11 Awesome STEM Toys to Get Kids into Science & Math

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by: Erin Dower

It's smart to nurture your child's love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)! Exploring science and math for fun could help give your child an edge in these subjects in school and beyond. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many STEM fields are growing, and STEM jobs pay nearly double the average salary of other U.S. jobs. See which toys can get your child psyched about science and math, from preschool through middle school! Also check out our favorite STEM apps for kids.

Primary Science Lab Set
Primary Science Lab Set
By Learning Resources. Little hands will love experimenting with this cool kit, complete with a beaker, flask, magnifying glass, test tubes, goggles, and other kid-friendly lab tools. The kit includes an activity guide that will lead kids in investigating color mixing, the growing cycle, sense of smell, and other fun projects.

STEM skills exercised: Chemistry, the five senses, science vocabulary

Ages: 4-6

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Camelot Jr. preschooler STEM game
Camelot Jr.
By SmartGames. Basic building blocks are great, but this wooden-block puzzle game helps build even more skills for your budding engineer or architect. It includes 48 interesting challenges at four different skill levels, all with the goal of connecting the prince and princess by building stairs, bridges, and towers according to the "blueprint" laid out in the challenge book.

STEM skills exercised: Logic, spacial reasoning, shapes, matching

Ages: 4-9

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Mini Muffin Match Up
Mini Muffin Match Up
By Learning Resources. Time to count the muffins! This fun early math game will have your preschooler counting, sorting, and matching with the help of adorable mini muffins and a muffin pan. Kids can play as a group or on their own. They'll love using the "squeezy tweezers" (which help build fine motor skills) and won't even realize they're building hands-on, Common Core math skills!

STEM skills exercised: Sorting, matching, counting, number recognition

Ages: 4-6

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prechooler talking telescope toy
Talking Telescope
By Educational Insights. Look at that! This hybrid microscope/telescope talks to kids and shares 200 fascinating scientific facts about the "slides" (photographs) they view through the scope. The images range from animals to planets (courtesy of NASA). Kids can use the "quiz" mode to answer questions about the facts they've heard. The telescope detaches for on-the-go exploring.

STEM skills exercised: Astronomy, zoology, science vocabulary

Ages: 5-7

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Magic School Bus engineering kit
The Magic School Bus Engineering Lab
By The Magic School Bus. Take a ride into the world of engineering with beloved Ms. Frizzle! This bus-shaped kit is packed with 33 experiments and the necessary components for kids to dabble in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. Your young scientist will build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, and much more.

STEM skills exercised: Engineering, technology, electricity, solar energy

Ages: 5-8

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Sick Science Fast Physics kit
Fast Physics Kit
By Sick Science. Most children don't get a chance to delve into physics until later on in high school. Give your curious kid a leg up in this interesting field with this kit full of cool physics experiments. She'll use some simple equipment to learn about gravity, inertia, and acceleration, as well as potential and kinetic energy.

STEM skills exercised: Physics, engineering, science vocabulary

Ages: 6-12

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human body model toy for kids
You Explore It: Human Body Model
By Smart Lab. Does your child have the "guts" to be a doctor? He can get a little taste of the medical field with this 12-inch plastic model of the human body, filled with life-like squishy insides. He can practice surgery on the nine removable organs using the forceps and tweezers provided. Plus, he can read about all the systems of the human body in the informative book that's included.

STEM skills exercised: Biology, anatomy and physiology

Ages: 7-12

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Ozobot programmable robot
Ozobot Programmable Robot
By Ozobot. "Learn to code!" You have probably heard this mantra, encouraging people to learn highly marketable computer science and programming skills. Help your young techy get a fun intro to coding with this programmable robot. Kids start by moving their Ozobot using markers on paper, and then learn to control it by solving brain teasers, playing free app games, and doing other STEM projects.

STEM skills exercised: Technology, engineering, coding

Ages: 7-12

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Big Bag of Science kit
Big Bag of Science
By Be Amazing! Toys. Not sure which kind of science your child likes best? This award-winning kit offers major bang for your buck with more than 70 activities covering life science, physical science, and earth science. Kids will experiment with slime, snow, balloons, a magnifying glass, and more. The kit offers great inspiration for school science fair projects.

STEM skills exercised: Chemistry, biology, physics, geology, measurement, observation, classification

Ages: 8-12

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K'nex Education simple machines
Introduction to Simple Machines Kit
By K'NEX Education. Is your child ready to step up her construction skills beyond LEGOs? This hands-on set allows kids to build eight fully-functioning replicas of real-world machines that use levers and pulleys. The 178 pieces come in a tough storage tub with a snap-on lid. The set and building instructions adhere to STEM Common Core standards.

STEM skills exercised: Physics, engineering

Ages: 8-14

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Sumoku math game
Sumoku
By Blue Orange. Adults and kids alike will enjoy this game that encourages players to flex their math muscles! Players use addition and multiplication skills to connect rows and columns of tiles and increase their score. Think: Sudoku meets Banagrams or Scrabble. Five game variations add up to endless fun!

STEM skills exercised: Addition, multiplication, logic

Ages: 9 & up

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