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Challenge: Best Toys

5 STEM-Themed Toys to Give this Holiday Season

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With the holidays on the horizon, plenty of shoppers are on the lookout for unique, interesting toys to give the children in their life. Instead of gravitating toward a toy because of its popularity, check out options with educational value. These five toys, made for a variety of ages, help reinforce the principles of STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — and are sure to be well-received.

1. Roominate Townhouse

This DIY dollhouse includes many electronic features, allowing students to add lights, ceiling fans, and more to the included figurine’s home. Every aspect is customizable: Walls can become couches, which can become windmills, which can become anything your student imagines. Made for ages six and older, this building set comes with more than 50 building pieces, a motor, and other customizing features to help your student play pretend while focusing on structural engineering and home design.

2. 4M Tin Can Robot

Start a conversation about recyclables by turning a piece of trash into a fun robot. With its bendy arms and googly eyes, this DIY robot wiggles around the room after assembly. Children ages 8 and older can spend the day making their empty beverage dance and buzz.

3. Zometool Crazy Bubbles Kit

Who would have guessed there would be a new take on bubbles? This kit gives the classic children’s pastime a mathematical twist by forming bubbles inside the customizable shape. This toy combines geometry and physical science properties (such as surface tension) for ages four and up.

4. Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies

For young children first learning to count, this play food set can make math fun. Each cookie has a different amount of raised chocolate chips on top, allowing youngsters (ages two and older) to count visually or by touch. When your child is done counting, stack the cookies back into the cookie jar, or use them as pretend food.

5. Chaos Machine

Introduce your STEM-loving son or daughter to chaos with this entertaining, magnetic machine. With its interchangeable pendulums, the Chaos Machine showcases complex interactions and lets students ask the question, “What happens if I change this?” For kids 12 and older, this magnetic toy comes with eight try-at-home experiments.

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