Fun Toys That Will STEMulate Your Child’s Brain

Here are a few of our favorite indoor screen-free toys and activities – tested by our kiddos.

When it’s raining out, your kids probably go straight for the TV. Instead, how about you encourage them to go screen-free with these fun STEM toys?

Tested by our kiddos, these games inspire critical thinking, problem-solving and logic skills. Toys that do that and keep kiddos entertained with just their endless imaginations? Yes, please!

Inroads Play Tape keeps kids entertained for hours1. InRoad Toys Play Tape

So I have to say that this stuff is pretty much MAGIC. Honest to goodness, a perfect example of how something simple can be so delightful. The boys ranged in ages from five to nine, and they couldn’t have loved it more. I loved hearing them work together, talking about how to position the tape and what different scenarios they could set up if they used a different piece, or different figurines.

Best part? The tape sticks anywhere they want it, but doesn’t stick in places I don’t want it!

The Design and Drill robot keeps littles entertained and stimulates fine motor skills

2. Design & Drill Robot by Educational Insights

This handsome devil is a creation of your little one’s design! The parts are designed to allow kiddos to snap pieces together, but I love that it introduces STEM learning tools that develop interests in engineering — the screwdriver, nuts and bolts are not only adorable but functional, and kids love decorating their robot with the cool stickers that come with it.

This robot is not only just-the-right size for little bitty hands, but develops fine motor skills in the process of playing! Win!

The Primary Lab From Learning Resources fosters scientific thinking

3. Science Kit by Learning Resources

This is another toy set that keeps various age ranges and grade levels totally engrossed in learning, and all they think they are doing is science experiments. That’s mostly because they are! Even though this is a primary kit, it has science experiment cards that range in difficulty and interest level, and the boys just kept saying, “Oooohhh…let’s try this one! Ohhh, yeah, then that one!”

The directions are easy to understand and this kit helps your young Einsteins’ science understanding deepen. It fosters an authentic interest in the scientific method and process, and gives kids experiments they can be in charge of. More, the pieces are reusable for other projects that you can find on the net, so it’s a base for tons of exploration and learning!

4. Crazy Scientist Lab-Young Survivor by The Purple Cow

What kid (or adult, for that matter!) doesn’t want to be McGyver? This Lab set by The Purple Cow (we LOVE the Young Detective and the Bubbles and Foam kits too!) brings out the inner survivalist in your child and teaches all sorts of cool survival techniques.

My son thinks that getting water from plants (and then learning how to distill and purify it!) is the neatest thing ever, and his daddy, who has degrees in water treatment thinks it’s pretty nifty too! With this kit, your young survivor also learns how to make a sundial and a compass, and learns how to communicate via Morse Code.

And it can all be done under controlled circumstances, so Mama doesn’t have to worry about true survival!

What's Your Story Brings the creativity out of your teens and tweens

5. 60 Seconds What’s Your Story From The Purple Cow

Not to leave the tweens and teens out (though it’s interesting when my six-year-old and I adaptively play!), let us introduce you to this awesome game that fosters imagination, self-awareness and self-expression.

Based on Carl Gustav Jung’s Psychodynamic Theory and five archetypes (Hero, Place, Target, Obstacle and Strength) players pick cards and create stories based on the chosen archetype. We love that the ‘winner’ is chosen by community vote, which gives tweens and teens an opportunity to practice critical thinking and reasoning skills, as well as working together for common goals.

This game focuses on creative story telling that comes from our inner-mind treasures, and we love getting insight into what our tweens/teens are thinking and feeling!

This zookeeper sorting box lets your little one feed the animals!6. Zookeeper Sorting Box by HABA 

We love HABA. They’ve been making quality wood toys since 1938, and we love that they are intuitive toys that we can trust. This sorting box lets your little zookeeper ‘feed’ each of the animals with the slots in front of each enclosure. We love that children have to reason to ensure that the animals get all their dinner, as if the slot isn’t just so, the animals don’t get a full dinner!

All the fun feeding happens while children are familiarizing themselves with colors and shapes, and developing fine motor skills and problem-solving ability at the same time. Not to mention, it’s just a gorgeously crafted toy that will last for generations!

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