As a parent of boys, there is constant talk of sensory and toys for building on their growth and awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM. Sometimes they even add in Art and refer to it as STEAM. What does all of this mean? Why do I have to nurture this in my 2-year-olds? Plus the push to start preschool when they are 3 in order to get them ahead of the curve when it comes to Kindergarten and beyond. All of this pressure and I just want them to play and discover on their own, but I can help this. I decided that giving you at Twiniversity options for your preschooler to help them grow and thrive and hopefully be able to support you a bit when they are in their twenties! Ok, I am thinking long term, but that is what they are pushing me to do. Enjoy and get your beakers out to be part of the fun!
1. Dinosaur Take Apart Toys With Tools – At the moment my littles wind up in Dinosaurs often but in observing my friends with older kiddos they are still all of the rage. This set is a great introduction to construction and engineering, with screwdrivers and other unique tools to foster that budding brain. It works on creativity with puzzle solving, hand-eye coordination, and patience as they take apart and build back up their dinos.
2. ETI Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks – ETI Toys offers a vast array of Educational Toys for all age groups. Their goal is to help build spatial and social knowledge, which having fun and following the fundamental path of learning. This starter kit is geared towards those Lil’ Engineers in your life that are ready to be challenged in creating and designing their own toys.
3. Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab – I mean who does not love a play set that your twinnies can learn and build together. Little Tykes is a trusted brand that we all know and love and they had to get in on the STEM action, of course! There are 20 hands-on STEM experiments included using common household ingredients. With songs and phrases commonly heard in the lab, this is hours of fun for all.
4. Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors Set – When I tell people that I am looking into STEM activities they all tell me to start off with Magna – Tiles. These safe, durable, tiles designed for ages 3+ allow your twinnies to build 3 – D models that always connect regardless of how they put the tiles. They develop fine – motor skills as they stack, make flat patterns, and 3 – D shapes. Watch as your kiddos grow how the projects get more complex and you see their minds explode with knowledge.
5. LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System My Pal Scout – LeapFrog makes a great 1st tablet that helps your child problem solve with fun, replayable activities all in an interactive learning system. They use a stylus to promote proper writing grip. I looked up a whole package but it seems that it is better to order the books and activities that you want. A few activity books to think about would be the LeapFrog LeapStart Pre-Kindergarten Activity Book and the LeapFrog LeapStart 1st Grade Activity Book.
6. Beebeerun Marble Run Set – This set has boys and girls sets, because a big part of STEM is getting more females involved in the great world of science and engineering. Children can build different shapes of marble race tracks according to their own ideas, break the rules and play freely. From novice to intermediate then expert step by step. This is a great choice for learning and educational toys.
7. HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game – For your slightly younger twinnies comes the HABA town maze. Help your littles navigate the town with the magnetic wand attached with a string. Fostering problem-solving through roadblocks and using counting and learning in one self-contained activity board.
8. Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope – Educational Insights has some great “toys” that are from microscopes and telescopes to binoculars and whole science sets. These are safe toys that are kid tough and ready to use and explore with your twinnies creative minds. They are priced nicely so you can get 2 for your twinnies and beyond!
9. Engineering Construction Toy Set – This box set promotes teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking. Young people enjoy utilizing the tools, gears and design book to build one of 32 fun models. Plus in using their own imagination there are countless more. JJ Educational Toys offers a hassle-free lifetime return policy so if your twinnies are like mine when they throw them around and maybe eat them you can feel good about getting a replacement.
10. Kids First Science Laboratory Kit – Inspiring children’s inquisitiveness and interests with tools and open-ended learning experiences. Including 24 tools, a 16-page full-color parent guide, and 10 illustrated experiment cards. All designed for your 3 – 5-year-olds.
Of course at the end of the day, Amazon has thought of everything and they have subscription boxes, called STEM Club, that will send you curated boxes related to counting, building and, cause and effect. They have boxes for 3 – 4-year-olds, 5 – 7-year-olds, and 8 – 13-year-olds. So if you do not want to agonize over these toys let them do the work for you. You can get a box for $19.99 that arrives every 1 – 3 months.
Keep up the great work of sparking your twinnies minds with the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, and math and sometimes some cool art as well. Whatever you do just remember there are options and there are other places your twinnies want to go and that is ok too!
Jenifer Roth is a busy, busy mom to 1-year-old identical twin boys Jase and Evan, a full-time High School driver ed teacher, and full-time finder of random information to help others! When not running around from work to home to errands she enjoys working on her blog, making piles of stuff and just hanging with her family! Trying to find the work-life balance has been a journey of its own but push on she must! You can read her blog here.