cute boy playing with his learning toys

Christmas Gift Guide: Best STEM Toys and Games

2023 Gift Guide STEM Toys Kids All Ages

STEM Learning toys do more than sit there and entertain—they stimulate and teach kids by introducing them to basic coding concepts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). They help kids develop a wide range of skills, from critical thinking and problem-solving to the basics of engineering and the scientific method.

Writing for Stanford University’s Development and Research in Early Math Education, Alissa A. Lange, Ph.D., shares that even preschool-age children show focus, engagement, and enjoyment while playing and participating in age-appropriate STEM learning activities.

Providing open-ended, imaginative, fun opportunities, STEM toys introduce new ideas, reinforce foundational concepts, and stoke kids’ curiosity and creativity.

I love these toys and games for kids of all ages (as young as 6 months) because they’re fun—especially Rush Hour!—but simultaneously stimulate learning through creativity and mind-challenging play. Kids won’t want to put these down.

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Gifts & Ideas for Home Chefs, Cooks, Foodies
Gift Guide: What Teachers Really Want for Christmas

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This National Geographic STEM science and chemistry kit gives kids the chance to experience the scientific process in a hands-on way, just like a real scientist! There are so many activities and experiments to try that they’ll be busy for hours, exploring the fascinating world of chemistry.

Age: 8 – 99 years

 

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Pattern Blocks and Boards inspire kids to explore shapes and colors in a hands-on way as they fill wooden backgrounds with sturdy wooden pieces! Follow one of 10 design templates or create your own mosaic using the 120 colorful wooden tiles in 6 different shapes. Matching and mosaics—what a gorgeous way for kids 3 and older to develop their fine motor skills!

Age: 3 – 6 years

 

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As the original developmental toy company for the past 30 years, Sassy Developmental Toys has worked together with developmental experts and educators to create a line of toys specifically designed to encourage STEM learning in babies. While it may not be a science experiment or a traditional math problem, babies have their own version of STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and math come in the form of curiosity, exploration and play!

Age: 6 – 24 months

 

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Big, colorful beads and delightful characters are uniquely designed to grow with your child and embody the principles of the Montessori method, inviting children to learn at their own pace through experimentation, imagination, and play.

Age: 10 months – 3 years

 

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A fiery new playset is erupting into the Schleich Dinosaurs play world! Molten lava, volcanic ash, giant rocks, and hours of imaginative play are bursting from the Volcano Expedition Base Camp playset. Exploding with action-packed play functions—glowing lava, cool vapor, realistic tremors, and a ground-shaking eruption. Batteries required (not included).

Age: 4 – 12 years

 

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Scientific Explorer Crime Catchers Spy Science Kit is a safe and fun educational science kit that will have you following clues and gathering evidence by matching fingerprints, testing powders and liquids, and decoding secret messages like a crime scene investigator.

Age: 8 – 15 years

 

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Magna-tiles are the original 3D magnetic building tiles by Valtech since 1997. Each tile edge is magnetized so you can connect them to build anything you can imagine. If you can click it, you can create it! Not only are Magna-Tiles fun, but they also help develop fine motor skills as kids stack, build, count, match, and click, together their creations.

Age: 3 – 99 years

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Save $19.00

Big smiles, eyes wide—both Baby and Rovee’s faces will light up with joy (and color) as a years-long friendship begins. The Fisher-Price Rollin’ Rovee activity toy is an interactive friend that keeps playtime exciting as your baby grows from infant to toddler to preschooler. Each of its four interactive play modes is filled with music and fun activities encouraging little bodies to move.

Age: 6 mos. – 5 years

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This dump truck is as interactive as it is adorable. Drop a colorful rock into the top of this cheerful toy and watch it tumble into the bucket. Colorful buttons teach tools and colors.

Age: 6 mos.+

 

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Capture baby’s attention with the spinning wheels and bright colors of the Whimsical Wheel! Stimulates visual tracking and strengthens fine motor skills. Frustration-free play. Adorbs!

Age: 6 mos.+

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This beautiful interactive learning baby walker has a removable play panel. An early learning center, it encourages creativity; wheels work on carpeted and hard floors. This adorable walker features two colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, and 3 light-up buttons that develop motor skills. Pretend telephone handset and mechanical elements enhance role-play fun; 2 AA batteries are included. Over 70 sing-along songs, music, sound effects, and fun phrases.

