7 ways STEM Toys are a gamechanger for your child's growth
by Smartivity on Jan 27, 2022
“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.” ~ Yawar Baig
Not all that can be taught can be found in books. So when you feel the need to make learning fun for your little ones, STEM educational toys or STEAM toys can help.
What do STEM toys mean?
STEM refers to careers and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. By adding A for art to STEM, STEAM refers to toys that facilitate interests and passions towards learning and leveraging skills required to pursue such careers.
How do STEAM toys differ from ordinary toys?
While ordinary toys focus only or to a greater extent on the fun aspects of toys, STEAM toys for 4 to 5-year olds can be a great starter kit to introduce young ones to real life skills while they’re also having fun. Because when learning is fun, children can use creativity, and let their imagination run wild to learn more about the real world and leverage more opportunities to grow and explore an ever changing, complex world.
How does this happen? A good STEM toy triggers both sides of the brain when children engage with them. The left, logical, and reasoning side of the brain is activated when the experience instills concepts of science, technology, engineering or math. Whereas the right side of the brain, or the emotional side is sparked when there’s fun and creativity involved.
For an in depth explanation of how this works, we’ve listed seven real ways many children have, and your child could learn better with STEM/STEAM toys without thinking of learning as a chore.
And at the end of the day, we know that that’s a real blessing as parents and caregivers.
Child-Led: lets your child lead the way
Imagine a world where your young ones can take complete ownership of building and interacting with their own toys. A world where their idea of fun is creating something unique using their own hands without needing much help either.
You can now make your imagination a reality with the best stem toys online. Fill your children with a sense of confidence and inspire creativity with toys that encourage concept learning, hands on experience and also boosts self esteem in the process.
The best stem toys online can help build intrinsic motivation and foster self-determination in your children. And when young minds are often told what is right, and what is not, in their everyday lives, good STEAM educational toys can allow children’s minds to run free, giving them complete ownership and self motivation to lead the way to their own play time.
Hands-on: immersive experiences in the digital age
One problem we’re all (kids and adults alike) currently facing is digital attachment. Which is where stem educational toys can come in to save the day. Get your young ones off the screen with toys that inspire them to be more attached to the real, physical world, instead of the virtual. Replace the passivity of digital devices with real hands-on activity of stem toys.
As humans, it’s also natural to remember experiences, especially when we use our hands to create something unique. The tactile experiences of building their toys with their own hands will also help them retain the learnings longer in the brain as opposed to when they just watch something online.
Allows for trial and error: there's fun in making mistakes
Imagine a world where nothing’s wrong and nothing’s right. Every way leads to a valid conclusion. And if you happen to go the wrong way, undoing is easy! That's what your children get to learn when they play with stem educational toys. They learn that undoing is easy and normal. There’s no shame in getting things wrong the first time, and if they happen to get it right the very first time, well then there’s no better way to DIY, really.
Being free to fail is one of the unique experiences that the best stem toys online can offer. Especially when learning in school often involves not making many mistakes with rigid scoring systems, and curriculum, stem educational toys can make learning outside the school fun and more rewarding with the freedom to do the wrong thing and not having to suffer, but simply rewire their brain to redo and rework. This also allows for more problem solving and ways to think out of the box to get things right, even after they’ve gone wrong.
Gender neutral and inclusive
We all know young minds can grasp concepts much more quickly as opposed to when we grow up and learn to think only in a certain way. So when your kids are young, that’s exactly the right time to introduce them to the concepts of gender equality and a gender inclusive world, where there’s no room for gender bias, and there’s room to learn from each other (no matter the race, gender, age or nature) creatively. With stem toys for 4-year-olds, and stem toys for 5 year olds, you can start building a better society without making a big deal out of it. (Just how it should be.)
Instill confidence & inspire creativity
When young minds can create their own world from scratch, the experience is bound to instill confidence in them and inspire creativity to do more, build more, and be more passionate about the real world objects around them. Along with that, creative thinking will allow them to think out of the box, while they’re constantly immersed in the process of creating their own complex world every step of the way, with use of greater imagination and a bounty of skills.
Relate to the real world
Imagine a world where children can learn real life scientific concepts from toys that they can build from scratch and play with. For example, STEAM toys such as the construction crane can help your young ones learn about angles, pulleys, counterweights, while they build and wreck things without any hesitation. Such stem educational toys are designed to spark curiosity towards angles, basic concepts of pulleys and much more! (And of course, there’s loads of fun in breaking things.)
So stem educational toys like construction cranes encourage children to create from scratch, enhance their motor skills and also promote free experimentation. What better toy can you think of?
Encourage the development of social & emotional intelligence in young minds
When we see young kids play, we can expect some fighting, some crying and perhaps, the occasional hair pulling too. But then there’s also enormous space for cooperation, collaboration, team playing, empathy for the other, and understanding emotional and social dynamics.
While normal toys might not have space for the latter, stem educational toys offer ample opportunities for collaboration, cooperation, and getting young minds together to work better. Because they’re building something from scratch before they play with it, all members of the group feel a sense of ownership towards the building and playing with the said toys. This also encourages team growth and most importantly, learning from one another and understanding their special abilities and what they have to offer to the group too.
In conclusion, there’s much that stem educational toys have to offer when it comes to the growth of young minds. The experience can be exponential, pride instilling and way more fun than simply buying a toy from the market and breaking it without ever understanding the hard work and fun that goes behind building one.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” - O. Fred Donaldson