Shopping for older kids can be tricky, but most love doing something active–as with these STEM Toys. Move up from building blocks and basic Lego to robotic kits, circuitry boards, and coding. They all make great gifts!
Learning should never feel like a chore. Thankfully, educational toys are getting better and better and can no doubt capture the attention of adventurous teens and tweens. If you are looking for a STEM gift for your child, nephew, niece, or grandchild, this article is for you. These STEM toys can impress even the hardest children to please!
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What are STEM toys?
STEM toys are toys developed with an educational concept in mind and are used to instill more learning. Toys under this category help kids nurture their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through exciting gameplay.
If the kids in your family or maybe a godchild need a little bit of encouragement when it comes to learning, these toys can clearly be of help. You can make a significant positive impact on their educational well-being.
How to get tweens interested in STEM toys
Young people are naturally curious. They are always on the lookout for new things to try and explore. However, in some instances, they choose to stay within their comfort zone. The unwillingness to explore their surroundings can eventually take a toll on their curiosity.
As responsible adults, we should offer a safe learning environment for them. We should take their thoughts seriously and help them turn their ideas to actions. Encourage them to explore the great outdoors, ask more questions and conduct enjoyable experiments with them. These STEM toys can help!
Why giving STEM toys as gifts is a great idea
Combining education and playtime is always a fun way to learn. STEM toys can provide many hours of entertainment while expanding kids' imaginations and improving their skills.
STEM Toys help:
- Promote spatial skills
- Improve divergent thinking
- Enhance creativity
- Build interpersonal skills (when working with others)
- Develop hand-eye coordination
According to a 2018 study by University of Colorado at Boulder, playing with construction-based toys can help children build a successful STEM career. So, start them young!
15 STEM toys for teens and tweens
Ready to buy gifts for the kids? As you shop for STEM toys for tweens and teens, don’t forget to check the recommended age for each kit. It’s also important to review adult supervision requirements and what other additional tools you will need. Furthermore, decide if you are looking for something that can be used only as a one-time project or a toy that can be used multiple times in different ways.
Circuit Cubes Multi-Creature Mobility Kit
Designed by STEM teachers, this Multi-Creature Mobility Launch Kit is perfect for young aspiring engineers and scientists who love to assemble things. The kit comes with a rechargeable battery cube, motor cubes, and 54 parts composed of axles, gears, bricks, and connection wires. It allows tweens to build at least three different robotic masterpieces.
These electronic building blocks called circuit cubes can spin wheels, power motors, and turn lights on, helping tweens understand the basics of circuits as they play.
Snap Circuits Electronics Kit
Children can never get enough of electronic circuit projects. They can finish multiple activities in just one weekend, so we need to find the best ones that provide the best value for money.
With this Electronics Exploration Kit by Elenco, they can do more than 100 different projects with just around 30 electronic parts. They can build working models of flashing lights, adjustable-volume sirens, photo sensors, and more! No complex tools required – all parts just click together effortlessly.
MusicBox Building Toy
A music box and building toy in one? This ocean-themed STEM toy for tweens opens doors for a grand musical ocean adventure. STEM projects are not just about vehicles, robots, and architectural structures.
It's also possible to create marine creatures and enjoy the underwater life. This toy allows kids to build fish, octopus, turtles, and whales, and watch their creations rotate while listening to soothing music.
Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle Logic Game
Looking for a gift for kids, nieces, and nephews who love Minecraft? Children love this game so much, they can play for hours and hours without having a snack or standing up. This Minecraft magnetic travel puzzle is just perfect for them, offering a unique twist to their favorite game.
It includes 9 magnetic Minecraft items and a booklet with 40 beginner to expert challenges and solutions. It's so easy to learn and even comes with an instruction manual. This activity, like the Minecraft video game, helps kids develop critical skills and logical reasoning through fun play.
Electric Motor Science Kit
The Giggleway Electric Motor Science Kit helps tweens build airplanes and tanks and customize them with the enclosed paint and paintbrush. It's a science kit and an art kit in one!