Age: 9 mos.+

 

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Your little ones will love this! It encourages imaginative play with a traffic light, a signal lever that triggers fun sounds and music, a gear shifter that pushes and introduces opposites …

Age: 6 mos.+

 

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We adore these dinosaurs! A great gift for preschool boys or girls. The Dinosaur Toys Playset includes four dinosaurs, all on wheels. Encourages imaginative play. So darn cute, too!

Age: 2 – 4 years

 

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This mesmerizing maze of safe, soft, continuous tubes is a perfect baby teething toy. Newborn toy award winner! … including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award. BPA free.

Age: Birth – 2 years

 

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There’s some magnetic attraction between babies and mobile phones. Have you noticed this? Now you can separate little ones from your phone without stifling their curiosity by giving them their own smartphone! This cute “phone” from the folks at LeapFrog mimics the real thing with more than 15 phone activities, a music button to sing along to tunes about counting and phone manners. Skills to learn: numbers, pretend play, social interaction, and conversational skills, as well.

Age: 18 months – 3 years

 

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Set includes 80 building blocks for hours of play. Blocks are big and easy for little fingers to assemble. The STEM toy Encourages hands-on exploration as children imagine and create.

Age: 12 months – 5 years

 

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This working register encourages imaginative play using basic math and early money skills. This realistic toy will give children endless hours of fun, pretending, playing, and developing math skills!

Age: 3 to 8 years

 

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Save $6.60

With its color-changing screen, letter buttons, and piano keyboard, this kid-size toy tablet keeps little ones busily learning for hours on end. Includes 12 learning activities with progressive learning levels. And if that’s not enough, check out just how adorable it is!

Age: 2 to 5 years

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This board game stealthily teaches youngsters programming fundamentals. Kids quickly learn to write programs with playing cards. Ingenious! This learning toy is perfect for 2 to 5 players.

Age: 4+

 

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Save $44.11

Meet Bit, a pocket-sized, basic Bot for building early steam skills—beginner coding). Arrives assembled and ready to play with two ways to code: using markers to draw out commands for him or with the programming editor. Super fun!

Age: 6+

 

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Save $2.00

This pogo stick offers hours of healthy, bouncy fun. Crafted from durable foam, this is an ideal first pogo stick for kids; each jump makes a fun squeaky sound destined to delight or … other 😂. But really, Pogo sticks make great active toys for kids because they help train hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills; Give your kid a headstart in life with a toddler pogo stick crafted to improve balance.

Age: 3+

 

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Colorful, lightweight, soft foam blocks bring a new way for even the youngest curious ones to build and create. Designed to stimulate the imagination, the blocks are magnetized and designed to click together almost magically and then rotate 360-degrees. Watch kids of all ages light up as they’re able to make animals, sculptures, towers, and more—from simple to complex.

Age: 18 mos.+

 

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Save $1.13

Imagine an industrial dumpster packed with robot parts. That’s what Hexbug Junkbots Industrial Dumpster Assortment Kit is all about, and boy, do the kids love this!

From unboxing the mystery behind which Hexbug lies within to discover that this kit contains parts to make four Hexbug bots, this toy will inspire and stimulate critical thinking in ways the kids will not notice. Why? Because it’s just so much fun!

Age: 3+

 

 

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Two-sided, garden-to-kitchen playset with 30+ play pieces, colorful lights, music, and learning content for fresh pretend play. Smart Stages learning content changes as the baby grows. Teaches []

Age: 18 mos.+

 

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This adorable plush, interactive toy that is sure to delight the little ones who watch Blue’s Clues show. Blue can move her head, ear, and paws along with the music, and the guitar included in this toy becomes the remote control! How cute is that?!

Age: 3+

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With the Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot, preschoolers enter different codes to control their robot friend’s movements. This interactive learning toy comes to life with lights and phrases, offering coding challenges that teach about early math concepts, colors, shapes, and more. There are three ways to play, a cool secret code book, and four machine accessories to expand the play for your junior engineer! Inspiring little learners to be big thinkers. Teaches early math concepts, colors, letters and more through exciting coding challenges. Reasoning & Problem Solving: Kids can practice their coding and problem-solving skills as they figure out how to “program” paths for their robot. Engineering & Building: As kids try out different experiments with the robot and the simple machine accessories, they’re practicing engineering and building skills—just like a real engineer.

