Finding the perfect gift for the kids in your life can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to find something they’ll find fun and exciting; on the other hand, you want a gift that’s meaningful and educational. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to choose?
STEM (or STEAM) toys are perfect for bridging the gap between learning and fun! Toys focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM!) concepts make great, quality gifts for all ages. As a homeschool mom to three boys, creating a fun learning environment where our sons can explore and play while still being productive is essential. I have seen our boys grow in their relationships with one another and with us as they play and share their interests.
Our family has many of the gifts I share below, and they have been used time and time again. I’ve done the homework for you: all the toys on this list have an educational twist, inspiring creativity and learning through play!
Gifts for Littles (3 & under)
With my two older sons, there is no guessing what is on their wish lists for that special occasion or holiday. However, my 2-year-old is a different story, as we are still discovering his interests. These are a few of his favorite STEM toys!
This 8-in-1 toy box combines eight educational games and puzzles for your small tinkerer. It will keep them busy sorting and discovering while still keeping it simple. It’s also a great toy to do with an older sibling. For the cherry on the cake, it has its own storage box that holds all of the pieces! Brilliant!
Help your little engineer build and create in the tub! With this colorful set of 13 pipes and gears, this bath toy will keep your little ones learning while keeping that water contained. Your only challenge will be getting your child out of the tub!
Calling all chefs! This adorable yet simple food set will help strengthen those fine motor skills while your little one prepares their favorite dish. Each slice of fruit makes a fun, crunchy sound that my son always loves. Melissa & Doug is a staple in the toy industry, and this fruit set is an all-time favorite that sparks the imagination.
Gifts for Discoverers (Ages 3-5)
This is such a fun stage of childhood where interests become more known! Seeing my boys begin to take a genuine interest in something has brought so much joy as they discover more about who they are and what they love.
Snap Circuits was one of the first STEM toys gifted to us, and it has grown with my kids. You can begin with this Junior Snap Circuit set and add a more advanced circuit as your child grows. It’is a hit in our home, and I know it will always make a great gift!
Who knew mini puzzle pieces could be so fascinating?! Calling all of our STEAM artists! Enjoy this 240-piece miniature puzzle set and create mosaics, towers, or 3-D structures. Bring your ideas to life!
Ready, Set, Build! There is a reason why magnetic tiles are extremely popular and have been at the top of STEM toy lists for some time. Your little architect will amaze you with the constructions they will create. What I love about this gift is whether you have a 3-year-old or 9-year-old, magnetic tiles will grow with your children and are a toy everyone in your family will enjoy.
Gifts for Explorers (Ages 6-9)
Indirect learning is something I want to create in our home, especially when it comes to science. As a parent, grandparents, or friends, we can provide the tools and resources that allow our kids to explore independently.
Let’s Explore! If you’re looking for a unique gift, this award-winning brain toy science kit will provide endless experiments and projects. It includes everything from creating spin art and drawing with a robot to understanding the basic principles of engineering and physics, such as air pressure, centrifugal force, and motion transmission. With this science kit, you can count on endless fun.
This digital microscope is a personal favorite in our home. We have taken our microscope to the park, to the beach, and even the lake in our grandparent’s backyard. Everyone can enjoy looking and discovering together simultaneously on the digital screen.
We love a toy that creates an EXPERIENCE! You will definitely create a BIG ONE with a telescope! You can experience this right from your driveway or bring along on your next camping trip. Our telescope has brought about so much fun and learning in our home. Besides, who gets bored looking at space?!
Gifts for Achievers (Ages 9+)
Are you up for the challenge? At this age, doing more complex projects that call for an adult’s help can help create special memories for your family.
Here is a GREAT option where adults and other family members can also be a part of the fun! Our family enjoyed helping our oldest son build his very own robotic hand. It was a show-n-tell hit at school and inspired many of his friends.
Legos are great for every age, but have you heard of LEGO Technic? Bring your Lego play to a whole other level for the more advanced builder. From building a monster truck to a forklift to a race car, these challenging builds are packed with details for kids to discover.
Take me back…to the classics! These never go out of style and are, in fact, trending again. Give the gift of chess with the Super Mario Collector’s Edition, or go with the Rubik’s Cube for your puzzlers that love a good brain teaser. You can never go wrong with a classic.
Time to shop
No more second-guessing as you shop for others this holiday season. Enjoy giving the gift of creativity while creating joy for learning because you can’t go wrong with a STEM toy. ‘Tis the season for all the gift ideas for moms, babies, and kids – we’ve got you covered!