What are STEM Toys and their Educational Benefits for Kids
Many students are intimidated by the subjects of math and science. This has been demonstrated across a variety of different studies. To combat children's fear of these subject areas from an early age, psychologists encourage parents to give their children STEM toys.
There are many benefits that STEM toys can provide for children. But before we explore them, let's take a look at what STEM toys are first.
What are STEM Toys?
STEM stands for science, technology, math, and engineering.
STEM toys engage children in a fun and dynamic activities geared toward these disciplines. The hands-on experimentation involved in these types of activities allows children to use their cognitive skills, creativity, spatial reasoning skills, and critical thinking.
We will discuss the benefits of these educational toys below.
STEM toys enhance problem-solving skills
Playing with STEM toys is a healthy way for children to become acquainted with some of life’s real challenges. These toys encourage children to use their minds to come up with unique solutions. These toys also contribute to cognitive learning.
Presenting children with developmentally appropriate challenges from a young age helps promote independence and productivity.
STEM toys provide a great introduction to sciences, and are also great for honing children's lifelong interests, as children are able to explore a variety of STEM-related disciplines. As these toys teach youngsters about the different branches of science, they help children understand that learning about these areas can be fun and exciting.
For example, playing with a microscope can spark children’s interest in biology and even inspire your child to become a scientist. A coding robot can lead your child to careers in the IT industry. STEM toys will open up doors to endless possibilities for your child’s future.
STEM toys make learning math and science engaging
The basic rule of thumb when it comes to teaching children about complex subjects is to make them entertaining. This is possible with STEM toys. They provide a fun way to associate learning and problem-solving with enjoyment, discovery, and freedom. This kind of connection is something children take with them throughout their lives.
STEM toys improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills
These toys are not only mind stimulators, but they can also enhance your child's fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. When children perform motor skill-focused activities, they become more adept and confident when using their hands. Exposing children to puzzles and building blocks during their early years is especially advantageous during those important and fast-paced growth spurts.
STEM toys enrich creativity and critical thinking from a young age
STEM-related activities compel children to actively make decisions. The open-ended nature of these toys requires your child to come up with unique ideas from scratch. They also provide a healthy and safe way of experimentation.
The activities offered by these types of toys can lead to a variety of different outcomes, enabling your child to learn what works and what doesn't. For example, take blocks. If your child doesn't build a figure with a strong foundation, it will fall apart. Situations like this allow children to learn and master the fundamental basics of engineering.
STEM toys discount the notion that STEM subjects are too difficult
Children are like sponges. They can readily absorb different ideas and information, whether they're positive or negative. Daily exposure to various concepts shapes their interests, beliefs, and aspirations.
For this reason, parents need to ensure that children aren’t swayed by views that hinder their potential. This is where the importance of STEM toys comes in. When parents expose children to math and science in a positive manner, it gives them a sense of confidence when they are faced with these challenging subjects.
STEM toys encourage bonding between parent and child
Playing with STEM toys is a great way to encourage collaboration, wherein everyone in the whole family can join.
Stroll around a toy store and find the educational section. You'll find that there are STEM games and activities that even adults will enjoy.
The Bottom Line
The benefits are great when you introduce STEM toys to children from a young age. These types of activities can make the most challenging subjects more accessible and approachable for children of all ages. When children play with STEM toys, they often don't even notice that they're learning something because they're having so much fun!
At Mrs. Myers' Reading Room, we make learning fun and entertaining through the use of different STEM toys and activities. Contact us today for more information about our small group programs.