Looking to add STEM toys for kids into your mix? Look no further! Here are my favorite STEM toys for kids that you can add to your collection. Embed math and science into your every day!
Did you know that early math practice is linked to later success?
It’s true! And lucky us!
We have the chance to take full advantage of this discovery with our early learners by providing intentional math toys to help prompt learning through play.
What are STEM Toys?
STEM learning stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. There is a similar acronym, STEAM, where the A stands for Art. Together, they inspire meaningful learning opportunities.
Inviting children to explore the best math toys will help them understand STEM learning more deeply.
Don’t be fooled into believing that toys that light up and include the latest technology are necessarily better for our children.
You can read the Guiding Principles for the Use of Technology by the Department of Education. Let’s start early learners with these math toys that promote inquiry-based learning.
The Best Toys for Kids
Choosing the best toy for kids can be a daunting task.
Here are the BEST toys for kids of every age and stage.
How Math Toys Help Child Development:
- Learn by doing
- Practice measurement
- Support number sense
Let’s introduce this thinking in the early years!
Remember, these are not math toys suggested by the latest toy company. These are the best math toys suggested by an educator and mom to three.
These toys help children connect important math concepts and deepen inquiry-based learning.
STEM and Math Toys for Kids
Days with Grey participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
Remember Tetris? This is a great quiet time activity or time together. This collection has 72 pieces and different puzzles perfect for teaching problem-solving and patterning activities. This is also an excellent math brain game for spatial awareness and is great for kids.
The Genius Square
We love The Genius Square! Roll the dice and place the placeholders. Next, race to see who can use the pieces to fill in the empty spots first. SO GOOD!
The Genius Gems
Meet the sister to The Genius Square, The Genius Gems.
Fun Family Chess
My husband taught the boys how to play chess, and I love overhearing their strategy. It took my youngest some time to understand the game, but once he did, he took off. This first Chessboard for families makes a great introduction to the game.
This is a new toy for us and was recommended by my dear friend. Kids that love coding will have fun with Botley 2.0.
Challenge your friends and family with Buildzi. Each person starts with the same challenge. It takes patience and a steady hand to win.
These magnets help pass the time as children better understand what is magnetic. Keep this magnet on the fridge, and invite your child to explore with it around the house. The extras in this pack make great gifts for family and friends!
The boys enjoy putting together magnetic maps. We chat about state names and potential places to visit as they construct. Cue up the song Fifty Nifty, and you have planned your afternoon.
Learn to Tell Time Clock
In a world of Apple watches and digital clocks, I realized my children did not understand how to tell time. Now we have this clock in the playroom to begin talking about differently than reading the oven clock. (one can try, right?)
If your child digs the horseshoe magnet, keep the discovery going with this magnetic mover set.
The older two kids tinker and discuss how to put the robot together. My seven-year-old reads the directions, and my five-year-old helps to assemble the parts and pieces. My boys play with this for hours! This is a great STEM activity for big kids.
We first discovered Plus Plus a couple of years ago, and my boys have been attached ever since. We have used them to measure lines, color sort, and transform them into the most creative objects. Every time my boys pick up this math toy, the execution is different. – A HUGE perk of open-ended play.
These Picasso Tiles are a true gem! We consistently play with them at home and take them on road trips. Picasso Tiles are treasured at our house for manipulating shapes and forming creative sculptures during imaginary play.
Crystal Growing Lab
Wow, this was super exciting for my boys to make and observe. Begin by mixing the solution in hot water, then wait and watch your crystals grow. Such a thrilling STEM activity for home!
Transparent Geometric Shapes
This was on my son’s Christmas list last year, and they help support conversations about what makes a three-dimensional shape. Examine these on the light table or in your hand. The best part? The box reminds you of all formal names so you can correctly share without a frantic Google search as your child asks.
Wooden Geometric Shapes
Get creative and paint these geometric shapes as you talk about the sides and corners. Try and see which shapes stack and which shapes will roll. This is a classic assortment that will go with your neutral home. Great looking option for minimalists!
Wooden Pattern Block Set
What I appreciate most about this set is that you can use the pattern blocks with or without picture cards.
Pattern Blocks (Next Level)
These pattern blocks have smaller picture cards. They are great for children who have played around with pattern blocks in the past and already understand how the shapes fit together.
Geometric Shapes Building Set
A big math conversation in grade school centers on identifying sides and vertices (corners). Here, your child can spend time building the shapes they already have in the geometric sets shown above or creating their own. This is an excellent math toy to discover straight and curved lines and how they come together to make a completely closed shape. The Math Common Core also asks children to model shapes in the world by building shapes from components. You can begin to practice this skill at home with this math toy!
Counting and Sorting Bears
I do love these little bears for our 3+ crowd! These bears can be counted, sorted, used for measuring, and even pretend play. See our full list of counting bear play ideas.
Did anyone put these on their wish list? Probably not. However, they make an excellent resource when children begin to understand groups of numbers and what it looks like to make 100. This is the math toy you didn’t know you needed. (I’ve got you)
Remember, having high-quality, open-ended STEM toys inspires thinking in self-guided play.
Let our early learners explore the concepts before reading about them in a textbook or worksheet!
Search for math toys your child can touch, move, and manipulate.
More Toy Lists for Kids
Frequently Asked Questions
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These toys enhance learning and allow children to learn by doing. STEM toys encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, manipulating pieces, planning, testing ideas, and working through a problem. When choosing a STEM toy, remember that good STEM toys may not include technology but encourage hands-on learning.
The best STEM toy for kids is the ones that captivate your child’s interest. Some toys are as simple as Legos, and others may include coding robots. Remember, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math can help you choose the best toy for kids.
You don’t! There are a variety of toys on this list. Some toys have less of a need for technology than others. Don’t underestimate a less techy toy. We want to look for toys our children can use that match their interests and encourage thinking.