18 STEM Toys You Would Want to Get Right Now
There are many ways to motivate children to study. Many parents still use the carrot and stick method! And while some in exchange for high marks promise to buy their children an iPhone or/and a bicycle (or take it away from them otherwise), other resort to more advanced methods. For example, they buy their kids the STEM-toys, which stimulate the curiosity and the desire to learn more and more about the world around them.
The monthly magazine Wired, which publishes in San Francisco and London, in 2011 released an issue with the article called “The 5 Best Toys of All Time”. According to the article, the best toys of all time are a stick, a box, a rope, a cardboard tube, and the dirt. It sounds like the truth (we all used the sticks we found to dig the soil, didn’t we?). But today we want to narrow the timeframe to the last year and talk about the toys that showed off at that time.Content
- Programming and Coding
- Physics and Chemistry
- Nature and Dinosaurs
- Construction Kits
- Kiri – for would-be polyglots
Today, STEM-education and STEM-entertainment are well known by everyone. The new kits and self-assembly sets are continuously created around the whole world. In pursuit of excellence, the toy manufacturers come up with the things that simply blow off the mind.
Programming and Coding
This robotic ball is equipped with a gyroscope, accelerometer, LED indicators, and features many ways of interaction. It is also the first and the only robot in the world that is controlled by facial expressions. And this is possible because of the Face Drive – a hilarious technology that allows you to control the movement of the robot by merely changing the facial expressions.
The little dude is capable of so many things. For example, it can race, jump over barriers, and go around obstacles. Moreover, you can change the colour of the ball depending on your mood.
This kit could be your first step towards a career as a video game developer. With Bloxels, you can become a writer, an artist, or a game designer and developer of your own unique game. The users attach the Bloxels blocks to the gameboard to create episodes and art for their game.
Then you have to take a picture of the gameboard and upload it to the special application. You can upload up to 169 pictures, which gives you a real opportunity to create a multilevel game and learn the process of creating video games in full.
Little Sophia by Hanson Robotics
Little Sophia is a younger sister of the world famous Sofia (humanoid robot). Her height is only 35 cm, but she can definitely become your best friend and advisor when it comes to coding, STEM, and artificial intelligence.
Little Sofia has a very curious and playful character. Not only can she respond to your orders, but she can actually support a whole conversation.
The robot can walk, talk, sing, play games, and even joke; Sophia the Younger has rich facial expressions and a good memory. If she sees your face once, she will remember it and will be able to recognise it among the others. The users can program her on Python and Blocky.
Currently, Little Sophia is only available for pre-orders, but you can definitely get in the queue and hope for the best!
Connect the whole world to your computer! To do this, you will need Makey Makey and any item that can conduct electricity (such as banana, graphite, plant, or a pet). What can be done? For example, a playdough or graphite controller, a xylophone made from apples, a banana piano, and much more.
The kit offers literally thousands of opportunities to express your creativity. Moreover, it doesn’t require the installation of any software and is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
Make It Real GoldieBlox - DIY Floating LED Cloud Light
Clouds are not always gloomy harbingers of a storm. Sometimes they are bright and fluffy. And the DIY Floating LED Cloud Light will prove it to you. The kit has everything you need to create a wonderful cloud lamp, which will teach you a lot of things and decorate your room at the same time.
You can change the colour and the operation mode of the cloud! The kit includes an LED strip and remote control. There are 13 colours and 3 operation modes. The assembly process is explained in detail in the user manual. The manual also contains interesting facts about the clouds: how they are formed, what kinds of clouds there are, and where the rain comes from.
Mand Labs KIT-1: The All-in-1 STEM Electronics Kit
Mand Labs KIT-1 is your personal portable lab. The kit contains 156 electronic components for more than 54 experiments. The engineers-beginners will have a real opportunity to immerse themselves in electronics and practice the laws of physics as well as create useful devices for the home, exciting games, and a bit of magic.
The kit components are stored in the box that looks more like a toolbox. It is very convenient, and you can take it with you to school or to visit friends-engineers. To make the learning process easy, Mand Labs KIT-1 comes with two detailed tutorials and a collection of nine-hour video tutorials.
Physics and Chemistry
Nowadays, you won't surprise anyone with kits for chemical experiments, but MEL Science worked its wonder. It offers not just the experiments, but the complex scientific projects containing lessons for in-depth learning of physical and chemical phenomena.
Having subscribed to the MEL Chemistry, you will receive a box with the ingredients required for 2-3 experiments each month. And your first package will include a free Starter Pack and the virtual reality glasses that will enable you to attend the unique VR classes.
4M Magnet Science Kit
We all liked to play with the magnets in childhood, didn't we? To make the current generation of children play with them consciously, 4M has created the Magnet Science Kit. It tells children about the power of magnetism caused by the magnetic fields.
The kit offers young researchers to conduct 25 experiments, which are explained in detail in the user manual. The manual also explains how things work: what exactly makes the magnets attract, repel, and do the dozens of other cool stuff.
Boo Bubbles - Steve Spangler Science
The TV-host, writer, and the teacher Steve Spangler created Boo Bubbles – a special set, which allows you to conduct safe experiments with dry ice. The set will enable you to create fog-filled bubbles strong enough to remain intact in your hands, but creating a foggy cloud when burst.
