Just as sure as the sky is blue, the day will never come when your kids are PUMPED to do their homework. The good news is that toy creators have gotten so ingenious in creating exciting educational toys that kids don’t even realize that while they are piecing together a new robot friend, they’re actually absorbing basic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. This move towards STEM has been a major trend within the toy industry, and experts have mastered the art of implementing difficult learning elements in a fun and engaging way.
The Toy Insider’s STEM 10 picks in our annual Holiday Gift Guide point out a few of our favorite toys, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out these stealthy STEM toys that’ll manage to pull one over your kids this year!
Emojis are the language of today, and more often than not kids will communicate to you with an emoji than with actual words. BUT if we can find a way to sneak a little STEM fun into the mix, then we can turn that frown upside down . There’s no better way to sneak it in than with the beloved Sesame Street friend, Elmo. Early readers and pre-readers will strengthen problem-solving and sequencing skills as they explore numbers, music, and more. When little scholars tilt or shake their adorable red friend, he’ll even react with dynamic sounds and engaging animations on his LCD screen. Elmoji is keeping it .
This kid-safe tablet comes pre-loaded with apps and games that introduce kids to STEM and coding concepts. The tablet also includes a free lifetime subscription to the Kurio Genius Internet filtering system, which filters, categorizes, and updates nearly two billion websites daily to ensure that kids surf the web in a friendly environment. Parents can even strengthen the controls, or lessen the restrictions to adjust them to their growing child. Kids will be occupied for hours, and your house just got a whole lot quieter!
Budding builders can get the job done with this 8-in-1 construction kit. The set includes heavy-duty models, including a Claw Crane, Worksite, Truck, Bulldozer, and more. Once they've snapped, clicked, and connected all the pieces in the right order, the LED lights light up the vehicle to keep the fun alive. That’s #lit.
The classic pinball arcade game gets a twist with this pinball arcade lab. The kit includes more than 20 experiments and lets gamers build their own pinball arena, complete with authentic light and sound effects at the completion of each circuit. Once the arcade is finished, kids can put their creation on display, obviously for bragging rights!
Extreme sport enthusiasts can learn the physics and engineering behind epic skate parks in a hands-on way. Once finished, each set is a working marble run, making it a fun toy and moving sculpture. The line includes four thrilling sets: Mini Coaster, Dragon Coaster, Mini Skate Park, and a Skate Park. Totally awesome, dude!
Laurie Schacht, also known as The Toy Insider Mom, has covered the toy industry for more than 20 years. The Toy Insider is a year-round resource for parents, grandparents and other gift-givers looking for the best toys for their kids. The Toy Insider also produces an annual holiday gift guide featured in Family Circle magazine. Visit thetoyinsider.com for the latest toy news, reviews, giveaways, and more.
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