Did you know that kids' brains make millions of neural connections each day between the ages of birth to five?
That's why this age is a great time to introduce STEM concepts.
And play-based education has long been accepted as the best way for children to learn.
An easy way to introduce 3-year-olds to STEM concepts is through the toys that they play with. These are some of the best toys on the market that encourage exploration and teach fundamental concepts to toddlers through play.
Best STEM Toys for 3 Year Olds
Botley the Coding Robot teaches children the basics of coding WITHOUT a screen.
No phone app is required to get this little guy working. Instead, it can recognize tiles and other objects that come with it and react accordingly.
For example, the robot will follow a path laid out with white-and-black tiles or move around obstacles. Children can also input commands directly using the small programmer’s remote. This remote is completely screen-less and only has a few simple buttons on it, allowing even young children to take part in the coding fun.
Children can complete many different activities with this 77-piece coding set.
Each activity is designed to help children learn the fundamental aspects of coding and develop their problem-solving skills. Once children are introduced to the basic concept of Botley, they’ll be able to play independently. Unlike some other learning toys for 3-year-olds, this one requires minimal hand-holding.
Can a kid learn addition, subtraction, geometry, balance and other math skills in the bathtub?
You betcha! Even more than that: cause and effect, geometry, multiplication, critical thinking and creativity.
BathBlocks Floating Airport Set taps into two key interests for most toddlers: waterplay and blocks. The blocks are stackable and will stick to each other. The kiddo can build different structures and engage in pretend play with a helicopter, aeroplane, and a tug boat.
As the name suggests, these blocks were made to use in the bathtub. However, they are also an excellent option for outside play, especially if your child has a sandbox. All blocks float so that they can be used near the pool with supervision as well. This is a great learning toy for boys and girls who enjoy using their hands.
If you’re looking for a STEM toy for a girl or boy who loves flowers and building things, this flower studio drill set is a wonderful option. It is designed for children to create colorful designs with the power drill using bolts and plates.
Children will get hands-on experience using a safe power drill as they design picture-worth designs and patterns. This STEM toy also helps children learn to recognize patterns, which is a foundational math skill.
This toy develops children’s hand-eye coordination skills and fine motor skills. Plus, this toy is designed to be used entirely independently. Most 3-year-olds will be able to select a bolt and place it onto the follower board with minimal help.
In all, this studio set comes with a portable flower-board, power drill, 60 bolts, six designer plates, a butterfly clasp, Philips bit, and a flower bit. It also comes with a quick-start guide with directions and some example patterns to help children figure out how to use the drill.
The example patterns don’t have to be strictly followed by any means, but they can be helpful for children who are having a hard time figuring out what to do.
Children learn best through play.
This play cash register helps children learn necessary math skills, like counting, while they’re playing. The buttons, solar-powered calculator, and cash drawer on this toy work. It also comes with accurate USA coins and dollars, which can help children learn currency denominations naturally.
Designed to be used by little hands, this educational toy for toddlers can be used entirely independently while also allowing for group play. It encourages social interaction in groups of children as well as associate play.
This cash register is open-ended, allowing it to be used in whatever play scenario your child dreams up. The opening and closing of the cash drawer as well as the sound effects help keep your child’s attention, while the large buttons will help them recognize their numbers. The calculator actually works!
Even if your three-year-old isn’t ready for addition and subtraction yet, this toy can introduce them to the basic concepts in a play-based environment.
What better STEM toy could you get a toddler than their own microscope? The GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope is a cool toy to introduce children to science.
It is built with little hands in mind; the knobs are chunky, and the eyepieces are extra-large. It can magnify up to 8x and includes an LED light to help viewers see more clearly. The feet are non-skid, and there is a sample try for children to look at.
This STEM toy promotes observation skills and encourages children to explore the world at their own pace. It can be used independently by most 3-year-olds and can magnify anything they put underneath it. This children’s microscope is an easy way to introduce boys and girls to scientific instruments.
Best STEM Toys for Kids Aged 3
We recommend choosing a toy based on your child’s like and abilities. Is your child a little collector? Get the GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope so they can take a closer look at each item in their collection.
Do they love building with blocks? Shape things up a bit with the BathBlocks Ball Run and Waterfall.
Children learn best when they can follow their interests. Choose a few toys you think they’d like and let them get exploring!
If your child is advanced for their age, you should also take a look at our favorite learning toys for 4 year olds.
Last update on 2021-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API