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Christmas Toys for 2018 – Holiday Gift Guide – STEM Toys

This year we all had to say goodbye to the international toy retailer and every kid’s favorite store, Toys”R”Us. Commercials like the one below bring on pure nostalgia, especially during this holiday season. Before it’s closing, Toys”R”Us incresed its STEM toy product lines and recognized that kids can have fun while developing important skills and learning about the world. STEM products are hands-on and encourage creativity, exploration, and experimentation to build an important foundation and skillset.

STEM has become somewhat of a buzz word recently. What exactly is STEM? There is no universally agreed to definition, however a commonly recognized definition of STEM education is: an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)

playing with toys, kids develop skills that can be transferred to their studies

There are many benefits associated with educational and STEM related toys. According to research by the Toy Association, when playing with toys, kids develop skills that can be transferred to their studies and success in STEM such as observing, abstracting, recognizing and forming patterns, dimensional thinking, modeling, transforming and synthesizing, along with communicating and collaborating.

In the current marketplace, there aren’t many brick and mortar stores completely dedicated to the sale of toys. There is even greater difficulty finding fun and entertaining STEM based toys that kids will enjoy. Our editorial team has developed a list of the most popular STEM related toys that will be in high demand this holiday season.

Top Christmas Toys for 2018

1. Nintendo Labo – Vareity Kit

Age: 6+ Focus: Engineering, Physics & Basic Programming -a gaming and construction toy platform used as an extension to the Nintendo Switch video game console. Cardboard cut-outs can be assembled in combinations that interact with the game software.


2. Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit

Age: 6+ Focus: Coding -Build your own wand. Learn to code with 70+ creative challenges and games. Make magic on a screen, with a wave, flick, and twirl. Create, share, and play with the Kano community. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit is compatible with most iOS, Android or Amazon tablets, Mac and Windows PCs.


3. Bloxels Star Wars

Age: 8+ Focus: Game designing, storytelling, programming – hands-on video game creation platform makes it easy to create and play your own video games. Build your own Star Wars video games with Bloxels Star Wars. The innovative video game creation platform makes concepting and execution easy. Watch your game world come to life as you lay out, design and configure your own Star Wars story using iconic characters. Great gift for Star Wars fans.


4. littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Age: 6+ Focus: Coding, Circuitry – build and customize an interactive electronic Super hero gauntlet: electronic building blocks, LED Matrix, authentic Marvel sound effects bit, plastic pieces, stickers and battery.


5. Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures

Age: 8+ Focus: Circuitry and Engineering -Instead of just building a structure, now kids can learn how to build the circuit that makes the lights on a skyscraper illuminate or that makes the gears on a drawbridge move! elenco’s team of engineers has come up with a great way for kids to learn by doing and be creative with their everyday, building bricks.


6. Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

Age: 6+ Focus:Problem solving, planning & sequencing and critical thinking – inspires little learners to be big thinkers by encouraging preschoolers to arrange (and rearrange) the easy-to-connect segments in endless combinations, sending Code-a-pillar on his path. This learning toy encourages experimentation while developing important skills.


 7. Ozobot Evo

Age: 6+ Focus: Coding – smart and social robot that teaches coding while connecting friends. Evo entertains with sounds, LED lights and a side of attitude. With Evo, learning to code with colors is easy. Draw OzoCode color codes for Evo to read and respond to. Send and receive messages and Ozojis—emoticons that Evo acts out. Re-program your Ozojis with the OzoBlockly editor to make them uniquely your own.


8. LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

Age: 7+ Focus: Engineering, Coding, Robotics – a fun and easy entry to building and coding smart toys. By following the step-by-step instructions, kids can learn how to master programming robots all by themselves. With the downloadable app’s intuitive, icon-based coding interface and complete array of exciting activities designed for each model, kids can learn about loops and variables, develop their STEM skills, and creatively solve problems.


9. Wonder Workshop Dash

Age: 6+ Focus: Coding, Robotics – The coding skills kids learn while playing with Dash will help them as they prepare for middle and high school while also helping to develop their critical thinking skills today. Dash robot is perfect for use in a classroom or at home with family and friends, letting kids work solo or come together for group coding projects. Dash is the perfect gift for today’s kids. Dash is extremely entertaining and come with hours of interactive challenges and 5 free apps for endless hours of fun.


10. Amazon STEM Club

Age: 6+ Focus: STEM -Amazon offers a monthly STEM club toy subcription. It is a monthly program that delivers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math toys. Each month Amazon sends an age-appropriate STEM toy that encourages your child to learn through play. The STEM club subscription is categorized into three age groups: 3-4 years of age, 5-7 years of age, 8-13 years of age. The STEM club toys vary each month and include a range of concepts and topics such as chemistry kits, robots, and math learning tools. The toys ship for free and you can cancel your subscription at anytime.

 

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