stem toys toddlers and one year olds

STEM toys are educational toys introducing toddlers to important scientific concepts they will use as they grow older. The best STEM toys for toddlers provide hours of fun while learning to focus, solve problems, think critically, use their imaginations, and develop crucial gross and fine motor skills.

According to the National Science Board, opportunities for jobs in science and engineering continue to increase. Developing STEM skills at an early age will benefit your child. It familiarizes and prepares them not only for school but for future careers too.

We’ve researched for hours to create a list of the best STEM learning toys for boys and girls. We’ve included toys for younger kids, age-appropriate STEM subscription boxes, and toys for budding scientists, little engineers, technology geeks, preschool mathematicians, and young artists.

What to Look for in STEM Toys For Young Children

Whether building blocks, board games for kids, musical instruments, or building sets, STEM toys are fun and educational. When looking for the best STEM learning toys for their children, parents should consider certain features and characteristics. 

Age-appropriate toys are designed to help develop the child’s STEM skills and knowledge for that age and development level. A child loses interest if the STEM toy is too complicated or straightforward. Consider your child’s age and skill level when selecting the correct type of STEM toy. 

Bright colors catch the attention of babies and toddlers, strengthening the child’s retina. They perceive colors and shapes in their early developmental stages. A child may quickly lose interest in a dull-colored toy. 

STEM toys are typically made from high-quality plastic and wood. A construction set features tools and materials; if these items are of poor quality material, the toy won’t last. Inferior materials can damage the tools, and splintering or breaking could harm the toddler. 

STEM toys should be innovative and relevant to current science, technology, engineering, and math skills. STEM toys help kids develop special skills that prepare them for their future.

Check the safety features of the toy before buying. When purchasing toys for babies and children younger than three years old, always consider potential choking hazards. Make sure toys don’t have sharp edges, and select wooden toys with smooth finishings that won’t splinter when used.

STEM toys are educational toys that challenge kids to strengthen and develop skills. If your toddler isn’t engagingly learning something, it’s not a proper STEM toy with educational value.  

A STEM toy features complex components that stimulate critical thinking skills and creative thinking. The toy requires a child’s undivided attention, teaching them to use different parts of their brain to make decisions and solve problems. Simultaneously, the toddler actively participates in constructing a creative object, strengthening their practical skills.

Quality STEM toys may seem pricey, but it is a value-for-money purchase considering the safety features, longevity, and learning value. 


Great STEM Toys For Toddlers Compared

KiwiCo Panda Crate
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Tobbles Neo By Fat Brains
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Pound A Ball Stacking Toy
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Skoolzy Peg Board Toddler Stacking Toys
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Kidtastic Dinosaur Toys
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Goobi Juniors Construction Set
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The Problem Solver Play Kit
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Koala Crate
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Best STEM Toys For Toddlers Reviewed

Best STEM Toys For 6-Months Old: Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo

The Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo is an excellent toy to strengthen fine motor skills and encourage sensory exploration and spatial awareness. Modern design inspires learning STEM skills through creative, open-ended play.

Every child enjoys stacking and toppling toys. The six uniquely weighted pieces encourage further investigation. The interesting shapes, different sizes, and vibrant colors invite sensory play. An easy-to-grip texture with unique contours will encourage any kid to explore all the pieces and discover what happens when stacking them. The unique design allows for delightful experimentation.

Fun toys for toddlers invite timeless play; the Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo is one of those toys that introduce children to STEM subjects inspiring creativity during play. When stacked, kids can create towers and experiment with balancing, tilting, wiggling, and wobbling the pieces. A budding scientist interested in hands-on activities will love the physics behind the toy.

Recommended Age: 6 months to 2 years

Best STEM Toys For 1-Year-Olds: Playkidz Pound A Ball, Stacking Toy

The award-winning Playkidz Pound A Ball is an early developmental Montessori toy for one-year-olds; the perfect STEM gift for boys and girls who loves pounding and hammering for fun. 

When little ones use the hammer and balls, they develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, agility, and arm movement. Made for little hands, the hammer grips easily to pound the colorful balls. Children learn cause and effect when they hit the balls and watch them roll down the maze ramp, landing in a catching tray. The STEM toy inspires color recognition when kids place the balls in the correct position and refines critical thinking from a very early age. 

The sturdy toy will withstand countless hours of imaginative play. The toy with its smooth edges is safe for infants. The plastic toy includes a ramp maze, a squeaky hammer, and four smooth-sanded balls in vibrant red, blue, green, and yellow colors. 

Recommended Age: 1 year and up

Best STEM Toys For 2-Year-Olds: Skoolzy Peg Board Toddler Stacking Toys

The Skoolzy Peg Board Stacking Toy is one of the best STEM educational toys for two-year-olds. The educational toy is ideal for early childhood development and Montessori methods used in preschool or homeschooling. 

