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A Spot-On Gift Guide Of STEM Toys For Kids

Amanda Pena
The possibilities are endless with this design driven toy that comes with motors, various shapes, and multiple connectors. (Amazon)

“STEM learning” may be a widely discussed topic within education and children’s media, but the discussion doesn’t necessarily make it easier to determine which products help teach STEM concepts. Therefore, instead of attempting to tackle the entire world of STEM education, Purdue University narrowed down their findings to a segment they’re already experts in, engineering. 

As a leader in engineering education, Purdue aims to help gift givers with their Engineering Gift Guide, a comprehensive list of toys, games, books and apps to encourage engineering thinking and design for girls and boys ages 2 and up.

These toys, which have been rated on their ability to teach problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, are meant to inspire your young one to reach new heights and think outside of the box.

If you’re looking for creative gifts for kids that aren’t exactly toys, check out our favorite gifts from Purdue’s Engineering Gift Guide below:


1 Bee-Bot


Even 2+ year olds can develop some serious beginner coding and programming skills from the Bee-Bot robot.

2 Magik Play Starter Kit


Not only does this starter kit get your kid thinking creatively, but it helps with spatial reasoning according to Purdue. 

3 Q-bitz Jr.


If you thought basic engineering skills couldn't be learned at a young age, think again. This STEM game is great for engineering design process.

4 1-2-3 Build It! Car - Plane - Boat


There are three ways to have fun with this problem-solving game.

5 Better Builders Reflections


This 29-piece set will have your child thinking of creative ways to become a better builder.


1 Roller Coaster Challenge


This combination game of both critical and logical thinking is perfect for the 5+ year old in your life.

2 Gravity's Edge by MindWare


Gravity's edge is a fun mixture of both applicable math and science.

3 Rosie Revere's Big Project Book For Bold Engineers


This activity book will not only inspire your future engineer but carries a strong message of girl power.

4 GeoSmart StarShip


This colorful StarShip will help your child develop a keen eye for design.

5 IO Blocks Minis


With 250 pieces to build from, these IO blocks will help with creative thinking and spatial reasoning.


1 Electronic Motors Catalyst


The possibilities are endless with this design driven toy that comes with motors, various shapes, and multiple connectors.

2 Coding Jam


Create and layer melodies, drum beats, and more while building original compositions with fun characters from different worlds.

3 CODE Robot Repair


In this programming logic game you’ll use problem solving to reactivate a set of robots so they can get back to doing important things for the planet. 

4 Color Cube Sodoku


Sodoku is quite challenging, but this game is all about perseverance, even when the going gets tough.

5 Structural Engineering: Bridges & Skyscrapers


If your child ever wondered how bridges and skyscrapers are built, get them this structural engineering set that applies both mathematics and the sciences.


1 Marbleocity Dragon Coaster


Build your own working roller coaster model made of real wood using critical thinking and spatial reasoning.

2 CoDrone Pro


This fun and educational drone helps with computational thinking and engineering design process.

3 RoKit Smart


This robotics kit can be transformed into 11 different types of robots, perfect for a beginner.

4 130-in-1 Electronic Playground


This electronics trainer with 130 experiments is a problem-solving classic.

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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.