Before I get started, I wanted to briefly let you know that I have not been compensated in any way by any of the makers of these toys/apps/etc.(and there are no affiliate links). These toys are ones we have owned, used, loved, or had recommended to us over the years, and I thought it might be useful to have them all linked up in one place.
1. For the S in STEM, Magnet Toys!
|Make sure to get some large shapes like pentagons and hexagons!|
|Don't forget the wheels!|
|Try these with a light table!|
2. A magnifying glass! Simple, but a must have for all of your science explorations! Whether you are heading to the beach, a park, or your backyard, get a close up look of your findings:
|Don't forget the prepared slides!|
3. Follow a life cycle with Insect Lore's butterfly garden or other life cycle kits.
For the T in STEM, try these apps and programs:
4. DragonBox Alegbra 12+ and DragonBox Algebra 5+
5. Raspberry Pi for your budding software engineers!
Scratch Programming (free, and you don't need Raspberry Pi to get started learning Scratch)!
For the E in STEM, check out
6. Snap Circuits
The Jr set is pictured, but I highly recommend getting the SC-500 or SC-750 version if your wallet agrees. This is definitely one of my favorite purchases for kids. I wish every kid could have a set of Snap Circuits! In fact, why not enter to win a set or two for your classroom! Click the image below to head to the giveaway page:
7. Simple Machines
We don't have this one but it looks great! I have a simple machines set that is no longer made but if I didn't, this would definitely be on my list.
For the M in STEM you can't beat math games and toys.
8. Our favorite math game is Sumoku (app also available), and for super mathy kids you'll want to grab Equate (if they don't already love math, Equate might make them hate it more. It can be pretty intense). For lower elementary, I recommend Zeus on the Loose or Rat-a-Tat-Cat, and for all ages, Set is a fabulous game!
play money is far and away my top recommendation for hands-on math.
10. Building Toys! I'm lumping all of these together into number 10. Choose a building set that will work best for the kids on your list. Some kids love one but not another. Try LEGOs, Zometool, Zoob, and Wedgits.