These Eight Toys are great for STEM
November 8 is National STEM Day, a day where we celebrate the principles of science, technology, engineering and math shaping our children's world. Here are eight STEM toys we love to help honor the occasion.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (and don't forget STEAM--the 'A' stands for 'Arts') concepts are more important than ever for kids today as the world in which they live focuses more and more on these principles. Whether kids are coding, building, creating or experimenting, they love STEM/STEAM and we love that there are so many cool options for them to play with and develop these skills. Here are our favorite eight!

This compost kit is a great STEM toy

1. Now You See It, Now You Don't Compost

We love this kit from Educational Insights. It allows your kiddos to get a first-hand look at composting and comes with a neat guide that teaches about decomposition, life cycles, composting, and environmental science. There are three thermometers and your kiddos can watch the three compartments and make side-by-side comparisons and hypothesis they can prove.

Lego Technic is a super toy for STEM activity

2. Lego Technic Racing Yacht

Legos are always up for a good STEAM time, and Lego Technic takes things up a whole new notch by adding in features that teach about steering, hydraulics, suspension and more. The Technic Racing Yacht was so much fun for my little guy to build and taught him about tiller steering, as well as creating a detailed hull with a working rudder. Kids watch and learn about cause and effects with Technic, and they're 2-in-1 sets--this one doubles as a catamaran too!


3. Mental Blox 360 3-D Building Game

We love that this game gives kiddos the opportunity to look at vantage point and perspective while it also helps them solve problems and fosters their creativity. The 3-D puzzles are on 40 cards that challenge your kiddo to create and design, all while sharpening visual/spatial connections and critical thinking. It's like real-life Tetris for our kids!

The Tap and track tangram kit teaches STEM skills

4. Tap And Track Set

This shape set from HABA is not your average construction set. It lets kids create and design using tangrams and they also develop fine motor skills in the creating and tapping of the blocks. We adore that this appeals to the 'real' builders in our children, as they'll use 1/2" nails and a wooden mallet to put nails in the cork board. Best, the tangram shapes are great for teaching about fractions so they'll learn parts and wholes in a super fun way.

The Sea and Build Geometry set helps kids with STEM Skills

5. Dive Into Shapes Sea And Build Set

This geometric shape building set is a tad bit addictive, we have to warn you. Your kids will have a blast creating the shapes the cards detail, and they'll learn to think critically and solve problems with the guide cards. This game also teaches them about shape attributes, fractions, three-dimensional design and more, but your kids won't even know because they'll be having so much fun!

The Rubik's Cube from Strictly Briks is a great STEM toy

6. Rubik's Bricks 3-D Learning Cube

You're most likely familiar with the most famous cube in the world--the Rubik's Cube. Well, guess what? Strictly Briks makes this 3-D Learning Cube that's licensed by the makers of Rubik's Cube and pretty awesome! Strictly Briks bricks 'play nicely' with other bricks, and this patent-pending set lets kids build in different directions and dimensions. Forget the white-board for practicing spelling or math; kids can use AlphaBriks for practicing or just sending each other notes while building and playing!

7. Sphero Spark+ Robot

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This is the number one item on my son's Christmas list, and it's no wonder--it's a super cool STEM robot that does and teaches some amazing things. It allows kids to learn and execute coding and programming skills in a way that works collaboratively with imagination and creativity. It's good for all skill levels of children--beginners to experts and kids can go from drawing paths for the Sphero to follow to writing their own JavaScript. And they have so much fun integrating those skills into meaningful play. Just as the makers intended!

Little Passports Subscription kits are super for monthly STEM building

8. Little Passports Science Expedition Kits

You may know about some of Little Passports kit offerings already but did you know they have these amazing Science Expedition Kits also? My little guy got the introduction first kit and is already talking about going to Quantico when he grows up to work with NCIS! The first kit has a Forensic Science Experiment kit, a fingerprint analysis card and ink pad and the booklet with games and activities is engaging and age appropriate. I admit, together my son and I got our inner Sherlock Holmes on and learned so much about forensic science! The subscriptions are monthly, and guaranteed to spark your child's creativity and inner scientist with hands-on learning!