Look, I'm all about stuffed cute animals, but after having a million of them—not exaggerating—around the house, I realized it was time to start looking for some new toys for my son. Especially ones that would teach him something as he played. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) toys are a huge trend right now, so thankfully I didn't need to do that much digging online. You can start when they are toddlers and go all the way up to keeping them engaged as teenagers. And there are all kinds of toys, from coding and creating computers to interactive buddies they can carry around with them.
Initially I thought STEM toys just meant batteries and lights, but let me tell you, I was wrong. So I decided to compile my favorites for all ages.
Here are some of my favorite toys that teach him something new:
Meet Codi, your kid's new best friend. Codi is a little interactive robot -with no screens- that teaches little ones stories, songs and random facts he learns every day. His ears and antenna change color as he speaks, keeping children engaged. Also he's adorable and my son loves dressing him up as a unicorn and bringing him everywhere.
There's an app for parents to filter content. So let's say you don't like a story Codi read your kid, you can ban it from being read again. There are also no ads, so you don't have to worry that your child is being exposed to inappropriate content.
Bonus: you can change Codi's clothes and dress him up as your kid's favorite animal.
Ages: 12 months+
This dozen eggs will teach little ones color recognition as well as get them started on numbers. The eggs are super cute and will allow for hours of simple entertainment. They all come in a case which -as a mom in a tiny apartment- I really appreciate because you can keep them all contained when not playing with them.
Ages: 18 months+
This brings back a little old school fun: stacking dominos to make a little circuit that you could then knock over in seconds. However, this set is way more advanced that what we used to play with! It includes colorful domino pieces, of course, but it also comes with a bridge, a bell and a ton of tricks for your children to discover.
It helps kids develop spatial thinking abilities, three dimensional thinking and might set them up for a successful engineering career in the future. Also, it's fun to have timed races!
This one is good for the entire family! This keyboard -along with an app on your phone or iPad- teaches you how to play the piano. The keys on the piano light up, indicating which one you need to hit next to follow the tune. With enough practice your family (or maybe just your kids) will be ready for a private concert!
Ages: All ages!
If your kid is obsessed with rocks and gems like my nephews are, this kit is going to be a hit! It has easy to follow instructions and you can grow eight crystals at home. The set also comes with a display so they can show off their creations in their room or school. The set also comes with a lot of information about crystals and rock, for your kids to keep learning about them while their own set grows.
This kit teaches you how to build your own computer and they claim anyone can do it. It's a great way to start your kids into computer science if that's their jam! The kit allows you to be inspired by giving you over 700,000 options of what to build, so it's endless entertainment and nurtures curiosity.
Another great kit to keep kids entertained for days. With this one you can build up to 12 different robots from the same kit. It comes with blue prints to follow and all the parts you'll need, like gears, plates, tires and shafts. It helps children develop their logical skills and also a bit of imagination. Plus you can name each robot version and have them be part of your family for a week or two.
This little tool set is ideal for toddlers, it invites role playing which is a huge part on learning how to do things. The truck comes with screws, wrenches, hammers and everything your kid will need to pretend to be working on building something. All the parts come inside a truck that can also be used as a toy itself, with its own little driver. All the parts are safe for two-year-olds and up and will keep them busy while you are doing things around the house, win-win!
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