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Eleven year-olds are in a highly emotional developmental state. You may notice your child beginning to develop personal values that may or may not align with those of your household, they are beginning to learn to make appropriate decisions in the face of conflict and truly setting their identity apart as an individual.
At this age, they should demonstrate the ability to set personal goals and participate in lengthy projects with viable outcomes, such as designing a skit or volunteering in their community. This longer attention span means that you’ll need to shop for toys with extended creative potential.
On this list, we picked the Smart Circuits from SmartLab as best overall since this kit allows your child to be ahead of the curve, growing their circuit skills via fun projects with real-life applications.
Related post: Best Educational Toys for 11 Year Olds
Best Stem Toys for 11 Year Olds
1. Best Overall – SmartLab Smart Circuits
Most schools begin teaching circuits in science around fourth or fifth grade. This concept can be incredibly challenging for students. SmartLab Smart Circuits provides hours of fun as your child works to build amazing gadgets complete with lights, sounds, and sensors. This kit comes with forty-eight pieces, including a microprocessor, speaker, battery pack, light sensor, tricolor LED array, tilt switch, variable resistor, two pushbuttons, six modular boards, thirty-one jumper wires in four lengths, and a manual instructing children in how to build the best possible circuits.
We love this kit because of how well it can grow with your child. The kit comes with fifty build projects. The first ten projects teach the basics of electronics and then advance in complexity until your child is building and designing their own project. Some projects that come with the kit area creating a doorbell and motion-sensing alarm for your room, making electronic dice and a pong game, and using a pencil to draw music you can actually hear!
2. Best for Space Lovers – Let’s Start Coding Rocket Coding Toy
Get your child’s rocket science career launched early with this online-accessed coding toy! This Rocket Coding Toy from Let’s Start Coding comes with twenty free online projects that teach the same C++ coding that powers real-life space rockets. This software does require the use of a Mac, Windows, or Chromebook computer and an internet connection.
Your child can engage with a variety of projects with this kid, including laser blaster lights, countdown sequences, morse code messages, and thruster lights. The coding concepts that your child will learn include variables, loops, functions, if statements, for loops, and troubleshooting and bug hunting.
3. Best Budget Option – Kitki Space Pirates Fun Science Game
The Kitki Space Pirates Fun Science Game is a miniature-based family game that features an intuitive system for moving your ships and freighters through outer space. A quick-paced board game for two to four players, it’s going to be a friendly competition that’ll need lots of cooperation if players would compete in teams of two!
Because this game offers a variety of scenarios, gameplay can look entirely different each time you sit down to play. The enjoyment never has to stop!
4. Best for Future Geologists – Dan&Darci Crystal Growing Kit For Kids
With the Crystal Growing Kit for Kids, your child won’t only build their own crystals, but they’ll also be able to create room displays using the LED light-display, through which they can witness the complex crystal formations.
All you need to do is add water! This kid includes three growing cups, three bags of crystal powder, a light-up display, a micro-USB power cable, an instruction booklet, tweezers, a stirrer, and three crystal starters.
5. Best for Learning About Atoms – Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Introductory Set
The Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Introductory Set allows children to build hundreds of molecules from plastic models that connect through magnets. Children can either create their own designs or follow detailed instructions to build models as exemplified in the instructional manual.
With the Happy Atoms app, you can use the camera on your smartphone or tablet to scan your creation. From there, the app provides detailed information on your atom including composition, usage, properties, the breakdown of their chemical names, any hazards the molecules could pose, how they are used in the real world, and more!
6. Best Craft Kit – Baby Mushroom Ultimate Slime Kit
With the Baby Mushroom Ultimate Slime Kit, your child won’t just be making slime. They’ll be able to make heat-sensitive, color-changing slime, ultra glow in the dark slime, magic instant clear slime, and galaxy glitter slime. There are additional tools leftover for children to experiment in creating their own recipes.
Designed by a retired chemistry teacher and mother of four, this educational kit includes an instructional guide with all of the information you need to explain how these processes work.
7. Best for Girls – Yellow Scope Chemistry Kit
The Yellow Scope Chemistry Kit comes with a twenty-four-page lab notebook, safety goggles, two test tubes, concentrated red cabbage powder and indicators, seven small measuring cups, an experimental palette, a dropper pipette, five filter papers, toothpicks, a “Think Like a Girl” pencil and collectible science pin. Through this kit, girls will engage in more than nineteen experiments to explore acids and bases in the world around them.
