STEM toys are becoming increasingly popular as a fun and interactive way to introduce children to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
For toddlers, the best STEM toys are those that:
- Combine engaging play with age-appropriate challenges for your child’s developmental stage
- Use good quality materials, ensuring they are safe, durable, and non-toxic
- Provide varied, open-ended play options that can grow with your child’s imagination
To help you find the best STEM toys for your kids, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing various toys over the years with our own children.
Here we’ve gathered a list of the best STEM toys for toddlers that will encourage their curiosity and creativity while having tons of fun!
The best STEM toys for toddlers at a glance
- VIAHART Brain Flakes Construction Toys… best value for money
- Picasso Magnetic Building Tiles… best magnetic tiles
- ETI Toys Construction Set… best construction toy
- Hieoby Montessori Building Blocks… best montessori toy
Want a deep-dive on each of these best STEM toys? Read on!
VIAHART Brain Flakes are a great toy for kids who love to build and create. They’re fun, educational, and can be used to build all sorts of things, from simple shapes to complex structures.
- Fun and creative
- Encourages spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills
- Good value for the price
- Durable and safe
- Some models can be difficult for younger children to build
- Only having one shape can limit the way you can use them
Overall, I think VIAHART Brain Flakes are a great toy for kids of all ages. Our six-year-old loved this kind of toy as a toddler because they’re fun, educational, and can be used to build all sorts of things.
There are endless design possibilities that help introduce toddlers to spatial reasoning and engineering skills and I would definitely recommend them to any kid who loves to build and create.
Picasso Magnetic Tiles are a great open-ended STEM toy for kids of all ages. They are well-made, durable, and provide endless hours of creative entertainment.
- Durable and well-made
- Provides endless hours of creative entertainment
- Helps to develop fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and spatial reasoning skills
- Great for individual play or group play
- Magnetic shapes can pinch little fingers if too strong
- Building options are limited unless you buy multiple sets
Both our kids love playing with magnetic tiles, our six-year-old daughter can often spend an hour or more peacefully playing with the (many) sets we have built up over the years.
There are a number of magnetic tile brands these days, but Picasso’s tiles have tens of thousands of positive reviews and are the best sellers on Amazon for a reason.
This educational building block set is a great toy for young children who love to build and create. It’s sturdy, well-made, and comes with a variety of pieces that allow kids to build all sorts of things.
- Durable and well-made
- Variety of pieces to choose from
- Encourages creativity and problem-solving skills
- Good value for the price
- Cool clicking sound with the wrench!
- The set can be bulky and take up a lot of space
- Some users have reported that the pieces can be difficult to fit together
Overall, this ETI Toys construction set is a great toy for young children who love to build and create.
Our kids have got a lot of use out of these blocks which remind us of using Meccano as kids. These are definitely a bit more toddler-friendly though.
They are durable, well-made, and come with a variety of pieces that allow kids to build all sorts of things.
It’s a great way to encourage your child’s creativity and problem-solving skills. I would just be sure to supervise younger children when they’re playing with it, as they may find it difficult to get used to at firs.
These brightly colored blocks are fantastic for toddlers’ STEM development and imaginative play, although small parts may pose a challenge for younger kids.
- Develops fine motor skills and problem-solving
- Encourages creativity and color recognition
- Comes with a convenient storage bag
- Small parts may not be suitable for very young children
- Requires parental supervision for safety
- Limited design options compared to other sets
Hieoby Montessori Building Blocks offer an excellent opportunity for learning and hands-on exploration.
The various bright colors and shapes help develop fine motor skills, color recognition, and problem-solving abilities while allowing for creative play.
What immediately caught our attention was the fact that these blocks come with a handy storage bag, making them easy to put away and take along for on-the-go fun.
This feature teaches our child the importance of tidying up after playtime and makes transporting the toy a breeze.
Overall, the Hieoby Montessori Building Blocks are a valuable addition to any toddler’s toy collection, especially for those looking for STEM-focused activities.
This wooden tool set is a fun and engaging option for young kids curious about STEM, but some elements could be improved upon.
- Encourages STEM and Montessori learning
- 3-in-1 toolbox design (bench, storage, and carrying box)
- High-quality solid wooden materials
- Some pieces are not wooden
- Difficult to build specific creations
- Smaller size than expected
Hieoby’s Wooden Tool Set is a fantastic addition to any toddler’s toy collection. The 29-piece set comes with various tools like a hammer, wrench, saw, and screwdriver, allowing little ones to explore and engage in fun construction play.
