STEM, if you didn’t know, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It takes all four aspects and applies them in an interdisciplinary approach to make things less abstract. You’re not just doing math without a direct purpose; you’re doing math to create and build something really cool. There are some great STEM kits out there to help teach coding, engineering, architecture, physics, and plenty more. If your kid or a kid you know is learning from home this year, one of these is a great thing to buy them.
Primo Toys 1 Cubetto
This kind of looks like a wooden block, but it’s so much more. It’s a robot you can program to help teach coding, and the cool thing is, it doesn’t even need an app, a screen, or involve any reading. Instead, children plug different blocks into a board to determine Cubetto’s movements.
Marble Genius Run Super Set
This set is a great way to teach physics and forces of motion. Think of it like building a big domino chain but way more exciting. This set comes with 85 see-through pieces so you can build a marble run and make your marbles flip and jump around the track.
LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox
This LEGO set includes 847 pieces that can be rebuilt into 5 different models. They can construct Vernie the Robot and then code to get the robot to dance, play guitar, and even adopt and foster a cat. Why didn’t they have this when I was playing with LEGOs?
This set comes with two rings that they can use to create music. They can either tap the color coded pad the rings come with, or everyday objects. From there, they can use them on any colored object in the world to explore the sounds they make—thus making music out of, well, anything.
Doodlematic Mobile Game Maker
I wish they had this when I was a kid. All you have to do is draw a game on a piece of paper, snap a picture, and you can play on your phone or tablet. Each color means something different, so for example, black stays still, but green moves. It’s a great way to combine art and math.
Similar to the DIY game, the Ozobot is a great way to learn how to code. The bot recognizes different colors on paper, and colors and flashes on the app, and you can program it to respond differently to those colors. You can make it turn and do a ton of other stuff. It’s a great combination between art and coding.
littleBits Space Rover Inventor Kit
Littlebits are super cool. You put together little bits to make a wheel turn, or make something flash, among other functions. The bits are connected to an app so you can code to make things move and come to life. You can add lights, sound, and movement to whatever you want, but in this case, a super cool Space Rover. They have tons of lessons on their website as well.
Snap Circuits SC-300 Electronics Exploration Kit
These don’t require an app or a screen to use. Instead, you can build 300 experiments with just over 60 parts. Experiments include a lie detector (watch out parents!), an AM radio, a two finger touch lamp, and plenty more. Building these involves following instructions and resiliency. Failure will occur but that’s part of it.
Kiwi Basketball Catapult
This is a super fun way to learn physics. It’s a mini basketball set that you and your kid have to build on your own. Once it’s built, it’s something your kid will come back to for more and more. Plus, Kiwi has tons of free content, video, and additional DIY activities on their site.
Makey Makey an Invention Kit for Everyone
Turn everyday objects like bananas into touchpads. You can make a banana keyboard, a watermelon controller, an orange piano, the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to make ordinary objects into something unique and filled with wonder.
14 Piece Tegu Blocks
These blocks are magnetic, so they stick together in order to help create unique and interesting designs. They’re safe for all ages and made of all natural wood. They are an awesome way to explore gravity defying play.
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