Updated November 14, 2019 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best STEM Toys

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in November of 2017. It's important to give children tools that help their brains develop, and some toys, like those designed to support STEM education, offer the perfect way to do that while letting them have fun. The following list includes options that will spark curiosity and learning for kids as young as three all the way up to those as old as 14 years of age. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best stem toy on Amazon.

10. National Geographic Break-Open Geodes

9. Learning Resources Calculator Cash Register

8. Scientific Explorer Mind Blowing Kit

7. Osmo Genius Starter Kit

6. ViaHart Brain Flakes Disc Set

5. Magformers Basic Set

4. Elenco Snap Circuits Jr.

3. ThinkFun Gravity Maze

2. Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar Twist

1. Kano Computer Kit

Editor's Notes

October 30, 2019:

STEM toys are called that because they help children learn science, technology, engineering, and math skills. This means that playing with them can be a great way to prepare for subjects they will eventually cover in school, or reinforce concepts they have already learned. While choosing the best options for this list, we focused on both guided and open-end toys, games, and crafts that will help to promote lifelong skills, like problem solving, spatial awareness, and logic.

During this update, we replaced the Code-a-Pillar with its newest model, the Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar Twist, the latter of which has permanently-attached segments, so there is no chance of losing one, resulting in the entire toy being useless. We also added the newest Osmo Genius Starter Kit, since the old model we previously included was discontinued by the manufacturer. Additionally, the 4M Magnet Science Kit was completely eliminated as there were too many reports of kids quickly growing bored with it.

A brand new addition this year is the Kano Computer Kit, which teaches valuable coding skills and is suitable for a wide age range of children. Younger ones can start out with the more basic challenges, while older kids can tackle the more complex ones. Even after the 100 step-by-step activities have been completed, children can continue to make their own customized programs and play games on it. Plus, it is a fully functioning computer, so they can use it to browse the internet, as well.

If you are looking for additional coding or programming toys for your children, we also have lists for the best coding robots for kids, coding toys, and programmable robots, all of which contain items for kids of various ages.

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on November 14, 2019 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.