This story is part Gift GuideOur year-round collection with the best gift ideas.

We, like many parents, are always looking for gifts that will keep our kids interested, increase creativity, and… Don’t tell anyone!Get them to learn something. STEM toys are a great tool to teach your children how to code, build, and learn about the real world. They can also be fun! Playtime doesn’t have to be boring if you add an educational twist.      

Here are some of our favorite STEM gift ideas. Here are our recommendations for the best STEM toys for kids, including a robot factory, magnetic building blocks, and even a chocolate pen. These hands-on toys and activities will help young kids build, blend and explore to spark their curiosity. We are sure you will want to have fun with them.

Amazon

Candy-loving kids (and who doesn’t?) will love this kit. Gummy Candy Lab Kit for Kids – Candy lovers (and who doesn’t?) will love it. They’ll learn about different chemistry concepts and enjoy delicious treats. The kit includes everything they will need to make candy including a plastic mold and carrageenan (a natural gellatin), as well as storage bags. If you’re really nice, they might share.

Amazon

This K’nex kit is a fun and challenging tool that will keep budding engineers busy for hours. The best part? The best part? This kit is recommended to be used by children aged 9 and above. However, older children may need adult supervision to help them with the more complicated pieces.

Educational Insights

Artie, a code toy, teaches line-by–line programming using lines drawn on paper. The bot buddy allows children to program it to create doodles with three colored markers. It comes with tutorials and a guide that is easy to follow so that kids can get started right away after unboxing. Seeing something on paper gives instant gratification. It teaches five programming languages: Snap, Blockly and JavaScript.

Artie can sense colors, follow lines, and can be remote controlled. “cliff sensor”To avoid falling off the tables. 

Amazon

National Geographic’s kits can be a great way to get children interested in science. These geodes are sure to impress even if your child doesn’t have a passion for geology. Each geode can be broken open by children to reveal the crystals within. The kit comes with a guide so that you can learn about different types of crystals after you have opened the geodes. It’s hard not to love smashing things with the hammer.

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Educational Insights

Circuit Explorer is kind of like Lego, but this STEM skills toy teaches the very basics of how a circuit works in programming. Children learn that they must connect the lines on either side of the circuit to make it move or light up. You can choose from three sets that include rocket ships, Mars rovers, and space stations. Or you can mix and match pieces to create your own monster machine. They can even be connected to Lego bricks. 

Lego

There is a whole world of Lego education and you won’t see it in the toy aisle. The Lego Learning System includes kits that include hundreds of bricks as well as instructions to help students learn through multiple lessons. Each kit is designed for different ages. These teaching kits can be used in the classroom, but anyone can purchase these toys from Lego for hands on learning at home. You can also find teacher guides to help parents. 

The Spike Essential learning kit is our favorite, with a few tech pieces, including a light matrix and color sensor. An app is also available for kids to program their creations. The kit comes with 449 bricks, 40 lessons and teaches computational thinking, design engineering and math skills. All this is told through cute Lego figures characters. You can find the cheaper version of the kit, which does not include the programming and tech parts but still includes the math lessons and physics. BricQ Motion Essential kit for $120.

Thames & Kosmos

Thames & Kosmos makes some of the most popular build-it-yourself toys, and they are often difficult to find. (We’re looking at YOU, Candy Claw Machine Mega Cyborg Hand.) We are still seeing one fun thing: This inflatable arm-flailing tubeman with a blower allows kids to experiment with air pressure, air flow, and aerodynamics. Air basketball. Air cannon. Air tube man. We recommend this product for all ages, especially those 8 and over. “up”Because you want it for your desk. (No judgement.

Thames & Kosmos

Programming skills are not required to build your own robot. This is the Kids First Robot Factory from Thames & Kosmos. It’s great for introducing children to basic engineering concepts. The illustrated storybook guides children through the construction of eight different battery-powered motorized robots. The building toy is also available for children. As they read through the story, they will learn why each robot behaves in their own way. 

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3Doodler

Here’s a new twist on the DIY robotics. This 3D printing pen allows kids to create anything they can imagine from plastic. The 3Doodler Start Plus pen is lightweight and slim, making it easier to hold. This pen can melt plastic sticks in 30 minutes. It can also be used to draw any shape. However, the nozzle and melted material are not hot so they won’t burn small hands. It works well on my skin. I was adamant about giving it to my children. The plastic creation pops off the table or paper if you draw on it. 

It comes with 72 filaments and an activity book with 10 new projects. There’s also a Activity Guide with 10 new projects to take your learning to the next level. $9 Edu Stem Accessory KitWith more activities.

Amazon

You want something even more delicious? Skyrocket’s Chocolate Pen lets you draw it in the kitchen with chocolate. The warming tray keeps chocolate soft while your battery-powered pen takes the sweet stuff into its cartridge. Draw, eat, repeat. The fun pen comes in a variety colors so little hands can fill the molds easily. You can also draw any shape on wax paper. It will cool in 10 minutes. This activity is more creative than a craft, but you can still teach chemistry lessons with cooling confectionery. This makes desserts science!

KiwiCo

Even if you’re not a crafty person, there are simple ways to get your kids crafting. KiwiCo Crates are hands-on learning activities packed in a box. They arrive in the mail containing a few lessons in engineering and science. I have been a long-standing subscriber for my children, and I like how high quality the items are. It’s not only for little tikes. There are boxes for all ages, even engineering boxes for adults. Subscriptions start from $18.50 per mois, but you can also shop the KiwiCo Store to purchase items individually. 

Target

If you are stuck trying to find screen-free activities, then look at the old-school screen. Lite Brite has returned. The machine is smaller, but still has all the pegs you love to put into holes. It may inspire tomorrow’s game programmers with all that creative thinking and pixel art.

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Amazon

This robot is suitable for children aged 6 and up. It teaches programming basics, has different challenges, and is completely screen-free. Botley can locate objects and move around them. It can also follow looping commands, navigate obstacles courses, and follow a blackline your child designs. There’s plenty of activities for kids with the included 77-piece activity pack.

Blockaroo Toys

These magnetic foam builders are easy to use for even the smallest of children as young as 18 months. Soft blocks are easy to connect and can rotate so you can create creatures with head, wings and elbows. They are dishwasher safe and can be washed in the bath.

They have remained with my 2-year-old son for over a year. My 5-year-old daughter still loves them to create all kinds of vehicles and creatures. It’s always a win if a toy has a long shelf life. You can also expand this stem education toysy with multiple sets boxes.

Magformers

This geometric brain-training toy is a favorite of mine. There are many ways to spin the magnetic building-blocks phenomenon, but I personally like Magformers because of how it’s designed. The options for different types and sizes of box sets allow it to expand easily for different age groups. My advice is to get a starter set that has wheels so that kids can speed up their creations. Some models can be controlled remotely. 

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