Age: 3 – 6 years

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Inspired by the favorite character from The Mandalorian, is quite awesome. Touch the top of The Child Animatronic Edition’s head to activate sound effects inspired by The Mandalorian, including happy and excited, giggles and babbles, tired and sleeping, and Force effects sound. Certain to be Christmas 2020’s hot (read: hard to find) toy, if this fits your holiday budget, grab it now while you can.

Age: 3+

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Budding cooks can hop on board for a great building experience with the set. They can try their hand at running a food truck with this unique vehicle filled with loads of brick-built details like a giant hamburger on the roof, foldable steps, and a dog figure. Children get to explore 3 different build-and-play experiences in 1 with this LEGO Creator 3-in-1 set. They can make a monster burger truck, rebuild it into an off-roader or toy tractor pulling vehicle, or let their creativity loose and create whatever they want.

Age: 8 years +

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Peek & Push is a 2-player strategy game that tests your memory. Create a set or run before your opponent does, and you win!

Age: 12 – 99

 

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Save $8.50

This item from National Geographic is so much fun (educational, too). Kids get to dig up REAL dinosaur fossils. These genuine fossils are millions of years old! Dig for dinosaurs, sharks, brachiopods, mosasaurs, ammonites, and more. Excavate incredible, real fossils using the included tools of the trade: a chisel, brush, and magnifying glass. This kit makes an excellent gift for boys and girls!

Age: 8 – 99 years

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Stretches like slime but molds like sand. Offers hours of cool sensory experience—a super satisfying gift for all ages. Honestly, I could play with this stuff all day!

Age: 5 years and up

 

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Here’s the toy that will give kids ages 5 and up a much-needed screen break to teach the foundation of coding and give your favorite youngsters a jumpstart on developing their STEM skills. This Learning Resources Botley, the Coding Robot 2.0 Activity Set comes with a remote programmer, detachable robot arms, 40 coding cards, six double-sided tiles, and 27 obstacle building pieces.

Age: 5+

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NEW! for 2020, this interactive LEGO set takes the classic video game Mario Bros.to new heights as kids build their own obstacle courses with bricks and characters—then watch their creation come to life using the companion app.

LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course Building Kit prompts LEGO-aficionado kids of all ages to create, construct, and solve problems at the intersection of their intellect and video game prowess.

Age: 6+

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This adorable interactive playset includes an all-terrain vehicle with momentum push-and-go motor and rear bench seat, a camper with detachable awning, 2 chairs, and exclusive Little Friends 4″ Boy Noah Figure.

Age: 3+

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Sleeping outdoors is lots of fun! HABA Little Friends set up their practical tent in a flash. They cuddle up in their cozy sleeping bags when it gets dark and gaze up at the stars.

Set includes 2 reversible sleeping bags, tent, campfire, and Little Friends girl Lea who stands 4″ tall and is made of soft, flexible plastic with metal wires inside that allow her to be posable.

Age: 3+

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Let your child have endless fun learning to build circuits with these colorful Electronic Snap Circuit—an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics. This kit contains over 60 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. This fabulous STEM toy comes with over 60 pieces to create 305 different electronic projects—no soldering required.

Age: 8 and older

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As kids learn to program, they build key skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, sequencing, and programming fundamentals. Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for the Programmable Robot Mouse. Super fun!

Age: 5 to 15

 

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Save $2.00

This is a traffic jam logic game. This single-player (at a time) game offers four levels of play—beginner to expert. It comes with forty mind-challenge cards with solutions, 16 cars and trucks, a traffic grid game board, and a storage bag that makes this toy portable. To play, set up the traffic challenge and then battle the gridlock to find a path for your red car to exit. This is really fun!

Age: 8+

 

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Dash is a real robot for children that is responsive to its world. Your child can bring it to life with free apps available on iOS and Android. Dash comes with hundreds of exciting coding adventures and projects. Comes fully assembled, no batteries are required; includes a USB charging cable. Dash robot offers an open-ended STEM learning platform that makes tech knowledge simple and accessible, helping kids grow into confident, creative architects.

Age: 6+

 

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With this kit, your little artist can learn various sewing skills and techniques to create 7 fun little crafts. Designed to promote motor skills, these crafts teach kids how to sew a running stitch, blanket stitch, whip stitch, and beginning embroidery. Techniques include using a measuring tape, handling pins, learning to sew on buttons and patches, using elastic, and stuff toys they’ve sewn themselves.

Age: 6 – 15 years

 

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