When selecting toys for the young minds in your life, the vast array of options can be overwhelming. To streamline the process and ensure your gift contributes to learning, a team of engineers from the Inspire Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering at Purdue University has meticulously curated a list of expert-tested educational toys.
Focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (also known as STEM subjects), these toys not only entertain but also teach the fundamentals. Let’s delve into why these STEM-driven playthings are the best investment in a child’s growth.
Why STEM Toys Matter
Toys play a crucial role in a child’s development, serving as the building blocks for fundamental skills. In the world of STEM, where science, technology, engineering, and math converge, these toys act as gateways to a future generation of engineers.
From spatial reasoning to fine motor skills and logical thinking, STEM toys lay the foundation for crucial abilities, providing a fun and engaging path to learning. Here are three of the top toys that can help stimulate the intellectual growth of your child.
The Lego Engineer
Designed for ages 12 and up, this game highlights real-world engineering marvels, offering Lego-based guides to construct bridges, maglev trains, and rockets.
Authored by Lego artist Jeff Friesen, the book intricately breaks down engineering principles, historical contexts, and provides step-by-step instructions. While requiring an extensive Lego collection, it encourages creative problem-solving by adapting to available resources. It is priced by No Starch Press for $24.99.
Carnival Plus Set
Magformers’ Carnival Plus Set offers more than just magnetic building blocks. Unlike traditional construction toys, this set introduces movement into the equation. Aspiring engineers can experiment with creating spinning structures, resembling rides at a carnival.
By allowing freedom of design and encouraging experimentation, this set stands out for its hands-on approach to engineering. The game, suitable for kids aged 3 and above, is priced at $79.99.
Solar Race Car
Thames & Kosmos’ Solar Race Car, designed for ages 8 and up, introduces kids to circuitry and clean energy concepts. Building the car cultivates problem-solving, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and logical thinking.
Powered by solar energy, it runs without batteries, allowing young engineers to adjust the solar cell for optimal sunlight collection. An included booklet delves into real-world solar power applications. You can get it for $15.95.