This kit comes with a lab notebook for girls to track their experimental design and results, as well as fun facts, quizzes, and a chapter that teaches them how to make their own indicators and pH paper at home!
8. Best Painting Crafts Kit – BEARUN 3D Coloring Puzzle Set with Markers
The 3D DIY coloring puzzle set comes with ten 3D puzzles with watercolor markers to create models. Included in this kit are the designs needed to create a butterfly, seaplane, dinosaur, peacock, Eiffel Tower, house, reindeer, windmill, swan, and stegosaurus.
The 3D Coloring Puzzle Set with Markers comes with a set of markers with a fine tip and a brush tip. They are enclosed in their own case for easy transport.
These puzzles allow children to engage with coloring, which enhances their motor skills and creativity while allowing them time to engaging in deep thought and reflection.
9. Best for Coding – Let’s Start Coding Code Piano STEAM Toy
With this toy, kids learn how to make and adjust their own electronic music. The toy comes with a free online project guide to teach them everything they need to know in order to code this piano tool using a computer.
The Code Piano STEAM Toy includes speakers and buttons that are built into the circuit board, along with reference cards, a USB cable, and a carrying case. A Mac, Windows, or Chromebook computer is necessary to access all resources for this toy.
This kit includes everything children need to engage with morse code messaging, random tone sequence, eight-key piano, rising and falling siren sequence, and a DJ booth sound sampler. The coding skills that kids work on include variables, loops, functions, if statements, for loops, while statements, bug hunting, and commenting.
10. Best for Engineering – Thames & Kosmos Structural Engineering
Do you have a future engineer on your hands? Engage your child’s mind with this incredible kit!
The Thames and Kosmos Structural Engineering Kit allows children to build twenty different models in order to learn about force, load, compression, tension, and more. The kit comes with just under three-hundred pieces and includes an assembly guide and experiment manual to guide your child throughout the building process.
Your child will be able to live the real life of a structural engineer as they take on the challenges of building bridges, skyscrapers, and more! Be sure to have them take photographs of their journey and then reinvent their instructions without the manual for additional challenges.
11. Best Book – Why Fish Fart: Gross But True Things You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know
OK, it’s not a toy, as such, but this book is awesome STEM fun for 11 year olds! Why Fish Fart: Gross But True Things You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know features facts like how many pounds of insects the average person eats annually, why you shouldn’t eat your boogers, and more!
This book is one hundred forty-four pages and is appropriate for children in grades three through seven.
What to Consider When Buying a STEM Toy for an Eleven-Year-Old
Eleven year-olds are deeply social creatures, who are learning to navigate working together in a team. When selecting toys for them, consider whether or not there is potential for them to work collaboratively with other children their age, as they will appreciate such an opportunity.
As your child’s brain begins to do interesting things thanks to the onset of hormones, their risk aversion will take a nosedive. Consider curbing the potential for accidents by choosing toys that are inherently safe, and therefore risk minimizing.
Although at times it may seem as though your almost teen is “too old” for art projects, they are truly best stimulated by calm, creative projects. Projects like this offer the opportunity for children to unwind and express themselves. Consider options that allow your child to create bracelets, respond through painting and drawing, or weaving on a loom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do eleven-year-olds still play with toys?
Yes! Children this age can be tricky to shop for, though. Because older children have already developed such unique interests and begun fine-tuning their personalities, it is important to choose toys that acknowledge their independent pursuits and blossoming social lives. The best thing you can do is either select toys that are directly aligned to their interests or select toys that can be adapted to suit what matters to them.
What are eleven-year-olds like?
You’re likely having a great time parenting your eleven-year-old as they begin to embrace more adult conversations in tandem with their increasing awareness of the world around them. At this age, you’re probably noticing them developing better decision-making skills, beginning to question authority figures, and forming strong and complex friendships. At this age, your child is likely developing more private thoughts, exhibiting greater responsibility, and lengthening their attention span.
Why should I buy STEM toys?
STEM toys encourage children to learn through exploration. They’ll develop their problem-solving skills by building complex items or devising solutions to unique problems. By ensuring that your child finds enjoyment in STEM pursuits, you are empowering them to pursue STEM and realize that there is no problem too big for them to solve.
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Last update on 2020-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API