The first 3 years of a child’s life are some of the most crucial when it comes to brain development. The brains basic structure and design are shaped, which is influenced by a child’s early experiences. Nerve pathways form when a baby is inspired by things like colors, textures, and sounds. Hence, providing the right toys can be an important part of encouraging brain growth. However, your role doesn’t end there! Babies and toddlers learn through play, so it’s your duty to guide them. From conceptual development to hand-eye coordination, to developing motor skills, we recommend the best STEM toys for babies.
1. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
Best for Learning: Motor skills, Numbers, Cause & Effect.
Recommended Age: 9 months – 3 years.
The VTech sit-to-stand walker is a great STEM toy for babies taking their first steps. But what we really love about this model is that it’s full of sensory stimulation to keep your little one interested. Five numbered, light up piano keys play music, as well as animal noises to match the pictures on the keys. Additionally, it also features several spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, and various other lights up buttons. This engaging walker is a great way to develop both fine and gross motor skills in your baby. What’s more, the activity panel can be detached and used without the walker – great for portability!
2. Fisher Price Rock-A-Stack
Best for Learning: Fine Motor Skills, Sequencing.
Recommended Age: 6 months – 2 years.
Although it may look simple, this ring stack by Fisher-Price is great for developing a whole host of skills. Firstly, babies have to experiment with trial and error to fit all the rings on the post. This also teaches cause and effect – if I put this sized ring on first, how does it affect putting the next rings on? We chose this set because the top ring is also a colorful rattle, so will stimulate your baby further. This timeless classic is one of the best STEM toys for infants.
3. Bright Starts Walk-A-Bout Walker
Best for Learning: Motor Skills, Sensory Perception.
Recommended Age: 4 months +.
This is a new take on the walker design, featuring a removable toy station to keep your little one stimulated. The station is complete with lights, music, and sounds which respond to your baby pressing buttons and spinning the steering wheel. Don’t worry, the volume is regulating! It also has an arc with slide-able parts.
This was built with both practicality and safety in mind. Firstly, it has 3 seat heights which can be adjusted. It’s also easy to fold flat for storage. What’s more, the walker has rubber feet designed to break when it comes to an uneven surface such as steps. This all-rounder is a great value, which is why we think it is a great STEM toy for babies.
4. Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks
Best for Learning: Fine Motor Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination.
Recommended Age: 6 months – 3 years.
Similar to the ring stack, the Fisher-Price Blocks are a great way for your baby to develop hand-eye coordination skills. The idea is simple, first, you have to match the shapes with the holes, then empty them out and try again! Repetition is what reinforces neural networks in a baby’s brain, so playing with this toy can help significant skills like identification and, motor skills.
5. VTech Activity Cube
Best for Learning: Fine Motors Skills.
Recommended Age: 6 months +.
VTech is another household name toys for babies & toddlers. The VTech activity cube is likely one of their most popular because as it is reasonable but full of features! Five sides of fun contain spinning letters, light up buttons – which introduce shapes and animal names, 25 sing-along songs and 14 other interactive elements such as sliders and musical instruments.
Best for Learning: Coding & Robotics.
Recommended Age: 8+ years.
Cozmo is an artificial intelligence robot that grows the more you interact with it, as well as a robotics kit designed to teach people to code. The more you play, the more he learns and adapts to develop his own unique personality. Packed with hundreds of emotions and voice tones, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t alive – especially when Cozmo calls your name!
7. Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Kit
Best for learning: Electronics & Circuits.
Recommended age: 7+ years.
The multi-award winning electronics kit from Snap Circuits has to feature as another one of our choices for the best STEM toys in 2018. With over 100 projects included, this set will give your kid a foundation in how electrical circuits function. It contains 30 snap together parts which are easily fitted to the circuit board to give a hands-on experience of how electrical components work. What’s more, there are loads of expansions for those looking to step things up. It’s a cherished part of a rounded STEM curriculum and not one to be missed!
8. Scientific Mind Blowing Science Kit
Best for learning: Basic Science Principles and Safe Practice.
Recommended age: 4 – 8 years.
This starter chemistry kit is flawless for budding young scientists who want to do some cool experiments outside the classroom. It comes with all the chemicals and equipment required to learn the basics, such as the difference between acids and bases or using a pipette & test tube.
9. OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot
Best for learning: Engineering & Robotics.
Recommended age: 8 – 15 years.
This ingenious kit lets you build 14 different robots all powered by solar (no annoying batteries)! Similar to K-Next, you can fit the pieces together and then disassemble them with ease to make something fresh. The kit includes beginner and advanced guides. With renewable energy playing a big role, this is a great way to give your kids an understanding of the basics of these technologies.
10. My First Lab Duo-Microscope
Best for learning: Microbiology.
Recommended age: 7+ years.
The thing about My First Lab’s is that it’s much more than just a toy. This real, lab-grade microscope includes lenses with 40x, 100x and 400x magnification! It has glass optics, rather than plastic found in lots of inexpensive microscopes, meaning that it produces an enhanced image.