It’s usually not hard for kids to separate school time from playtime, but with these amazing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) toys and activities, they are one in the same. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht showed Woman’s Day senior editor Tayrn Mohrman some of the very best STEM toys available this holiday season. Kids won’t even know they’re learning with these great toys.

LeapPadKidLeapPad Platinum (LeapFrog)

  • LeapFrog’s biggest and best LeapPad tablet yet!
  • The 7” touch screen has a high-resolution, is multi-capacitive, and is shatter-safe.
  • It is a high, fast performance, and WiFi tablet that allows kids to learn and play in a way that’s just right for them.
  • Compact and kid-tough, it provides access to a 100% kid-perfect web experience and access to a library of over one thousand age-appropriate, educator-approved games, apps, eBooks, videos, and more.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $129.99

Imagicard (LeapFrog)LeapFrog.Imagicard

  • Imagicard offers the biggest, magical learning experience for kids.
  • Kids use a camera on their LeapFrog tablet to capture cards for learning gameplay that comes to life on screen.
  • All-new digital learning games bring character and curricular cards to life on screen.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $24.99

SchoolZone.LittleScholarLittle Scholar (School Zone)

  • This teacher-created, teacher-approved tablet teaches kids the essential skills needed for school.
  • Prepares kids ages 3 to 7 for pre-K through 1st
  • It’s the only tablet that comes fully loaded with more than 200 uniquely fun apps, books, songs, and videos (a $390 value).
  • Comes ready-to-play with or without Wi-Fi
  • All Start to Read! Books will have read-along audio tracks.
  • Features a larger, 8-inch screen and a textured easy-grip protective bumper.
  • Runs on Google Android 4.4.2 operating system.
  • Ages: 3-7
  • MSRP: $149.99

Disney Imagicademy’s Mickey’s Rocket Builder (KIDdesigns Inc.)KidDesigns.DisneyImagicademyMickeyRocketBuilder

  • Kids can build and customize their own rockets in the physical and digital worlds!
  • Compatible with the “Mickey’s Magical Math World” app by Disney Imagicademy, kids can customize their real-world rocket and add it to their digital rocket collection within the app.
  • Kids are exposed to early shape recognition and counting skills as they explore oval, triangle, square, and circle-themed rocket parts to build their rocket. Mickey guides each mission, and action buttons on the rocket trigger sound effects associated with various rocket combinations.
  • Features a research-driven curriculum developed in conjunction with top academics and experts, where kids are exposed to early math and logic concepts, including adding, subtracting, identifying shapes and colors, and problem solving.
  • Comes with 21 pieces in four different colors. Kids are able to create more than 1,000 unique rocket configurations. Each color collection features its own unique set of sounds, including engine noises, beeps, zings, and more.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $39.99

Thames.RemoteControlAnimalsRemote Control Machines: Animals (Thames & Kosmos)

  • Construct a whole zoo’s worth of remote-controlled animals with mechanical insides covered by colorful plastic “skins.”
  • The animals all move using different mechanisms, each one mimicking the movement of the real animal it represents.
  • A two-button remote control unit moves the small, lightweight motor forward in reverse, allowing models to move forward or backward.
  • Build an elephant that walks, a scorpion that crawls along, and a cute little penguin that waddles. Construct a rabbit that bounds forward, a crab that scurries sideways, and an orangutan that climbs hand over hand along a string. You can even build a couple of dinosaurs: a Tyrannosaurus rex that walks on two legs and a Pteranodon that “flies” along a cord. Learn about animal locomotion and biomechanics as you build each model. When you are done, use the same 100 building pieces to dream up your own mechanical animal creations! You can even mix up the animal skins in funny ways to make outrageous hybrid animals.
  • A full-color, 36-page step-by-step illustrated manual helps kids assemble all of the models and teaches them about the animals they are modeling and the way different animals move.
  • Age: 8+
  • MSRP: $49.95

Super Copter (Laser Pegs)LaserPegs.Supercopter

  • 30-in-1 Super Copter includes multiple models that can be built up!
  • When kids are ready to take it to the next level, they can light up their creations.
  • Tons of play value with the multiple builds.
  • Includes a new, sound-activated Power Base.
  • Includes new Laser Pegs tinted bricks.
  • Teaches STEM concepts, logic, and problem-solving.
  • Age: 5+
  • MSRP: $99.99

Lego.Lego Elves Treetop HideawayLEGO Elves The Elves’ Treetop Hideaway (LEGO)

  • Enter the magical world of LEGO Elves with Emily Jones. When wandering in her grandmother’s garden, she suddenly finds herself transported through a magic portal to a Treetop Hideaway in a while new universe.
  • Explore the surroundings with Emily as she realizes that she’s no longer in the human world and meets Azari Firedancer and Farran Leafshade, the Fire and Earth Elves.
  • Make Farran climb down the magic ladder and show her around his extraordinary home. Cook carrot soup over the fire for them to eat while Emily explains that she needs to get back home, and the Elves promise to help her. Send some food up to the treehouse in the magic bucket lift for Farran’s panther cub Enki before they all meet up with the Water and Wind Elves – Emily will need their help too!
  • Includes 3 mini-doll figures and accessories.
  • Ages: 8-12
  • MSRP: $49.99

Mighty Makers: Fun on the Ferris Wheel Building Set (K’NEX)KNEX_MightyMakersBuildUp

  • Ride all the rides with Emily and her bear, Cocoa, with the Fun on the Ferris Wheel Building Set.
  • Help Emily build her own amusement park with a Ferris Wheel, Pirate Ship ride, and boardwalk game.
  • Set includes 324 K’NEX parts and pieces, 2 figures — Emily and Cocoa –, Ferris Wheel seats, star snaps, and more!
  • Also features full color building instructions with ideas for three different mechanical engineering themed builds, and an exploration card which challenges builders to explore additional mechanical engineering concepts.
  • All K’NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA.
  • Ages: 7+
  • MSRP: $34.99

3D Maker (Tech 4 Kids)Tech4Kids.3DMaker

  • Kids can turn gel designs into 3D creations!
  • Trace your designs on a templace and insert into the Maker.
  • The gel becomes solid after enclosed exposure to LED light.
  • Kids can connect finished pieces together to build multi-dimensional structures.
  • The 3D Maker uses light of heat for kid-safe play.
  • The gel is available in multiple colors.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $39.99

StikBot (Zing)


  • Create, animate, and share! StikBot turns kids into creative moviemakers.
  • These easy-to-pose figurines with strong suction cup hands and feet can stick to almost any flat surface.
  • With the free mobile app, StikBot Studios, available on iOS and Android, kids can shoot their own stop-motion movies starring StikBot. The app snaps individual photos and stitches them together into a film.
  • Everywhere becomes a stage, from the kitchen, the living room, and even the school bus!
  • Kids can upload their creation and share on social media with #StikBot and see what kids from around the world are making!
  • The StikBot Studio Pack comes with 2 StikBots and a tripod.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $9.99