I’m excited to share a series of my Gift Guides this year, and we’re starting it off with STEM Toys! This post will be some of our new and classic favorite STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) toys that we have in our home or have tried out through friends. As today is National STEM Day, I thought what better day to kick it off?
In years past, I have done smaller gift guides here on the blog, or none at all. In our home, we do try to stick to the popular rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. STEM toys definitely fall into the category of “want” in my opinion, but I love that they still encourage learning! I also wanted to organize this year’s gift guides by categories, rather than age or gender. Having three kids, both boys and a girl, and various ages (5-9) means I want the toys in our home to be accessible to all these variations, and have staying power – so they get maximum play!
We generally prefer to focus on experiences over things. For example, we like to go to fun holiday events, see Christmas lights and Santa, and gather with family and friends. I feel like a broken record in my posts lately, but like all things this year, it’s different. We aren’t comfortable going out to large gatherings, and we aren’t even sure if we will see our parents or extended family yet this year for the holidays. So in anticipation of spending more time at home, I chose some of these toys to share with you because they saved our sanity during quarantine!
- Fun Forts Fort Building Kit – we just recently got this and haven’t tried it out yet, but my kids are always building forts so I thought why not give them some more tools to make it happen and get creative!
- Classic LEGO Set – I know this seems like an obvious one. But I had this sitting in a closet and I busted it out when the crazies crept in during quarantine. We already had quite a few other LEGO sets that didn’t get played with often. My kids (who were previously completely uninterested in LEGO, suddenly were OBSESSED. They built every single thing from the included instructions, and then all those that were online for this set too! Now, they build all the time and have become quite creative with their own building creatins!
- Crystal Growing Kit – my kids also have become obsessed with crystals lately. This is most likely my influence (as I have gotten into the healing power of crystals myself). But the chemistry of them and watching them grow really is quite fascinating! My 9-year-old loved this set.
- PLUS PLUS – another building obsession around here. PLUS PLUS are all the same exact shape and size of tiny building blocks (that look like two plus signs together), but you can create so many things. I love the sets this size for stocking stuffers! I’ve also linked some other sets in my Amazon Store here if you need more ideas.
- Magna Tiles – Another classic that may seem obvious to some, but it was WAY underrated in my book – until now! Last year I actually got my kids this other brand, MagnaFormers, and my kids have played with them consistently all year. We even brought them on trips with us this summer and they were a hit for all ages. My only complaint is that one set is not as many as it seems. To really be able to get creative, I would suggest multiple sets, which can admittedly get pricey. *UPDATE* here’s another off-brand at a great price to add to your collection!
- KEVA blocks – this was a new one to me, but my friend had these at her house, and my boys (again, even the 9-year-old) played with them for hours! it’s such a simple style of block, but again so multi-functional. And again, these can get a bit pricier, so I also have another brand linked to my Amazon Store here!
- Little Medical School – this is the set you see my kids playing with in the pics! This “How to be a Sports Surgeon” set was gifted to us, so we had to try it out for you in advance of the holidays for you guys. My kids had a blast playing with the real stethoscope and completing the activities that were included in the kit. I thought this pediatrician kit looked fun too!
- Little Passports – Little Passports has kits for all ages! This is a GREAT grandparent gift. Which I can tell you from experience because my parents got my kids each a subscription to this last year for Christmas, and it was another one that saved us during quarantine boredom! The one shown here was what we had for our oldest, but each kid had their own, age-appropriate set and they could do them more or less independently. However, it was fun to work with them and be a part of their STEM learning when they needed help. More Little Passports linked in my Amazon Store!
- Lab Coat – Just a fun essential for any future scientist, and only $12. Also keeps their clothes clean during messy experiments. 😉
- Love Every Block Set – I know, another block set! But we have had so many, and so few that were played with. This is most definitely designed for toddlers, but I hesitantly got it for my bigger kids, just to see. I was surprised how much they loved it and played with kids of all ages with it too!
- The Nugget – I almost feel bad even adding this, because at the moment, it is sold out. I know that the company has had a hard time keeping up with production in this very hard year. But if you’ve been wondering if it’s worth it, I am here to tell you it 100% is! We’ve had ours for a couple of years now and it is by far our most-used toy. Forts happening all the time over here with this thing. Keep your eye on their social media for the next drop date to snag yours!
I do have more STEM Toys in my Amazon store, so be sure to hop on over there if you need some more ideas or even just different options/pricing for those that I suggested above. And I’m also working on some other toy groups in my Amazon store now. I can’t wait to share with you the rest of my gift guides coming soon. There will for sure be one for men (husbands, dads, etc), women (girlfriends, sisters), and then I’ll go from there. Happy holidays friends!
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