Each box comes with two different robots and easy-to-understand instructions. All the parts are made of real wood – perfectly safe and non-toxic. A brilliant gift for young boys and girls who love building and engineering.
Chemistry Junior Experiments & Reactions Science Lab Kit
Lots of kids today find science difficult and boring. Well, we all know that Science is an interesting subject! We just need to make the learning process more fun and exciting for them. This Chemistry Kit is a good start for tweens who want to see science in a different light.
This box contains more than several tools and ingredients for 52 hands-on experiments. The instructions are easy to follow and come with attention-grabbing images, encouraging kids to try new science experiments.
Solar Robot Toy
Robots are still some of the most preferred STEM toys out there. But don't just order a random kit online without making sure that there's something unique about it. Most of them look the same, right?
This Sillbird Robot stands out from the rest as it can be powered by the sun. No batteries are needed. The kit includes a solar power panel that collects heat from the sun and turns it into energy that can breathe life into the robot. Its 190 parts and accessories can be used for up to 12 robot designs.
Water Rocket Kit
Challenge your space-obsessed tweens' imagination with this water rocket kit. Basically, it turns a soda bottle into a fully functioning water rocket. It's a very simple toy that brings awesome results.
As our kids age, they need more innovative toys that can spark further learning. I'm sure that they would love more action, too. Powered by water and air pressure, this rocket can blast to more than 30 feet!
Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
This Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit contains everything kids need to perform crystal growth experiments. The most amazing thing about this kit is that it offers a hands-on scientific exercise that provides beautiful, sparkling, tangible results.
This pack includes crystal powder, four bags of crystal seeds, mixing cup, seven growing cups, seven display stands, measuring spoon and more.
Tabletop Robotic Crab
Encourage your kids to dive deeper into the robotics world through this tabletop robot. Nothing complicated and big – just a scuttling mechanical crab that can be assembled on a table.
This mechanical crab automatically changes direction each time it encounters an obstacle. It can detect the edges of tables and wouldn't fall off easily. It can perform awesome acrobatic tricks, too. This is a big hit not just for tweens but also for pet cats!
Frozen Science Kit
The coolest experiment ever… literally. This Frozen Science Kit allows kids to make realistic snow using a special snow powder. They'll then be able to try 15 exciting experiments and then make snowballs, snowmen, and so much more.
Also included in the box are color tints– blue, yellow, and red — that can be added to the water before making the snow. Tweens will definitely have a good time creating their own little winter display while being educated and enlightened by the wonders of science.
Car and Fairy Nightlight Lantern and Machine Caterpillar
This educational building craft kit encourages kids to build three compelling designs, helping them improve their knowledge in math, engineering, and science. It's a lantern kit, solar car kit, and robotic caterpillar kit in one. Tweens can work on it with little effort and loads of fun.
All parts are properly secured with screws and with a convenient snap connection. No need for batteries, too. The caterpillar, car, and lantern works through a small motor attached to a solar panel.
Magnetic Toy Kit
This 130-piece magnetic tiles building set for kids comes with different shapes and variety of bright colors. Teens and tweens can create different 2D planar shapes or 3D geometry and feel a sense of accomplishment together. The magnetic blocks set includes two cars, kids can construct whatever they want without limitation.
Mega Science Kit
45 science experiments in one affordable kit? This chemistry kit allows children to build and erupt a volcano, explore chemical reactions, create a geyser, launch a rocket, and more. There are also tons of bonus experiments that can be done using cheap, common household items.
All of the experiments are guaranteed safe and can be done in just one sitting. Now, kids can play just like real scientists in a lab! These activities encourage them to learn more and more and develop a lifelong love of science and exploration.
Architectural Engineering Kit
Aspiring young architects and engineers can get a bit of building practice through this Architectural Engineering Kit. They can start with arches, domes and then move on to real-world structures like skyscrapers and stadiums. You will be amazed as to how comprehensive the instructions are.
It comes with a 44-page, full-color manual that guides children in building their own designs. They can easily build the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the living room!