With my son as a guinea pig, we’ve been busy testing STEM toys to discover his favorites.
STEM Toy Gift Guide
This is, hands down, our favorite kit. Note that the kit has everything that you need EXCEPT for the playdoh. Purchase that seperately — you don’t need much — or make your own. You can use this kit over and over again too. At $30, it’s well priced.
This kit includes everything you need to assemble a successful terrarium for your Venus Fly Trap. You get a 2 inch plant, a five inch globe terrarium, and the soil. The kit is $22. Pair with a book to learn more about the fascinating Venus Fly Trap!
This is a fun STEM robotic toys that teaches kids the principles of programming — that is just patterns — using colored markers! And it’s fun too! The kit comes with a small robot that can be decorated, along with sheets, stickers and washable markers to create paths for the Ozobot. Different patterns will make the Ozobot do different things. This is a creative and fun STEM toys for boys and girls, ages 6 and up. The Ozobot kits start at $49.
There are several versions of the ARCKIT at different price points. This is a freeform model making system that does not require glue, yet it lets you design, build and modify these really cool modern houses by snapping pieces together. It requires good fine motor skills and I’d recommend for ages 10 and up. The kits start at $69.
This is a DIY project that will likely require you to purchase some items it is NOT a kit that you purchase. All the links are in the post. It’s for ages 8 and up and requires good fine motor skill and help from an adult. This post on Making an Easy Pop-Up Card goes with the project.
My son still plays with this remote controlled dinosaur toy years later. The toy moves like a T-Rex would and it’s great for dinosaur fans. Add a dinosaur book or two to up the STEM learning. The Zoomer Dino toy ranges from $30-$90 depending on the model.
My kids liked using the app to control the Sphero but they didn’t actually do the programming portion. It’s a fun toy. At about $100, I’d gift to kids who are more likely to want to program it.
My son is a serious gamer but we had mixed results with this kit. It took two attempts to assemble it correctly and the programming portion wasn’t that easy to figure out so my son skipped that. Perhaps he was too young when he tried it. I’d recommend for ages 12 and up. It’s $80 for the kit.
The Lux Blok are a versatile building set that allows structures that can flex, twist, bend, turn, curve, and move. It’s because uses just one snap piece that comes in several colors that allows connection attachments including rubber bands, popsicle sticks, straws, and connection sticks. An 80 piece set is $29. We tried the 200 piece set for $69.
Cubetto is a Montessori approved wooden toy that teaches preschoolers to code by using wooden block pieces to create code that a wooden block robot will then execute. It’s very intuitive way to introduce computer programming to very young children.
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