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Top STEM and Smart Tech Toys for 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

The year 2020 has been one for the record books. The pandemic has caused disruption to all of our lives, including education disruptions and parenting challenges with the majority schools shifting to at home and online learning.  Toys advertised as teaching STEM could help to supplement your child’s learning.

The term “STEM” has become somewhat of a buzz word in recent years. What exactly is STEM? There is no universally agreed to definition, however a commonly recognized definition of STEM education is – the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and their associated practices to create a learning environment in which individuals investigate and engineer solutions to problems.

Research shows that STEM toys can teach science, technology, engineering and math concepts.  However, beware that all toys that are advertised as a STEM toys do not necessarily encourage STEM learning or problem solving. Listed below are our top 10 STEM and Smart Tech toys that you should feel comfortable buying for the young future scientist, engineer, and mathematician in your life.

Top 10 STEM and Smart Tech Toys for 2020 – Holiday Gift Guide

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. TELMU Microscope 40X-1000X Dual Cordless LED Illumination Lab Compound Monocular Microscopes with Optical Glass Lenses & 10 Slides

Age: 7+ Focus: Biology. TELMU Microscope is an ideal product to engage children in scientific Observation and Discovery. Much of contemporary science involves observing nature and making deductions from these observations. Using a microscope, kids are also discovering a new world that they have never seen before – a world of fine structures of living things, rocks, and man-made objects. In doing so, they discovery how familiar macroscopic objects are assembled and function; they can record their observations and make deductions. In short, they become scientists.

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