STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM toys have been developed with these concepts and topics in mind, helping to teach young minds about these subjects through play to sparking interest from a young age.
This type of toy helps entertain and engage young children by introducing STEM topics through play and helps to build and develop a wide range of essential developmental skills – from fine motor skills to cognition, creative thinking, problem-solving, and more. They’re perfect for helping speed your little one’s development along, being a great companion or developmental spurts as they grow.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the significant benefits that STEM toys offer, giving a six-point list of why – if you haven’t already – you should invest in STEM toys for your little one, getting them prepared for school and later life ahead.
So, without any further ado – here are our six benefits that STEM toys offer young children.
6 STEM toy benefits for young children
Here are our picks of the six main benefits of STEM toys for younger children and why – in our view at least – these types of toys are some of the best around.
They offer plenty of developmental and educational benefits – far more so than other types of toys – for you and your little ones to enjoy together, making them an essential part of growing up.
As we point out in our list, there are also plenty to choose from – with everything from dinosaur toys, to construction and building kits, or even arts and crafts activities – STEM toys are some of the best, more entertaining on the market.
1. They show your child that STEM doesn’t have to be hard
One of the biggest misconceptions about STEM – and something which prevents so many from enjoying these topics – is that they’re believed by many to be too hard.
Introducing STEM to your children through play will do more to dispel this misconception than anything else, giving them the self-confidence to pursue whichever interests they have without the fear that they might be too difficult or hard.
And it’s not just giving them the confidence to pursue STEM either. Once they know that these topics don’t have to be hard, this will give your children greater confidence in anything they decide to do, reinforcing self-believe in their abilities to achieve whatever they set out to do later in life.
2. They introduce your little one to STEM subjects early
Using toys is a great way to introduce young children to the concept and topic of STEM, offering a fun, easy way for them to learn through play and experience.
And you don’t have to wait too long either – there are plenty of great STEM toys to choose from, many of which are suitable for kids ages 3+ years, so start early!
Whatever the topic – maths, geometry, paleontology, or even space – STEM toys help make these topics and subjects approachable, introducing them to your little one in a fun, easily digestible way. This makes it easy for your little one to get into these subjects and start building a keen interest without being or feeling intimidated.
3. They can help teach and develop problem-solving skills
STEM toys – as the name implies – are all about learning and development, whether cognitive, fine motor skills, or even just helping to get your little ones thinking for themselves, problem-solving their way through play.
These toys encourage children to think independently, forcing them to use their intelligence to find solutions to problems to overcome them and promote cognitive development. This ability – to think independently – is an essential skill and one that will have a massive impact on your little one all the way into later life.
If you’re looking specifically for toys that help with problem-solving, you’ll want to pick out those that take the form of a game to be won through solving a problem. These could be things like dinosaur games, puzzles, or craft kits, all of which require some degree of skill to complete.
4. They can make learning more fun and interactive
The best way to get your kids learning is to make it fun and interactive – something that STEM toys can help make easy, as this is precisely what these types of toys are design for.
When you incorporate such toys into regular play, you’ll be able to effortlessly teach your little one about a wide range of topics and subjects while at the same time having great fun as you bond with your child.
Making learning fun – as cliché as it might sound – is fundamental to parenting, being the best way to introduce new ideas and concepts to your child, helping them to develop through play. Whichever toys you opt for – whether these are building intricate, complex structures from LEGOs or other construction toys to gadgets, craft kits, or interactive experiences – STEM-focused play is always fun for all the family.
5. They can help encourage creativity and enhance critical thinking
Almost all STEM toys require some creative thinking, with them being explicitly designed to encourage young children to think imaginatively, arriving at solutions through problem-solving while at the same time having fun. This benefit makes these toys essential to child development at various stages, starting from early development all the way through to late childhood.
Through play, children will often come up with their own fascinating solutions and ideas when creatively solving problems – something that other toys simply don’t offer. This sort of creativity and ability to devise imaginative, unique solutions to problems is something that will significantly impact their creative and critical thinking abilities – skills that may give your little one a distinct edge over their peers.
The developmental benefits of STEM toys are vast. No other toys offer as much when it comes to cognitive development, critical thinking, and creativity. This makes them a must-have addition to any child’s dinosaur toy box, from as early as three years and up.
6. They can build and improve fine motor and co-ordination skills
Many parents think that STEM toys are all about benefiting the mind – however, they’re just as good at helping your little one develop their fine motor and co-ordination skills as they are at cognitive development.
This obviously depends on the type of toys you choose, though. For example, building and construction sets like LEGO dinosaurs, build-your-own clay dinosaur kits, or dinosaur puzzles – these require a certain amount of dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination to put together, helping your child develop and strengthen these skills.
This is one of the best reasons to get your little one into science-focused toys early on, as they’ll do a lot to help support developmental spurts. Doing so will ensure that your child hits all those crucial milestones early, given them an advantage over the other kids on the playground once they reach school age.
Well, there you have it, our picks of six of the best benefits that STEM toys have to offer to young children. These toys help introduce several science and maths topics, which are hugely beneficial to kids as they develop, helping them learn and grow through play.
And it isn’t all about science, maths, and technology either. These toys require creative thinking and problem-solving, which can help your child in numerous other pursuits, whether artistic, music, or other creative activities and pastimes. In fact, their somewhat limitless nature is perhaps the most appealing thing about STEM toys.
We hope that you found this article useful, and that if you haven’t already, go out and pick up plenty of great STEM toys for your little one to get their teeth into, you won’t regret it.