Toys are a brilliant way to teach kids concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math because as kids don’t even know they’re learning while they play.
Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by NBC in Dallas to show off some of the season’s best STEM toys. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.
GEARZOOZ ROLL & ROAR ANIMAL TRAIN ( VTECH)
Kids can be the conductor of their own adventures with GearZooz Roll & Roar Animal Train. Next stop is a new learning milestone for little railway riders.
Children can create their own unique train by mixing and matching the 15 included gears while strengthening their fine motor skills and problem solving techniques. Put the Smart Gear animals on the pegs to learn about animals.
Press the buttons to listen to different instruments or answer kid-friendly quiz questions and move the slider to explore different locations. Little ones can push the train or pull the string to watch the gears spin and move together.
Ages: 18 mos.+
Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart
( LEAPFROG EPIC ACADEMY EDITION LEAPFROG)
LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is packed with kid-appropriate, on-board learning content, including 20 learning games that explore a range of subjects and skills and a free trial of LeapFrog Academy.
Kid-safe right out of the box, the LeapSearch web browser lets kids safely surf the Internet and parental controls allow parents to add Android apps as their kids advance.
Available: Toys “R” Us, Amazon, Walmart, Target
( BARBIE FUNDAMENTAL CHEMISTRY SET THAMES & KOSMOS)
This colorful carrying case is a portable science lab with numerous tools and materials for science experiments.
As kids read the story in the illustrated manual, they can experiment with six fun, safe potions and concoctions, each demonstrating important scientific principles.
Learn the chemistry and physical science behind all the special properties of these potions.
Available: Amazon, Toys “R” Us
( LEGO BOOST CREATIVE TOOLBOX THE LEGO GROUP)
LEGO BOOST app guides children through a build-and-code experience in a series of game-like challenges. Kids can build and customize Vernie, their own personal talking robot friend, code its behavior, and complete fun activities with the included playmat.
When kids speak to Vernie, iit will respond with facial expressions that reflect its mood.
Vernie can move in all directions at variable speed on its large tracts, see objects and colors, sense distance, grip and carry accessories, make hand gestures and launch darts from its shoulder mounted shooter.
Vernie also senses and reacts to impacts and knows when you pick it up.
Rebuild Vernie to create the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), Guitar4000, Frankie the Cat, or the AutoBuilder, all controlled via a tablet with the free downloadable app that also includes digital LEGO
Available: Online at shop.lego.com and LEGO brand retail stores
( DISCOVERY 3D MOTION SANDSCAPE HORIZON GROUP USA)
Kids can create their own constantly evolving sandscapes by filling the observation tank with sand and water with this 3D Motion Sandscape kit.
( IMAGINE: POWER & PLAY MOTORIZED 50 MODEL BUILDING SET K’NEX)
The Power & Play Motorized Building Set comes with 50 unique building ideas and a reuseable storage box.
Kids can use the included full-color instructions to construct cars, planes, robots and more, or use their imaginations to create their own exciting model.
Includes more than 530 classic made-in-the-U.S. pieces.
Available: Amazon, knex.com