Last week, I blogged about STEM Toys and gave a brief explanation. If you don’t feel like reading the full blog here and just want to skip ahead to today’s blog, I’ll remind you what STEM stands for.
So, STEM toys are toys, games, kits and crafts that encourage learning in these areas. Often we don’t know we are learning these areas as we are not in a classroom with a teacher but pre-school children can grasp the basics of these from free play at home or in their child care setting.
Here are ten great toys that will encourage STEM learning in pre-school aged children:
Play Money helps children understand the value of money and how to use it. During play, they will ‘charge’ and get ‘change’. By choosing the euro currency, your child will get familiar with what our money looks like. This set cost €5.99
2. Stick by Number Mosaic Pictures
Anything to do with number recognition is great for this age. That’s why I’m happy to recommend the Djeco Mosaics as brilliant STEM toys for pre-school aged children. Your child needs to stick the correct coloured sticker onto each number on the page. The stickers are raised foam, so they are easy for small hands to manage, and the pictures aren’t too complicated. Not only is this great for their mind, but it’s also great for their fine motor skills, so it’s a win-win activity. I stock two types of these – The Elephant and the Snail Mosaics which cost €9.90 and Dinosaur Mosaics, which cost €9.99. Each box contains two pictures to complete and lots of raised stickers.
The challenge from this activity is to find the matching shapes and colours to make the same pattern as on the board. It’s an early introduction to shapes and patterns and again, it’s great for your child’s fine motor skills. This gorgeous wooden set from Melissa and Doug Toys costs €18.50
This is similar to the Pattern Blocks and Boards only instead of having wooden shapes, you get wooden sticks of different lengths. The aim is to replicate the image on the cards using the right length sticks. It’s great for children who love problem-solving and figuring things out. This set of Eduludo Sticks costs €16.95
Magnets are great fun for all ages and you are never too young to enjoy them. This Junior Magnet Set comes with two large horse-shoe shaped magnets with a north and south pole on both. It also comes with two magnetic balls and two magnetic stars to experiment with. It costs €7.
6. Building Blocks
Learn all about construction with a simple set of wooden building blocks. I stock a brightly coloured set that contains 100 blocks in a bucket with a lid for €33.99 and a linen bag that holds 100 natural wooden blocks for €30.99
This simple but fun game will help your preschooler recognise numbers on a dice and remember which parts of the beetle they can get with each number. The aim of the game is to be the first person to complete the beetle but it’s the luck of the dice that determines this. This fun game costs €7.99.
8. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw Puzzles are great STEM toys are they encourage your child’s mind to figure out what piece fits with another piece. Choose a puzzle with as many pieces as will challenge your child without them becoming disillusioned and give up. I stock lots of jigsaw puzzles here
Any kind of bead sets make great STEM toys as children decide what patterns of bracelets or necklaces to make. Deciding a pattern and order and figuring out shapes and sizes are great preschool maths activities. This little set only costs €5.75
This wooden boat will teach your young child all about balance as they figure out how to place all the blocks in different combinations to ensure the boat stays balanced. It costs €18.95
So, there you have it – 10 fun STEM toys for preschool-aged children. If you haven’t found something in the toys above but you want to keep looking, check out my full range of educational toys for children aged 3-5 years.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Have a great week,