How Playtime with STEM Toys Makes Kids Smart
Kids need plenty of playtime. It makes them smart.
Unstructured playtime also strengthens neurological development. Children become more well-rounded and adjusted when they’ve been encouraged to pursue fun activities on their own. It’s the thrill of exploration and having a creative license to do whatever they want that produces healthy children.
The parent’s role in encouraging play is to set aside regular periods for their children to entertain themselves. That, however, raises a question for many parents.
When it comes to picking out toys for your child, do you:
· Buy the latest hot item because you don’t want your child to feel left out?
· Pick up what’s reasonably priced, because hey, who isn’t on a budget these days? or
· Opt for what’s most educational; knowledge is power!
You don’t have to select a single reason to defend your decision when it comes to playtime. STEM toys allow you to cite all three to support your purchases. That’s because STEM toys develop your child’s skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. They do it in a fun and entertaining way.
Good Housekeeping assembled a collection of STEM-related toys suited for kids ages three and up. You can choose between programmable robots, coding games, or construction toys. Many of them are less than $50.
The STEM toys kids love
What kind of STEM toys will your kids like?
· Get them building robots. Robots-building is so popular that it is becoming a 21st-century sport. What better way to spark creativity than give your child Legos? “Lego,” after all, means “play well.” Skip the traditional sets and choose Lego Mindstorms instead. Kids construct robots that mimic human activity.
· Teach coding at an early age. Young children can learn the basics of coding with fun devices that make learning seem like play. With a device like Ozobot, your kids can use markers, stickers, or visual programming to “train” their pocket-sized robot. Additionally, companies like Tynker offer monthly subscriptions for their specially-themed coding courses. Start digging. If you’re hesitant about having your child spend more time in front of the computer, opt for hands-on archaeology play like Nat Geo’s Mega Gemstone Mine. For less than $20, kids get to excavate real gemstones and learn about them in a supplemental guide.
You’ll find that many of the STEM toys combine science, technology, engineering, and math. That makes STEM play more relevant for children.
Get girls engaged in STEM play, too
STEM toys aren’t just for boys.
Girls, too, enjoy using the critical thinking skills that STEM toys require, but they often lose interest in STEM the older they get. Girls need the same opportunities as boys have to explore STEM play. They can be just as innovative as their male counterparts, but only if their curiosity is nurtured along the way.
There’s no guarantee that STEM toys will improve your kid’s IQ or help them get into an Ivy League school. These fantastic devices will, however, help them better understand science, technology, engineering, and math.
That’s pretty smart because we live and play in a STEM-oriented world.