Combining education and play sounds like a fantastic idea. But all too often it just makes playtime boring, and no one ends up learning anything anyway.
Kids like learning to feel natural, and trying too hard to integrate STEAM concepts into playtime can feel forced.
At least, that’s how it used to be. There are now hundreds of incredible STEAM toys available that are naturally educational, while still being incredibly fun to play with.
These toys don’t feel like the neglected “educational toys” of the past. Instead, complicated ideas become naturally integrated into awesome toys.
If you’re looking for toys that teach STEAM concepts while keeping children engaged, we’ve put together 30 of the best STEAM toys for kids.
Some of them are so good, you’ll struggle to give them away. We have toys for a range of ages, and all kinds of play. Scroll through, and find the perfect toy for any child.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, so we’ve found toys for each category. But with these well-rounded toys, there’s plenty of overlap.
Incredible STEAM Toys For Teaching Kids About Science
There are lots of toys designed to introduce children to all areas of science, from geology to space travel. These 6 toys are perfect for kids who love to experiment.
OUR TOP PICK
The Brilliant Deep is a picture book that explores the world of the coral reefs, including how they’re in danger, and what we can all do to help.
Although recommended for ages 5 to 9, the pictures are so exquisite they’ll be enjoyed by everyone.
There are 50 colorful science experiments featured in this fantastic kit, including supplies for 18 of them in the box.
If you’re struggling to introduce science to your children, this set is absolutely ideal. It’s fun, safe, and easy for children to discover with adult supervision.
A rock tumbling kit may not seem like the most exciting of presents, but when your child watches plain rocks transform into sparkling gemstones, they’re sure to get caught up in the magic of it all.
It’s really simple to operate, and the durable kit can bring enjoyment for years to come. It can be tough to get kids excited for geology, and this tumbler is an amazing starting point.
Look through this talking microscope, and you’ll discover high-quality images of animals and plants up close.
These images are accompanied by facts and trivia, designed to teach kids more about the world around them.
There’s also a quiz mode, where they can put this knowledge to the test.
Creating bath bombs and soaps is an artistic and surprising way to introduce science to children. And it smells nice too!
The end result are fun fizzy bath bombs, colorful soaps, and layers of funky bath salts. It’s science that you really can use.
Kids love rockets, even if parents tend to be less enthusiastic. This water based kit makes use of an old soda bottle to create a rocket that zooms into space.
Children who’ve started dreaming about the stars will be delighted to watch as it travels up to 90 feet in the air.
Incredible STEAM Toys For Teaching Kids About Technology
Technology is an integral part of daily life, so it’s important to introduce children to concepts like coding and computers.
We’ve picked toys that combine technological concepts with physical products, encouraging a hands-on approach to computer learning.
OUR TOP PICK
LEGO is a fantastic way to teach children engineering, but this MINDSTORMS robot set also integrates technology.
With over 1,00 pieces, these are robots that can actually come to life. Build, code, and share your robot friend online with other LEGO lovers. A treat for kids aged 10 and over.
Coding can seem complicated (and a lot of it is), but the basics of coding are simple enough for young kids to quickly grasp. And a toy like Dash the robot teaches coding in a way that’s easy for children to understand.
Dash is a toy for life, as new content is added via the class connect regularly.
There are some really remarkable kits from Sphero, but we like the mini activity kit as a starting point.
It allows kids to build their own obstacle course, and use coding to navigate the robot ball around.
There’s endless fun ways to play, and online tools can help kids expand their knowledge as they grow.
Coding and technology isn’t just for older children! This Fisher-Price Kinderbot teaches coding to kids as young as 3.
The interactive robot friend is adorable, and the secret codes, free coding, and learning challenges really do integrate the basics of coding.
This robot can also teach kindergarten basics such as colors and shapes.
Do you know a child that loves Star Wars? Then this coding kit is the perfect STEAM toy for them. You build your own hand sensor, and then use it to craft stories, make music, and, of course, to use the force.
Not a Star Wars fan? It’s also available in a Harry Potter or Frozen theme.
One of the great things about the Coding Critters interactive pet is that it encourages creative storytelling as well as teaching coding.
The coding aspect feels naturally integrated into the movement of these cute little creatures, which are sure to enchant young children.
Incredible STEAM Toys For Teaching Kids About Engineering
For kids who like to build, create, and even destroy, these engineering toys nurture that passion. With pieces that fit together, children can understand more about how engineering can be used to create incredible things.
OUR TOP PICK
The brightly colored tiles from Magna-Tiles can create beautiful 2-D pictures, or impressive 3-D structures. And when you’re done, the tiles easily clip apart, to be played with again.
As kids build using these simple tiles, they learn how weight and shape affects the sturdiness of a structure.
We’re recommending this for children, but space lovers of any age will be blown away by this LEGO space research building kit.
The detail in it is incredible, including tiny astronauts with even tinier astronaut helmets.