One aspect I like is that this toy encourages both STEM and Montessori learning.
Kids can improve their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities while playing with the colorful wooden tools. It’s great for children aged 2 to 6, making it a versatile and engaging option.
The 3-in-1 toolbox design adds to the toy’s charm and practicality.
The box can be flipped over to serve as a workbench, encouraging role-playing and enhancing the child’s experience. Adding the handle turns it into a carrying case, making transportation a breeze.
When playtime is over, the toolbox acts as storage, promoting tidiness and organization.
However, we noticed that not all pieces in the set are wooden.
This detracts from the overall aesthetic and durability the wooden components offer. In addition, it’s not easy to build specific creations with the available pieces, which might limit a child’s imagination during playtime.
The size of the set is also smaller than we initially assumed, making it a less-than-impressive gift upon first glance.
Despite its drawbacks, the Hieoby Wooden Tool Set remains an enjoyable and educational toy for young children interested in construction and STEM-based play.
The USATDD Counting Animal Matching Games set is the ideal choice for parents and educators looking to help toddlers develop essential STEM skills in a fun and engaging way.
- Entertaining and education-focused
- Durable and washable rubber material
- Suitable for a wide age range (3-6 years)
- Size of animals may be small for younger children
- Tweezers may be challenging for some toddlers
- Limited in complexity for older children
The USATDD Counting Animal Matching Games set offers a variety of activities, such as color recognition, sorting, counting, and early math skills, that keeps young ones entertained for hours.
The inclusion of vibrant rainbow-colored animals and bowls makes learning even more enjoyable for them.
One thing we should mention is that the animals in this set are a bit small, which could be a concern for younger children. However, this can also serve to help them enhance their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Tweezers can be challenging for some toddlers, but they are great for developing fine motor skills in those who are ready for this activity.
One small issue we noticed is that, while it is suitable for a wide age range, older children might find the activities too simplistic. However, we would still recommend the USATDD Counting Animal Matching Games as one of the best STEM toys for toddlers.
The BigShu Magnetic Blocks are a fun and engaging STEM toy that we believe will spark creativity and learning in toddlers aged 3 years and up.
- High-quality and safe materials
- Encourages creativity and spatial awareness
- Suitable for a wide range of ages
- Unique spin on popular magnetic toys
- Larger size might make storage a challenge
- Might not be as durable as other similar toys
- Limited variety in block types
I love the bright colors and building possibilities offered by the 48 blocks included in this STEM skills set.
Safety-wise, the larger size of the blocks mean that accidental swallowing shouldn’t be an issue and the ABS material is sturdy.
These toys help toddlers develop a sense of space, as they can effortlessly transition from creating 2D to 3D structures.
The BigShu Magnetic Blocks are ideal for parent-child bonding time or even just a solo play session for your little one.
The larger size of the blocks might make storage a bit of a challenge, and the plastic material could be slightly less durable than other similar toys on the market.
But on the whole, the BigShu Magnetic Blocks are an engaging STEM toy that will provide hours of educational entertainment for your toddler. While they may have a few minor flaws, the building possibilities, safety, and creative potential make these magnetic blocks a worthy addition to your child’s toy collection.
These BigShu 48PCS Wooden Stacking Building Blocks are a fantastic, engaging choice for children looking to learn and have fun.
- Wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes
- High-quality, safe materials
- Educational and promotes creativity
- Stones are smaller than expected
- Might be difficult to stack for some toddlers
BigShu’s Wooden Stacking Building Blocks stimulate creativity and keep toddlers engaged in building different towers, letters, animals, and other shapes.
As a Montessori toy for toddlers, it’s perfect for learning about balance, colors, and shapes.
Safety is always a significant concern with toys for younger children, and we like that these blocks were made from high-quality wood and painted with non-toxic paint. The smooth, burr-free surface makes sure these blocks are safe for little hands to play with.
I noticed that some of the stones were smaller than expected. This might create a slight challenge for some toddlers when trying to grasp and stack them. Also, the age recommendation on the packaging is inconsistent, stating both “suitable for 1 year and up” and “not for children under 3 years.” This discrepancy is worth considering when selecting a toy for younger children.
Overall, these Wooden Stacking Building Blocks from BigShu are an engaging and educational toy. With their variety and high-quality materials, they make a perfect gift for children interested in learning while having fun.