The set tells you about the process of sublimation, during which the dry ice converts into the gaseous state, bypassing the liquid one. You can also experiment with the temperature of the water used to conduct the experiments. The speed of the chemical reaction will depend on this.
Boo Bubbles is a time-tested kit! Steve Spangler has many years of experience in teaching and entertaining kids, so we can't take but measure outcomes of his diligent work. Especially since it's so much fun!
4M Kitchen Science Kit
This kit will turn your kitchen into a chemical laboratory! Explore natural phenomena, electricity, create some lollipops, surprise everyone with disappearing coins, inflate soap bubbles of all kinds of shapes, and do a few more dozens of exciting experiments. There are 33 of them in total.
You will need a few additional ingredients for the experiments, for example, baking soda, water, and food colouring. The user manual contains some interesting facts about each of the experiments: what makes the experiments possible, where in nature this occurs and how this can be useful for humanity.
Nature and Dinosaurs
Discovery Prehistoric SLIMYGLOOP® Dig
In 2019 slimes showed themselves as another popular toy. While the kids were playing, poking, pressing, and squishing them, the parents were getting worried for slimes not to stain their entire homes.
The Discovery Prehistoric SLIMYGLOOP® kit is equally safe for both children and houses. It consists of a special container, digging tools, and two packets of “prehistoric jelly-like mass” with the remains of dinosaurs hidden in it.
The children will have to excavate, and then they will be able to use the bones they found to make two dinosaurs. Moreover, they will have plenty of time to enjoy and play with that very same prehistoric mass.
Engino Green House
Engino Green House is a kit for creating a mini-greenhouse (with the dimensions of 6 x 69 x 37 cm) with a door and a mechanical ventilation system. In addition to the components for the construction of the greenhouse itself, the kit also includes 12 pots for plants, tray, syringe for irrigation, and the manual.
After the greenhouse is harvested and the seeds are planted, the kids will be able to watch them germinate. The kit will introduce you to the gardening: it will tell you about the life cycle of plants, about photosynthesis, and how to create the perfect conditions for growing plants in greenhouses.
Dig a Dozen Dino Eggs Kit
Dig a Dozen Dino Eggs Kit is a kit, which will make every kid feel like a real paleontologist and dig up to 12 dinosaurs (tyrannosaurus, dilophosaurus, ankylosaurus, and many others).
After completing the excavation, the set offers to find the corresponding card with the history of each dinosaur. And of course, not even a single paleontologist can cope without the tools. Dig a Dozen Dino Eggs Kit contains 12 chisels and 12 brushes. The user guide is also included.
K'NEX Thrill Rides T-Rex Fury Roller Coaster Building Set
Can you hide from the formidable T-Rex, cutting through the air on the hill? There is only one way to find out. Assemble the building set, which contains 473 pieces and parts, a track, a coaster car, and dinosaur themed graphics.
After that, you would need to download the K'NEX Ride It! App, which will take your play to a completely new level. You can ride the coaster in virtual reality if the VR Viewer is accessible to you. But not a problem, if not! You can use your smartphone and ride it in 2D.
If the real roller coaster is too far away, why don't you try its demo version at home?
UBTECH JIMU Robot Mythical Series: Firebot Kit
This set will allow you to use your imagination to the fullest and create a light-breathing programmable dragon. For a successful assembly, you will need to download the JIMU application with step-by-step instructions in 3D.
The same app will help you to program the dragon: to teach him different commands and choose the colour of the «fire» he will breathe with (blue or red). The kit also includes two sets of wings with the gear train that makes them move just like the real ones.
Crazy Forts: Original
Building the fortresses from pillows and blankets is a favourite game of many kids. But Crazy Forts: Original takes it to the completely new level, offering unlimited options for creating forts of various shapes and sizes.
The set includes 69 parts: 25 plastic balls and 44 strong sticks. Create a spaceship, crave, princess castle, or a chic mansion, throw a blanket on top of it and start playing and having fun!
CIC Mega Cyborg Hand
The CIC hydraulic mega-arm will make you feel like a cyborg! This self-assembly kit consists of over 2000 parts for creating a large glove, which will imitate the movements of your hands. The robot demonstrates the principle of hydraulic energy.
The hydraulic pistons will allow you to squeeze and unclench your palm, grab and raise objects. The glove can be customised in different ways. You can wear it on your right or left hand, or use it as a claw (then the thumb will be placed in the centre).
Kiri – for would-be polyglots
Kiri is a small wooden cube that teaches children languages. At the moment, it supports English, Spanish, and Chinese, but later in 2020 and beyond the creators plan to add the new languages. Apart from the cube, the kit includes a mode card for choosing the language, cards with the image of animals, flowers, fruits, vegetables, birds, planets, geometric shapes, and much more.
All you have to do is to get the cube and put it close to the mode card. Then you would have to place it close to different cards so that the cube could name what is depicted on them. Kiri is designed on Montessori's principles of repetition, using natural material, focusing on the child, and using all of the senses for learning.
Learning through the play becomes easier with every year! Thanks to the STEM-toys, children no longer need to sacrifice their play time for studying as these toys combine those two things successfully. No wonder why STEM toys have been so successful and popular over the last few decades. While 2019 saw the release of new incredible kits, the old ones were proving their usefulness and uniqueness over and over again.
Stay with Toys4brain, and we will continue to present you to the very best toys from the STEM entertainment world.