Best STEM Gifts for Kids of Every Age in 2023
Are you looking for a gift for your kids that you want to end up at the back of a cluttered, dusty closet? Perhaps something they’ll use just once or twice? Or maybe something that won’t even make it out of the packaging?
No way, right?!
If you want to spark the imagination of your kids and help them hone the tech skills they’ll need as adults, check out this list of the ideal STEM toys. Not only will these toys elicit wide eyes and squeals of joy upon opening, but they’ll also be the ones they return to play with for weeks, months, and even years down the line.
“A lot of your child’s time is outside of the classroom and outside of formal learning environments,” says Morgan Hynes, the deputy director of Inspire and a professor of engineering education at Purdue. “It might just be at home playing with toys.”
While not all play has to be focused on learning—though experts agree any kind of play benefits children’s development—some toys combine delight and STEM basics. Playing with these promotes fundamental skills that can help children approach mathematical or engineering tasks later in life. For instance, building blocks boost spatial awareness and their understanding of how objects influence one another in the physical world. Other toys promote creative thinking, brainstorming solutions or trial and error.
Hynes encourages parents to play along with their kids. Whether by walking children through the extra challenges in a game’s manual or discussing what future careers use similar skills, parents can enhance the toys’ educational power. And they just might have a good time while doing it.
Below are the helpful guidelines as you’re doing your holiday shopping this year to help you decide what toys are right for your love at different ages.
4 to 6 Years: Remote Control Coding Robot Kit
There's a tremendous explosion in learning ability at this age, and it's a good time to introduce interactive educational toys that teach math and verbal skills. mTiny will be a perfect fit for it. Fun interactions motivate kids to progress mTiny has an adorable look, more than 10 pre-set emotions, and hundreds of sound effects.
Makeblock mTiny is a robot toy designed based on the theory of multiple intelligences for early childhood. It is ready to use out of the box. Kids start controlling the robot with the tap pen controller and use a few coding cards to make music, code, and draw. mTiny robot makes the easiest way for preschoolers to learn coding and mathematical thinking through themed maps, storybooks, game cards, and coding cards. It guides and encourages children to observe, discover and think in games, and motivates them to progress in their own way.
6 to 8 Years: Coding Toy Robot
Your child is gradually developing their own interests now. Friends are becoming increasingly important, and your child will start asking for a particular toy (if they haven't already) because "everyone else has it." At this age, kids often become huge fans of computer games, but they also enjoy having friends over to play sports and board games and build things.
Codey Rokey is an easy-to-use interactive robot toy for beginners to learn robotics and programming. Kids can start playing and programming right out of the box - no building required. Codey Rocky is compatible with LEGO bricks, and kids can create new models using bricks or 3D printing, or laser cutting parts, boosting kids' imagination and creativity. Check out what parents say:
8 to 12 Years: STEM Programmable Robotics Kit
Kids this age gradually acquire adult-like interests, abilities, and hobbies and may develop a particular passion. Many of them enjoy creating and studying things. "These years are all about doing things that give kids a sense of mastery and competence," says Szymanski. They are also increasingly able to work on longer projects, some of which might take days to complete.
Try mBot Neo: as a next-generation STEAM education robot for kids, it is designed to carry out interactive and innovative learning that is engaging, fun, and reflects real-world applications with cutting-edge technologies. Compared to mTiny and Codey Rocky, mBot is more challenging and can bring kids a stronger sense of accomplishment.
Also Check mBot Mega: As a robot car toy with mecanum wheels and App remote control, Mega enables school kids to play indoors and outdoors. This programmable robot toy allows school kids to learn coding (block-based coding, Arduino and Python), electronics, and robotics with endless fun. It is also a fun-filled electronic learning kit for cultivating computational and engineering thinking.
Based on Mega AT2560, it has a strong motor-driving ability that can connect to up to 10 servos, 8 DC motors, or 4 stepper motors at the same time. It also supports Arduino IDE and Scratch with a detailed construction guide. With 3 preset modes for an easy start and easy assembly, this is a great learning & educational toy gift for kids and adults as well.
Age12+: Smart Robotic Kit Device Designed for Teens
Your child is a child because he is still a minor, but he faces a stage of great changes that will lead to coming of age; The changes range from the most obvious aspects (physical, social, intellectual, ..) to hormonal development and brain maturation. Unless you have indications that they may have a serious problem, you should not interfere; You are still a family but the contribution of adolescents changes compared to previous stages.
Get your kid a mBot Ultimate, and he or she would be immersed in it. This robot-building kit has more than 160 mechanical parts and electronic modules which can be used to build kids’ own robots for different robotics projects. It also provides 26 cases and activities that help your teens to use, learn and create independently. As a 10-in-1 robot-building kit for various robotics, STEM, and Arduino robot projects, it features ten robot modes to build and ten App-enabled modes to remote control play. mBot Ultimate is compatible with Raspberry Pi and Arduino Sensors. Students and professionals can unleash creativity with this versatile robotics kit.
The Perfect Toy For Every Age: You
A baby staring at a mobile; a toddler stacking blocks; a pre-schooler painting with watercolors — all are activities that can be done independently.
But don't underestimate your role. After all, it's you who put up the mobile, turned it on, and encouraged your baby to follow. It's you who first showed your baby how to stack those blocks. And when you sit side-by-side with your kids and paint, color, or read a story, you give them the attention they need to build their self-esteem and feel loved and secure.
Toys are a tool to help kids develop, but it's parents who nurture that growth.