I am not talking about a part of a plant, but STEM is an acronym ( and a popular one) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! STEM is an integrated approach to building future – ready, creative thinkers who will be the pioneers of new age advancements! If you remember I wrote about how conscious and thoughtful thinking is required when we buy toys as gifts for our little ones?! Now I am going to tell you why you need to know about STEM, why STEM is important and then STEM toys for kids! And if you stay till the end, I am going to share some of my favourite toys that will prepare them for STEM! STEM Toys for kids can be used after the age of 7, but for younger kids you can have a number of amazing toys that will pave the way for success in their chosen path later on!
It’s nothing new, neither old, but it is a learning approach which focuses on 4 main building blocks to help nurture the future work force who creatively finds new technological as well as scientific breakthroughs! We want more creative thinkers in today’s world and that’s what focusing on these 4 elements really does for the kids! So what are those 4 Elements – STEM and it stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics.
Why is STEM Important?
STEM is just not about Learning! It is more about creatively thinking and implementing the creative ideas! Here are some pointers on why STEM is important and ultimately why one must invest in STEM toys for kids!
- STEM helps in creative thinking. Expanding the kids minds by giving them early exposure to concepts with hands-on activities and toys
- STEM helps in them applying their ideas inspired from a different exposure to create new implementation
- STEM helps kid to observe – patiently, to understand the intricacies and to apply the same thoughtfully
- More than anything, this early exposure gives our kids the confidence to work on bigger and better innovations!
How to incorporate STEM in Home Learning?
There are tons of activities that can be done with kids as small as 3 years old! Like I said, this is not a race to LEARN/MEMORIZE everything, Memorization, and Hands-on activities are quite different! By doing hands- on activities, we give Kids the exposure they so desire and require. We don’t need to force them to memorise concepts but we can encourage them to observe, understand easily without the stress this memorisation brings!
Other than Hands-on-Activities [ follow my Pinterest boards to see tons of such activities pinned on a daily basis ], we sure can thoughtfully invest in STEM toys for kids that help them get more varied exposure!
How can we prepare kids for STEM?
Before kids can start working on STEM activities/ projects or before you would buy a STEM toy for kids, here are some pointers which help your youngest kiddo to get the right foundation for excelling.
- Good Fine motor and gross motor control. this is very important. Even if the kid is able to master the pinch grasp, there is a lot muscle development required for her to master it completely. So keep looking out for more and such activities!
- Visual discrimination is another important thing. We can work with the tots on color discrimination, pattern – matching and so many more things.
- Spatial Awareness – the most important precursor for geometrical awareness, spatial awareness is really important for mathematical.
- Awareness about STEM concepts at the most beginner level!
So what can Toys do to prepare kids for STEM?
Here are some of my favorites –
In my last post, I introduced you all to SKOLA! So today I am going to talk about why Skola is a great toymaker! Skola prepares a child for STEM learning. I love that Skola not only has some great Montessori-Inspired, Eco- friendly options, but also most of these toys are great preparation for STEM learning later on!
Skola helps children think creatively, enhances concentration and cognitive ability which is directly a STEM requirement and a precursor!
Toys that aid in STEM preparation for kids.
I love Building Blocks [ small ones for this age ], stacking toys, and car-ramps and so many more! Building block is a great investment because these help kids develop spatial awareness, geometrical awareness and hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor kills and what not! I highly recommend Wooden blocks because above all they help kids build patience and imagination! A Stacking toy not only works on their gross and fine motor skills, but also helps in hand – eye coordination, color recognition, size-awareness.
Something like a Cascade car helps a child to understand cause and effect. This is where a child is exposed to science. It helps a child to register, process and comprehend.
I love the <a href = ‘https://www.skola.toys/collections/3-4-years/products/colour-wheels”>Colour wheels set from Skola Toys </a> which encourages children to rotate wheels and then find the matching colours which involves examination, observation analysis and discovery. This process is true for all Skola Toys!
Have you seen this amazing Sand Pendulum from their Toy collection? Amazing right? Not only does it teach the concept of force, speed and the effect of motion and all the intricacies of the process, but also the art project at the end of it is truly magnificent. This would be a great tool for Aarya [older kids]
What would I choose?
I just can’t choose a favourite, there are so many amazing toys in their collection, that will add the much needed STEM quotient to our child’s toy collection! Look out for my next post real soon, where I am going to tell what Aarya and Anjali got from Skola Toys, and these amazing STEM Toys for kids will definitely be going Under our Christmas Tree this year!