The build teaches engineering and constructing, while the final product is sure to nurture an interest in science.
Construct a plastic tower with the Marble Run set, and watch as your marble faces twists, turns, and drops.
The solid pieces are incredibly well-designed, and the see-through shapes allow you to get up close and personal with the journey of the marble.
A free app includes step-by-step guides and challenges, but experimentation is just as exciting.
An old classic, the wooden domino set is a surprising way to introduce STEAM concepts to play. But when you think about it, a domino run has all the classic engineering concepts.
There’s the build, with careful planning to make sure each block is perfectly aligned. And then there’s the destruction, which for many children is the best part of engineering.
Another one that works for both kids and adults, this Da Vinci catapult set is a wooden marvel.
The construction is easy enough for beginner’s, and the end result is beautiful enough to keep on display.
Teach kids about one of the most creative minds of all time - Da Vinci - while they craft an actual catapult.
A mixture of Tetris and Jenga, BUILDZI is a STEAM game for the entire family. The unusual and colorful blocks are eye catching and well-made, making it a wonderful choice for family game night.
Incredible STEAM Toys For Teaching Kids About Art
Art is the concept that’s missing from STEM, but introduced via STEAM. These toys encourage creative expression, and activate the imagination.
OUR TOP PICK
Kids don’t generally need a lot of encouragement to be creative, and this toolkit gives them everything they need to express their creative dreaming.
It comes equipped with crayons, markers, pencils, and even some sheets of paper.
Bead kits are a wonderfully hands-on way to get children to experiment with their creativity, and the advantage to this 4M kit is all the beads are made from recycled paper.
They look good, and you can use this opportunity to teach children more about the environment.
Everyone loves a comic book, and these blank pages offer the perfect opportunity for children to create their own.
With all the boring bits done (lines and panels), they can let their imagination run wild. It encourages creative thinking in a way that promotes both artistic expression and careful thought.
Sticker mosaics are a thoughtful way to create fantastic pictures. It’s something parents can appreciate as well, thanks to the minimal clean up!
The outlines are already in place, ready to be filled with the colorful stickers and transformed into artworks.
Who wouldn’t like a craft kit full of dinosaurs? Painting these ferocious friends is an excellent way to encourage artistic expression in children who normally aren’t so keen on paints.
And you can teach some science at the same time. Try talking about how animals evolve with different colors.
One of the many fantastic things about this Crayola paper butterfly kit is it works as both an art and science toy.
Build the butterflies, paint them, and then display them. It’s a hands-on experience that encourages many areas of STEAM — and the finished product is lovely to look at.
Incredible STEAM Toys For Teaching Kids About Math
Problem-solving and puzzles make up the heart of these math based games, a STEAM subject that can be difficult to introduce to children. These games can make math a fun part of the day to day.
OUR TOP PICK
Numbers and characters are combined in the Numberblocks set, which makes counting games feel friendly and fun. Linking the cubes together to solve puzzles and build characters encourages hands-on math play.
It’s never too early to start with STEAM toys when you have a math game as fun and tactile as this.
Small kids will love the way the Dimpl Digits feel on their fingers, while the raised bumps help them to learn numbers.
Immerse yourself in the swamp with this math board game that uses addition and subtraction to move the pieces.
As you progress, you come face to face with funny swamp monsters, and you need your math skills to get away!
The problems may be simple, but adults will enjoy playing alongside their kids.
The cheerful smiley face on this cute little piggy bank will immediately endear this math game to small children.
Big and colorful coins are dropped into the bank, which sing’s and teaches as you use it. The double-sided coins feature animals and numbers, for diverse learning.
We’ve put this one under math, because that’s one of the real strong points of the OSMO set, but the OSMO is the full-package STEAM toy.
Combining a tablet with tactile play, the kits can be expanded as children age and gain new interests.
What Are STEAM Toys?
STEAM toys are toys that encourage children to engage with science, technology, engineering, art, or math (or several of them at once).
Although this might sound like a lot for a child, the beauty of these STEAM games is that they integrate learning seamlessly, and are mostly focused on having fun.
Children can learn in a way that feels natural, all while having a good time.
STEAM toys can be any number of toys, from building blocks, to robots, to painting kits. Even toys like LEGO kits and crayons can be used to teach STEAM.
Why Should You Buy STEAM Toys?
STEAM toys encourage learning naturally, and can introduce children to ideas that they’d never have considered before.
Children have so much potential for learning, and they’re always ready to explore, challenge, and question. But it can be difficult to find toys that keep children engaged, and expand their world. Especially if you have no idea about the subject yourself!
But with STEAM toys, there’s always something new to learn. Many of these toys aren’t about completing a task, or reaching a goal. Instead, with a fresh perspective, these are games that can keep on giving.
Most of all, they’re fun! It’s not a choice between fun games and educational games. STEAM toys combine the two, for a playtime even adults will be curious about.