Related post: Ultimate Guide to the Best STEM Toys
What is STEM?
Previously known as SMET, STEM is a term used to group together academic disciplines. It's typically used for education policy and curriculum choices in schools, but has entered the general public's vocabulary as skills in these areas are increasingly recognized as being important.
What are STEM Toys?
The best STEM toys definition is “learning toys designed with an educational angle targeting STEM skills.”
STEM toys are dynamic toys that allow for experimentation, all while pushing your kid to use their critical thinking and imagination skills to find solutions. They make cause-and-effect an exciting endeavor and, therefore, help children discover their talents and hone their skills early on.
STEM Toys Meaning
STEM toys focus on science, engineering, technology, and math, which promotes education, learning, and curiosity in children. As with any class of toys, there’s a wide range of STEM toys out there. Some focus on mechanics, others on chemistry or coding.
The most important thing to remember about STEM toys is that they are excellent ways to underscore the importance of education and learning to your kid in an enjoyable and accessible way. After all, kids don't even realize that they’re learning when they’re having fun.
STEM Toy Types
While STEM toys can be easily categorized according to their subject, there’s plenty of overlap, which makes classification a little difficult. Let's take a look at the different STEM toys available to know the difference:
Electronic STEM toys challenge kids to install circuity that powers a device. Some of the units contain all the essential accessories, while others include everyday objects like light bulbs and soda cans.
Building STEM toys introduce kids to architecture and engineering. They promote open-ended play since children can either put together their own creation or follow instructions to create a model.
Robotic STEM toys help kids create robots of their own. They can be as basic as one-dimensional robots that spin or walk, or as sophisticated as fully-fledged interactive toys. Some kids may need adult help with these toys.
Coding STEM toys encourage an interest in programming. Kids practice coding to breathe life into a device like a robot and also see how precision and accuracy in technology have a positive impact on common objects.
Biology toys cover a wide area—they explore the human body, plants, animals, and ecosystems. Apart from examination, experiments and data gathering, biology STEM toys normally involve activities with long-term environmental impact, like planting trees or setting up butterfly gardens.
Astronomy STEM toys focus on learning all about space. They study planets, constellations and the universe via scale models and telescopes. These toys challenge children to learn about the universe by asking as many questions as possible.
These are chemistry-inspired STEM toys that are geared towards experiments, so this is a great choice if your kid is intrigued by cause-and-effect situations. They may involve simple chemical experiments or kitchen science.
STEM toys are not all about fun and games but also about learning. They are designed to increase children’s interest in different aspects of engineering, science, math or anything else that involves technology. Considering how technologically-oriented the world is turning into, there’s no better time for children to begin playing and develop lifelong skills that will make their academic and professional lives a roaring success.