STEM STEM STEM: That’s all we’ve been hearing lately. It’s everywhere. The New York Times, The Huffington Post. On CNN. On The Today Show.
Being that it’s all around us, we as Moms should know what it is automatically, right? WRONG.
I polled a group of Mommy friends and while they all nodded enthusiastically “YEP I KNOW STEM!!” They didn’t know specifically what it meant.
“It’s like educational things like toys that teach the kids!”
“It’s things where they build. Like Lego stuff.”
YES that’s true. But that’s only part of it.
STEM stands for:
Basically, these “STEM” anointed toys help our children hone their skills within those categories. There are so many choices out there now (fantastic!) but that also makes it harder as a parent to decide which toy to go for.
Before we sound TOO clinical, these are TOYS after all. Let’s not forget they’re supposed to be FUN. And why does my list only contain toys for girls? Ok. They obviously work for both genders. However, I’m focusing on girls in this post because, as Build & Imagine Founder Laurie Peterson pointed out on her site, women make up only 24% of the workforce within these fields, leading to what the President has termed a “gender gap in innovation”.
And my Top 5 Picks are not only fun (yay kids!) but also mark off all 4 categories of STEM (yay parents!) and appeal to girls. Girls who will one day rule the world.
Girls can build their very own unique structures with the Roominate Chateau, a toy that not only perfectly describes STEM but also appeals to the little girl in all of us (it’s a doll house. A CHATAEU HOUSE). Using the included building pieces that easily snap together, girls can tap into their imaginations to design two?level structures, bunk beds, balconies, a house on wheels, and other endless possibilities. Electrical circuits enhance designs so girls can watch their creations come to life with real movement, including spinning windmills, carousels, lamps, and more. Included in this 131?piece set are 8 wall/floor panels, 52 furniture building pieces, 32 connectors, 4 arches, 4 wheels, 2 axles, a motor, string of 4 lights, 2 switches, 2 battery packs, a screwdriver, doll, pet, and 20 sheets of craft paper. Requires 4 AAA batteries, not included.
2) Build & Imagine Coastal Community Collection
Build a coastal town with all three Build & Imagine StoryWalls play-sets! We’ve featured Build & Imagine before (my son still plays with it daily) and they continue to create new Story Walls for kids to enjoy. This collection includes their 3 main magnetic Story Wall Sets all in one package: Malia’s Beach House, the Marine Rescue Center, and Day at the Beach.
3) Goldieblox and The Movie Machine
On the eve of the annual Bloxtown Film Festival, Goldie learns the movie theatre’s projector is broken. that means the festival will likely be cancelled! Heartbroken – but determined – Goldie resolves to engineer a solution to save her favorite Bloxtown event! Gathering her friends – Ruby Rails, Li Gravity and Valentina Voltz, Goldie and the gang work together and invent a way to save the day. As kids read the story of Goldie and the Movie Machine, they learn to build their very own zoetrope using the GoldieBlox pieces in their tool kit. In addition to building the machine, kids learn how to make their own movies, first with stickers, then guided illustrations and then with their own drawings and ideas.
4) Geomag Mechanics Pink 142 Piece Set
Geomag is an inventive system of simple construction made of magnetic rods and non-magnetic steel spheres produced in Switzerland. A huge number of shapes, geometric figures and models of every kind can be constructed. Geomag stimulates creativity and logical reasoning. The variety of the shapes and their transformations make it possible to renew structures continuously. A child’s imagination is all that is needed to create a unique masterpiece.
Get your kids to invent anything with the Premium Kit. Heftier than the Base Kit, it unlocks more powerful interactions with bits like the servo and vibration motors, and is perfect for makers who want a deeper intro into inventing with littleBits. Your kids [and you!] can learn the basics of electronics, explore STEAM/STEM principles, form the foundations of critical thinking, or just have fun with whirring, buzzing creations.
*All opinions are my very own. I received no compensation for this review.