The 8-inch square foam board and 36 pegs are stored neatly in the accompanying storage bag, perfect for traveling, visiting grandma, or storage. The colorful oversized pegs are easy to grasp, and the 12 colors and 12 different shapes will engage any toddler. 

Montessori toys grow with your child, and the pegboard with pegs is one of the best math toys for kids at a young age. Stacking towers strengthen concentration, eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills.  

With 36 pegs, there are more than enough to share. Playing together enhances social skills and teamwork. A 44-page downloadable activity guide instructs kids on basic concepts of counting, sorting, matching, and color recognition. Older kids learn about addition, subtraction, and patterning. 

The Peg Board Stacking Toy is an entertaining toy for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten kids. It is one of the top picks for developing STEM skills. 

Recommended Ages: 2 to 4 years

Best STEM Toys For 3-Year-Olds: Kidtastic Dinosaur Toys

 The Kidtastic Dinosaur Toys are fun construction toys for dinosaur enthusiasts. Young ones strengthen their creativity and imagination as they build and take apart three types of dinosaurs; this hands-on learning toy with 106 pieces guarantees hours of fun. 

 Developing early childhood cognitive skills are crucial for kids. The construction toy teaches children about engineering skills and strengthens fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills.  

Building 3D structures have a positive impact on brain development. With three kids-size screwdrivers, your child is ready for hands-on learning and DIY activities building dinosaurs. The 3D models measuring 4-7 inches tall are fun, challenging puzzles for little ones. The engineering toy kit includes a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, an Alamosarus, and a free downloadable coloring book. 

The dinosaur toy set comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. The toys are washable and require no batteries. 

Recommended Ages: 3 to 5 years

Best Subscription Box For Early Child Development: Kiwico Panda Crate

kiwico panda crate bond with me

The KiwiCo Panda Crate is a subscription box with age-appropriate items for the age group from newborn to 24 months. The crate is ideal for parents who want to invest in the early childhood development of their babies and toddlers.

Inside the crate are age-appropriate toys, activity cards, DIY cards, and the Wonder Magazine to keep your little one busy until the next box arrives. Each crate features activities and projects specifically for your child’s age and development stage. Parents will find solutions, advice, and answers to questions in the Wonder Magazines.

The KiwiCo Panda Crates, like all the varieties of Kiwi crate, focus on nurturing creative play and curiosity in babies and toddlers; each crate theme supports lifelong learning.

Recommended Age: 0 to 24 months

Best STEM Subscription Boxes For Brain Development: Lovevery The Enthusiast Play Kit

lovevery enthusiast play kit

The Lovevery Looker Play Kits focus on brain development, offering your two-year-old new cognitive challenges in pattern recognition and spatial awareness. The content helps refine your toddler’s fine motor skills as they investigate weight and balance experiments and learn about geometry.

Shipping every three months, the STEM toys for toddlers are age-appropriate and designed for quarterly developmental stages. There are a wide variety of Lovevery play kits – all with different themes. The Enthusiast Play Kit includes

  • Every Which Weigh Scale & Pails for early STEM games and lessons in balance and measurement
  • Sort & Stack Peg Puzzle for learning different shapes
  • Pinkies Up Picnic Set stimulates creativity and social skills by having tea with other kids and toys
  • Squeaky Clean Squeegee Set is a child-size set for helpful toddlers
  • Sticky Shapes Glue Station is creative fun with less mess
  • My Favorite Nature Buddy board book connects kids to the outdoors
  • Play Guide gives parents advice and ideas for at-home activities with their kids.

Recommended Age: 28 to 30 months

Best STEM Toys For Basic Engineering: Goobi Juniors Construction Set

 The open-ended Goobie 20-piece set is one of our favorite STEM toys for child development. Your kid learns the basics of engineering with this hands-on toy. 

The engineering toy is made from high-quality material and teaches kids about magnetism’s attractive and repulsive properties. The 12 plastic bars feature strong magnetic attractions, and the eight lightweight hollow steel balls are coated with metallic paint. 

Older kids construct more complex structures than the more simplistic designs of younger children. Toddlers can easily grasp and build with jumbo-sized bars. Younger kids learn about proportion and improve problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination in a fun and entertaining way. 

Ideal for a STEM learning program, the multi-award-winning construction set encourages creativity, experimentation, and interaction. The ABS plastic Goobi STEM engineering toy meets all toy safety standards, including the US ASTM, EU EN71, SOR, and AS/NZS. A 100% guarantee backs the product. 

Recommended Age: 1 year and up

Best Stem Toy Book For Learning Languages: LeapFrog 100 Animals Book

The LeapFrog 100 Animals Book is one of the best toys for toddlers to inspire them to read. A young child can enjoy the picture book with sounds independently from parents with the touch feature.

