6 Awesome DIY STEM Toys You Can Make at Home with Your Kids


8 minute read

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STEM toys are the best kind of toys.

Let us explain.

They are the best options if you're looking for toys that convey both learning and enjoyment to kids. On top of being affordable, there is a wide selection of science gadgets available in the market.

But what if you're stuck at home? Then make the STEM toys yourself!

There are tons of DIY projects that you and your kids can carry out indoors. You may create some using materials found inside the house, which means making some STEM toys is essentially free. STEM learning toys don't necessarily need to come in a box from the store to be effective. In fact, you may benefit more from making the DIY STEM toys yourselves as it encourages creativity and engineering - fun science for kids!

We summarised 6 of the best DIY STEM toy projects you and your child can enjoy making at home, and we provided a brief breakdown of how you could do them!

6 Cool DIY STEM Toys for Kids 

Cardboard Shape Puzzle

Difficulty: Easy

When there are no toy stores nearby to get a preschool learning shape toy, why not make yourself one? Using household scraps like cardboard and some bottle caps, you can replicate the same principle in this DIY toy that your preschool kids will surely love.

Here are the materials you need:

  • Bottle caps (equal to the number of shapes you make)

  • 2 sheets of cardboard, equally shaped (11" x 12")

  • Utility blade

  • Scissors

  • Glue

Directions:

  1. Take one sheet of cardboard and trace some random shapes over it

  2. Cut the traced shapes out using a scissor/utility blade, this leaves you cardboard with hollowed shapes

  3. Once done, glue the cardboard with hollow shapes to the other cardboard sheet

  4. Attach the bottle cap to the shapes using a glue

  5. Now kids can have fun inserting the shapes into their proper locations

This DIY STEM toy is ideal for young learners studying how to familiarize themselves with shapes. With a little bit of creativity and effort, fun science for kids is within grasp!

Cardboard Stackers

Difficulty: Easy 

If building stuff is more your kids’ preference, then cardboard stackers are one of the best DIY STEM toys to make. Here's how you can do it.

Materials:

  • Cardboard

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Paint (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut 2" by 4" rectangles from the cardboard

  2. Once finished, snip 1/2" cuts to the shapes 1" from each corner. This will leave you rectangles with 1 snip along the width, and 2 along the length.

  3. Connect the shapes through their snips and be crafty with your engineering

Cardboard stackers are relatively easy to DIY STEM toys you can make with your kids. But to ensure the longevity of the toy, we recommend making this with kids who already have a foundational understanding of shapes. 

Tiny Dancers

Difficulty: Easy 

For kids you wish to introduce to electronics, making these DIY STEM toys might serve as a good introduction. The tiny dancers toy inserts concepts of electronics and magnetism using simple household materials. A testament that STEM learning toys only need dashes of creativity to perform. Here's how.

Materials:

  • AA battery

  • 3 neodymium magnets

  • Copper wire

  • Crepe paper and glue gun

  • Pliers

Directions:

  1. Cut a piece of copper wire (around 10") from your spool 

  2. Wrap the copper wire around the battery to get its general form, shape the wire as shown in the image below (link back the template to them)

  3. Attach the magnets to the negative pole of the battery

  4. Insert the battery to the coiled wire, make sure the wire touches the positive end

  5. This will initiate a spinning motion to the wire

  6. You may glue crepe paper by the copper wire to resemble a skirt, this creates a dancing illusion once the wire begins to spin

These kinds of DIY STEM toys use electromagnetism to that causes the spin. As electricity travels through the copper wire towards the negative end, it creates a force called Lorentz Force causing the wire to spin around. Quick fun science for kids to learn from!

Rubber Band-Powered Bottle Car

Difficulty: Moderate 

Let's move on to the more moderately difficult DIY STEM toys for children. This rubber band-powered car is a great STEM learning toy as it imparts engineering skills to kids. Moreover, you may use it to introduce basic physics concepts to children like how potential converts to kinetic energy. Here's how you can do it!