This educational STEM toy makes an excellent choice for encouraging creativity and learning in young children.
- High-quality, eco-friendly materials
- Easy to clean and organize with storage box
- Engaging and educational, supporting early STEM skills
- Smaller pieces than expected
- Occasional fit issues with some pegs
The CENOVE Toddler STEM Toy is a colorful building and stacking toy that allows toddlers to create imaginative flower arrangements and learn about the parts of a plant while developing their fine motor skills.
The toy is crafted using eco-friendly, BPA-free, and non-toxic materials, ensuring safety for kids. Its smooth surface also prevents any harm to their little hands. Given that it meets the ASTM F963-16/-17 and CPSIA safety standards, I think it’s a good, safe option for little ones.
One aspect I Like is the ease of cleaning and organizing, thanks to the included storage box.
The pieces can be hand-washed or even placed in a dishwasher, making maintenance a breeze. It ‘s an excellent gift for special occasions like birthdays or Christmas.
Our only concerns were the smaller size of the pieces and occasional fit issues with some pegs.
In conclusion, the CENOVE Toddler STEM Toy provides an engaging and educational playtime experience that encourages creative development while supporting early STEM skills, making it a worthwhile addition to any child’s toy collection.
These Girigi Large Magnetic Blocks are a fantastic choice for those seeking engaging and educational STEM toys for toddlers.
- Encourages creativity and spatial thinking
- Suitable for various age groups
- Portable and travel-friendly
- Smaller than expected
- Limited number of blocks
- Could benefit from more variety in shapes
The Girigi Large Magnetic Blocks are a fun progression on popular magnetic tiles.
The blocks are designed with built-in magnetic particles, which make it easy for toddlers to click them together and hold their attention for a long time.
These magnetic building blocks are not just for toddlers – slightly older kids will enjoy playing with them too. Incorporating these blocks into collaborative group activities or school classrooms can be incredibly beneficial for developing essential skills, all while having fun.
Though the blocks had plenty of pros, we did notice a few potential downsides. For one, they seemed smaller than they appeared in the product images. Also, the set comes with only 28 blocks, so it would be great if there were more included for added variety.
Lastly, a few different shapes other than cubes would undoubtedly enhance the building possibilities and help with further toddler brain development.
While they may not be perfect in every aspect, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Give these blocks a try, and watch as your little ones unleash their boundless imagination!
STEM educational toys are designed to spark curiosity, foster creativity, and enhance problem-solving skills in young minds.
But as we explore the world of STEM toys for toddlers, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best product for your little one. Let’s dive into the features and elements to look for in a perfect STEM toy.
First and foremost, always look for age-appropriate toys. STEM toys typically indicate a recommended age range, which will ensure the toy is safe and engaging for your toddler. Keep in mind that age recommendations can also serve as a guideline for skill level.
When selecting a STEM toy, consider its educational value. The best toys will teach your child about science, technology, engineering, or mathematics concepts while fostering a love for learning. Look for toys that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
Durability and Safety
As we all know, toddlers can be quite rough with their toys. When searching for the perfect STEM toy, ensure it is made from high-quality, non-toxic materials that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday play. Additionally, the toy should not have any small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
Interactive and Engaging
A great STEM toy for toddlers should be interactive and engaging, holding their attention for extended periods. Toys that involve building, experimenting, or using their imagination are typically more engaging than those that only promote passive play.
Adaptability and Growth
Finally, consider the toy’s adaptability and potential for growth as your toddler’s skills develop. The best STEM toys can be enjoyed in different ways, offering a higher level of complexity or customization as your child learns and grows. This will ensure that the toy remains relevant and valuable over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top STEM toys for 2-year-olds?
We highly recommend toys that emphasize fine motor skills, basic engineering concepts, and problem-solving for 2-year-olds. Shape sorters, building blocks, and simple puzzle games are all excellent choices.
Which STEM toys are best for 3-5 year olds?
For 3-5 year olds, consider toys that expand on the fundamentals learned in earlier stages while incorporating more complex concepts. Examples include educational robots, coding games, and science experiment kits. Top choices in this age range are Botley, the Coding Robot, Snap Circuits Jr., and the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science.
What are some great STEM toys for toddler girls?
We believe that STEM toys are excellent for both boys and girls. Some toddler girls might enjoy more colorful and themed toys that cater to their interests. Consider toys like the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine, LEGO Friends sets, or the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope, which feature characters and designs that appeal to girls while still encouraging STEM learning.