Your toddler will discover more than 100 animals on earth, in the sky, and in the ocean. The 12 interactive pages are a wonderful way for a young kid to learn the names of animals, what they sound like, and fun facts about the animal. Kids push the buttons to the side to bring the pages to life.

The audible books are a fun way to impact kids interested in language skills positively. The three modes in the bilingual book teach young ones in English and Spanish. Toddlers will love the colorful books in pink and green; learning new words helps toddlers explore their world. The Leapfrog learning resource series has other toys suitable for this age group that encourages children to learn new words. There are 100 words books about Learning Friends, Places I Go, Scout and Violet, and Things That Go.

Recommended Ages: 18 months to 4 years

Best STEM Toys For Creative Play: Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle Mat

Boys and girls love the Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle Mat, the perfect STEM learning toy for hours and hours of creative play. The water drawing mat is big enough for friends to join the fun – grab your magic pens and start doodling!

The 40 x 32 inches mat features printed letters in animal figures to the side with enough room to doodle. Attach the mat to a level surface, against the window or wall with the four suction cups, or enjoy drawing with the mat on the floor or a table.

Educational toys motivate children to learn through play. The design booklet teaches kids how to draw, and the stamps and templates help them draw. When using the templates, they learn the alphabet letters and different shapes and numbers. Six bonus stamps are the perfect final touch to the masterpiece. However, there is no reason why little artists can’t create their original masterpieces or little Einsteins decorate the mat with math symbols.

The set includes the water Doodle mat, a design booklet, five magic pens, six stamps, six drawing templates, six drawing molds, and a storage box to store the magic pens and stamps. The materials are non-toxic and non-polluting, and no mess with the waterproof backing. The aqua mat cleans easily and stores folded into a compact size. Drawings and doodles disappear magically after 3-10 minutes, providing a clean surface for new creations.

Recommended Age: 2 to 6 years

Best STEM Toys For Problem Solving Skills: Lovevery The Problem Solver Play Kit

lovevery the problem solver play kit

The Lovevery Problem Solver Play Kit is one of the subscription boxes for three-year-old toddlers. Kids work on problem-solving, conversations, and collaboration as curious minds discover the toys and games inside this subscription box.

The third box in the series for 3-year-old kids, the Problem Solver Play Kit, helps toddlers discover themselves and improve STEM skills. The Play Kit includes

  • Turtle Hatch Game to practice taking turns with family and friends
  • Montessori Math Bars & Number Tiles build math fundamentals
  • Number Sense Nature Counters teaches a kid to count with 55 counters in animal and nature characters
  • Size It Up Measuring Tape has a soft pull tab for kids to measure in inches and centimeters
  • Wooden Wobble Puzzle challenges a kid to solve the 3D STEM puzzle
  • Liquid Color Lab provides color blending experiments for budding scientists
  • Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party book helps kids understand loved ones with a disability
  • Play Guide includes ways to play, expert tips for parents, and activity ideas.

Recommended Age: 43 to 45 months

Best STEM Toys For Basic Math Skills: Educational Insights Design & Drill See-Through Creative Workshop

The Insights Design & Drill See-Through Creative Workshop is a dream toy for toddlers who love pretend play and mimicking dad in the workshop. It is a wonderful gift for developing creativity and introducing kids to the world of math and engineering.

Three kid-friendly tools are the perfect size for little hands-on activities sparked by a child’s imagination. The power drill features three drill bits, a Phillips, flathead, and socket, to drill patterns on the activity board.

With 120 bolts in five vibrant colors and a sturdy activity board, little builders, engineers, or artist can create their designs. Children develop fine motor skills and coordination skills by creating beautiful designs using the ten pattern cards. Sorting and counting the chunky bolts and mapping out the plan on the game board, preschoolers develop critical math skills they will use as they grow older.

The Design & Drill set is one of the best math toys to introduce the world of math to boys and girls in a fun way.

Recommended Age: 3 to 7 years

Best STEM Subscription Toys For Toddlers: KiwiCo Koala Crate

kiwico kaola crate

The KiwiCo Koala Crate is a subscription box that encourages play-based learning for toddlers and preschoolers. The crates ship monthly and include themes like ocean games, camping, and rainbows.

With high-quality materials for two to three creative activities, your kid will be engaged in fun STEM projects each month. With high-quality materials for two to three creative activities, your kid will be engaged in fun STEM projects each month. Each crate features a parent guide with research-based advice and ideas to help parents guide their kids. The crate also includes the Imagine! Magazine, online DIY tutorials, and 2-3 projects. The magazine has engaging stories and games that spark a kid’s imagination.

Recommended Age: 2 to 4 years

STEM Toys make learning fun and are great for parent-child bonding. Playing with STEM toys introduces STEM subjects at an early age. The age-appropriate toys help children through the various developmental stages, strengthening the necessary skills. Which of these STEM kits for kids are your toddler’s favorite toys, or did we miss one?

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