Materials:

  • 2 500 ml Plastic bottles both with caps

  • BBQ sticks

  • Cutter

  • 4 separate plastic bottle caps

  • Glue gun

Directions:

Creating DIY STEM toys like this is a bit too complex for words to explain. But fret not because we found the perfect video to walk you through the process! Visit this link to access the video and get your rubber band-powered car running.

Fun science for kids never stops, and neither will complex directions limit us from giving you resources on how to get it done!

Paddle Boat

Difficulty: Moderate 

Same with the rubber-band car, the paddle boat toy belongs to the moderately difficult DIY STEM toys that kids can try making at home. Similar like the previously discussed, this project hones the engineering skills of children and it also teaches them kids the conversion of potential to kinetic energy.

Here are the things you will use:

  • 1 500 ml plastic bottle

  • 2 pieces of wood (around 1" x 8")

  • A rubber band

  • 2 plastic spoons

Directions:

You may refer to this demonstration video for a clearer representation of how to make this DIY STEM toy. It is easy to make and children will have fun bringing this in the tub or when they're out on a swim.

Arduino-powered Buzz Wire

Difficulty: Challenging

This DIY project is the most difficult to execute from the list of DIY STEM toys, but the fulfillment and fun it brings are equally unparalleled. Buzz wire game is a tabletop competitive amusement that everyone loves. If you want to train your kids' dexterity and other motors skills, then this is the perfect DIY toy for your child.

Although Arduino might be a bit complex for kids to understand yet. Moonshot Jr. offers an Arduino Robotics Class for children ages 10-17 that interested to learn in the field, plus children get to claim a free Arduino UNO board after the class. This is available only for recipients residing in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and UAE.

This STEM learning toy varies from others as it uses materials that may or may not be readily available at home. Visit your local hardware to get the items needed.

Materials:

  • 1 Arduino UNO

  • 1 metal coat hanger

  • 2 220 ohm resistors

  • 1 breadboard

  • 1 piezo buzzer

  • 2 crocodile clips

  • Male-to-male hookup wires

Directions:

Making an Arduino buzz wire game takes more than assembling the system, to complete. There is an intermediate level of electronics involved and some coding to devise your Arduino board for the buzz wire game. You may visit MakeUseOf for a complete step-by-step guide on how it's performed.

What Makes DIY STEM Toys Great?

If you can visit the shop and buy all the ready-made toys you want there, why is there a need to make your own STEM learning toys?

  1. We all know kids are not careful yet in handling delicate tools like cutters or scissors. If they want a DIY toy, then asking for your help is necessary. That said, making DIY STEM toys, or any DIY toys in general initiates bonding between you and your child (or grandchild). 

  2. Both you and the child get to squeeze your creative juices and get overwhelming satisfaction once the toy is completed. No matter how it looks in the end, your child is going to love it because it was made with team effort.

  3. DIY STEM toys teach kids an important lesson: A toy doesn't need a price tag attached to it to be considered valuable. Anything, as long as it's made with love, can be a precious treasure to cherish. Just like a DIY STEM toy.

  4. DIY toys are typically more affordable than having to go out in stores to buy ready-made toys. Plus when recyclable materials are used to make these STEM toys, then you also extend some help to the environment.

  5. STEM toys teach children fundamental concepts in science, math, engineering, and technology that will benefit them once they pursue formal education. On top of that, these DIY STEM toys may also serve as an encouragement to take up scientific careers in the future.

Other Science Gadgets to Consider!

Kids can get a bit cranky if they're stuck at home with nothing fun to do. That’s why DIY STEM toys great projects to work on since it keeps kids occupied, they have fun, and they get to showcase their artistry! But if you want to buy STEM toys without the hassle of stepping outside, check our collection of science gadgets and we'll have them delivered to you in no time. 

Our trusty and durable portable microscope can accompany kids in outdoor exploration. Otherwise, you may also get our microscope slides kit to help encourage microscopic exploration even when they're staying indoors.

Get our science gadgets at 15% OFF if you add them to your cart today, also enjoy FREE DELIVERY privileges!

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