step.
Mystery Matter Kit: Join in on the mystery of matter, and explore different substances from homemade quicksand to squishy crystals! Easy to follow instructions and videos take you through each step.
SciShow Mega Lab: Mega Lab is filled with experiments that explore everything from biology to math. Easy to follow instructions and videos take you through each step.
The following kits & toys have been a huge hit with my kids and their friends!
- Tinkering Lab Electric Motors Catalyst, Robotics STEM kit – build doodling Robots, power Electric model cars, Add motors to Legos, and more! This is the perfect gift for aspiring engineers & tinkerers!
- Science! STEM Sticker Adventure – Spark your little girl’s interest in science with Science! STEM Sticker Adventure. The world of science is an exciting place for girls who dream big. This book is packed with stickers designed to spark your little girl’s interest in science
- Codi the Interactive Robot – Eliminate screen time without eliminating the entertainment with Codi, an educational robot for kids 12 months and up. Codi is an adorable AI-enabled toy that provides children with over 200 fully curated, classic songs and stories, and even encourages good habits (like brushing teeth or cleaning) to provide developmental support outside of the classroom.
- Water Whirly – this fun bath toy will help your baby understand cause and effect while also working on motor skills!