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Curious Kids – 6 STEM Toys That Will Inspire Young Minds

Encouraging your kids to develop an interest in STEM is about more than just their future job prospects. While it is true that these fields offer a lot of promise for the young adults of the future, learning about science, technology, engineering, and math is highly beneficial in the present moment too. By bringing educational and inspirational toys into your home, you can create an environment in which learning is fun, hands-on, and engaging. To get started, consider any or all of the STEM toys below. 

1. Medical sets

Kids love role-playing, and one of the first professions they see modeled to them is that of a doctor. For this reason, most children love playing the role of doctor and exploring what it feels like to be the one in charge of the diagnostic set and other medical equipment. 

Nowadays, you can get medical sets for kids that have functional, interactive parts, allowing them to get a real feel for the equipment. This kind of explorative play is great for developing their motor skills and creativity. 

2. Portable microscopes

Though they aren’t exactly toys, pocket microscopes can offer hours of fun to kids and adults alike. They are inexpensive and easy to focus and adjust. Within your home, they allow kids to see what different textures look like under magnification. They can even check your couch for dust mites. 

Portable microscopes are also great in the garden and on walks in nature as you can look at almost anything at 200x magnification or more (depending on the model you choose).

3. Coding games and apps

It’s never too early to introduce your kids to coding. They may not want to be a software developer at the age of five, but the truth is, a person’s career prospects in almost any field can be improved with coding knowledge. 

For kids under five, you can get coding games that allow kids to snap together physical blocks of code to create music. Older kids can transition to apps and video games that bring coding into the gameplay. 

4. Building projects

From simple wooden blocks to complex robot construction kits, building projects are a great way to encourage STEM-related play among kids of all ages. As kids move from simple projects to more and more complex ones, they’ll gain enjoyment from completing tasks and seeing their skills evolve. Whether these projects end up being the catalyst for a career in engineering or not, your children will have honed some important skills and habits that will be beneficial in all aspects of adult life.  

5. Science kits

National Geographic and other brands offer ready-made science kits that come with everything your child needs to conduct their own experiments. Kids can grow their own crystals, dig up fossils, create colorful slime, and endless other projects. 

6. Fort construction kits

While the beauty of a blanket fort should never be diminished, fort construction kits allow kids to develop analytical and abstract thinking skills as they figure out how to apply the instructions into the physical pieces. Working basically like a large 3D puzzle, these kits have a tantalizing payoff at the end – getting to play in the fort. Even if your kids never move into science, technology, math, or engineering, they will at least be masters at putting together Ikea furniture. 

 

Toys are made for fun, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be educational at the same time. In fact, by blending learning with play, you can help your kids develop a love for gaining knowledge that will serve them well throughout their lives. 

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