As a parent, you have probably heard about “STEM toys” one-too-many times to know that it’s said to impart science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to children.
From stimulating STEM interest to enhancing cognitive performance and even propelling kids to a life of success, different parents have their own distinct motivations for buying STEM toys.
But if the buzzwords and inflated promises don’t convince you, why should you even consider buying STEM-learning toys for kids? In the following texts, I’ll share the #1 reason why parents must invest in STEM toys.
But before that, why do most parents buy STEM toys?
The Most Common Motivations Why Parents Buy STEM Toys
STEM toys are said to reel children into an educational world of play — inciting a knack for lifelong learning and preparing them to pursue high-paying STEM jobs in the future.
Based on Toy Association’s research, a whopping 91% of parents recognize the significance of STEM in children. But roughly 3 out of 4 parents desire lucrative STEM careers for their kids. Some of the top aspirations include:
A hefty 79% of the parents believe that STEM-focused toys can pave the way for their STEM-career dreams.
So are STEM toys even effective? Yes. But they’re not magic. There are merits in buying STEM toys that traditional toys can’t impart.
Before we give the primary reason to invest in STEM-learning toys, we’ll tackle five peripheral motivations to buy them.
(Note: Feel free to skip to the #1 reason if you’re not a fan of long content)
Peripheral Motivations To Invest in STEM Toys for Kids
1. They stimulate a child’s cognitive learning
Most of the time, schools are responsible for instilling new information and concepts in kids. However, the education system typically practices this through memorizing facts and figures.
In contrast, STEM toys impart the same concepts while masquerading the lessons underneath fun playtime sessions. Take the PlantExplo science kit, for example, instead of revealing the importance of water for plant life via lectures and boring textbooks, children get to engage in experiments and experiential learning.
Most STEM work the same way. By presenting new challenges to kids, playing with STEM toys can aid in developing a child’s cognitive functions like logical reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
2. They promote family bonding
Admittedly, STEM is a bit challenging to grasp for young learners. That’s why there are STEM toys that prescribe parental guidance — not only to assist children in their STEM-related activities but foster an atmosphere of family bonding.
Intricate coding toys would require a parent’s intervention to assist kids through the playtime. Completing experiments that instill complex concepts would be better if a parent were present to laymanize or explain the lessons. While kits that involve some hazards, like the MicroExplo (dealing with molds), may require parental guidance for a child’s safety.
At the end of the day, playtime with kids is always a time well-spent.
3. They train their dexterity and motor skills
STEM toys are not only helpful in exercising a child; ’s brainpower but also their coordination skills.
Dexterity or the confidence to use their hands when performing tasks is critical for kids. While most toys can help children exercise their hands and fingers, STEM toys add an extra layer of effort to develop a child’s motor skills further.
Toys that involve twistable knobs or gears are the best examples of dexterity-building tools. They also develop their spatial reasoning and hand-eye coordination when engaging in intellectually inducing STEM toy tinkering.
4. They boast an open-ended play experience
STEM toys encourage children to stretch their imagination and tap into the limits of their creativity. Except for precise experiment kits, most STEM toys like construction kits invite children to build the wildest structures from their imagination, and their imagination is their limit. Other tools, say, kids’ microscopes like the STEMscope, encourage children to satisfy their inquisitive nature by exploring the world up close.
This open-ended experience develops their creative thinking, builds children’s confidence to keep learning, and trains their brains to search for creative solutions when presented with complex problems.
5. They furnish a wide array of choices
Each STEM toy represents at least one of the four facets of STEM. Nowadays, there are limitless options and combinations on how many STEM-focused playthings you can buy in the market.
There are traditional STEM toys that are operated manually and tech-powered STEM toys that are electronic or application-activated. However, we don’t recommend the latter for audiences under 8 years as this can disrupt kids’ recommended screen time.
Lastly, STEM toys increase in difficulty as children grow older. So you can expect plenty of choices if you wish to upgrade your child’s STEM toy annually.
These are only peripheral reasons to invest in STEM toys for your child. While this may be enough for some, most parents want to see a benefit with a quick turnaround time. If you’re one of those parents, this might be the reason for you.
The #1 Reason to Invest in STEM Toys
Curiosity: This is the single most important element to buy STEM toys, especially if you want children to make the most out of their playtime.
Every child is born with unbridled curiosity. And this is the same driving force pushing them to understand the world around them. From birth until the age of 5, they absorb all information like a sponge, and there are always new data to acquire as they course through adulthood.
But recently, the world has transitioned into a state of techno-dependence where children’s lives revolve primarily on TV screens or playing mind-numbing games.
Instead of microscopes or building blocks, tablets are now shoved into their hands. People see free exploration as bad and constant entertainment good.
This is the trend that STEM toys seek to disrupt by cultivating kids’ curiosity.
STEM toys present challenges that drive children to hypothesize and wonder. When the curiosity-driven questions start piling up, children themselves will express the willingness to seek answers to their queries.
STEM toys capture children’s curiosity through fascinating experiments and beguiling facts, keeping them mindlessly scrolling through tablets and watching value-less shows.
STEM toys inspire persistence by instilling an undying curiosity among children. Frequently, kids quit without trying when they’re used to spoonfeeding. But the challenges that STEM toys present keep children resolute and undeterred until they understand the why, what, and how.
Undoubtedly, STEM toys work because of the curiosity it activates among the youth. And this is the same quality that sets children up for a life of success.
Try to look back at history. The people who are influential and make the biggest impacts are the curious ones. When people ask questions and refuse to accept the status quo, they lead adventurous, successful, and happy lives.
A spark of curiosity is all it takes. And STEM toys can make that happen. Because the more curious a child is, the more they learn.
If you’re convinced or are willing to give STEM toys a shot, we furnished some awesome science gadgets you can try! Feel free to read their descriptions to learn more about them.