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16 Best STEM Toys That Make Learning Science, Tech & Math Fun

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If you've hit the toy store aisles recently, you have seen sections specifically for the best STEM toys for kids. But, what is STEM, otherwise known as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math? And why should you care? According to the U.S. Department of Education, STEM is a curriculum developed by the Obama administration to encourage kids to explore the math and science fields.

With STEM programs appearing in all schools, it's important for kids to develop these skills young. And in all honesty, math and science programs don't always have a reputation for bing the most riveting. That's why manufacturers are developing educational toys for kids to promote STEM learning through something fun.

It won't be hard to get a toddler interested in math with these toys. After all, they're naturally curious about the world around them. With these STEM toys, kids will learn skills beyond problem-solving, logic, and other skills to help them excel. They'll also learn how to conduct experiments, program a robot, basic math, and more to expand their inquisitive minds. And with this roundup featuring toys from  wide range of price points, every kid will have the opportunity to excel. You'll never know who will become the one to cure all disease or save the world from global warming. These STEM toys for toddlers will inspire them to keep learning.

1. A Caterpillar That Teaches Coding

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Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar, $39, Amazon

Your kid will learn how to create sequences, problem solving and critical thinking skills with the fun "code-a-pillar." Connect, then interchange the segments to see the caterpillar move in all sorts of directions. Your tot will love exploring the endless combinations and activating the different sounds that bring this techy caterpillar to life.

2. A Microscope That Encourages Exploration

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Educational Insights EI-5112 GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope, $15, Amazon

The "My First Microscope" is as close to the real thing as it gets. Seriously, it was invented by a scientist and mom to encourage little scientists to explore the world. It has a wide range of magnification and an easy-to-use knob that teaches kids how to observe the tiniest details of rocks, plants, and more.

3. A Bank To Teach Counting and Money Management

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The Learning Journey Kids Bank, Play Money Set, $13, Amazon

It's never too early to teach tots about fiscal responsibility. (Seriously, they're better off learning young.) The Learning Journey kids bank and play money set features over $5,000 worth of pretend money, including bills and coins. By giving your kids cash, they'll learn basic counting skills, how to give change, and most importantly money management.

4. A Building Set for Future Engineers

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TINKERTOY 30 Model Super Building Set, $46, Amazon

Have a builder on your hands? The TINKERTOY building set has over 200 pieces for your future engineer to create castles, houses, and other crazy models. It even comes with a model book to let his imagination go wild.

5. A Smart Cookie Jar That Teaches Basic Math

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Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies, $13, Amazon

Introduce your toddler the basics of counting and number recognition fun and delicious-looking Learning Resources Smart Snacks cookie jar. It features soft cookies, numbered 0-10 and chocolate chips that correspond to the number below. Math geniuses will guess the number by counting how many chocolate chips the cookie has on top. If only math was always this delicious.

6. A Science-Loving Big Red Dog

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Clifford The Big Red Dog Kitchen Science Kit, $20, Amazon

Help your kid learn the fundamentals of science, as they work their way through Clifford The Big Red Dog's Kitchen Science Kit. Join this pup as he explores kitchen science through experiments like making slime, test tube explosion, crystal formation, and more. Each set includes a lab tray, measuring cup, test tubes and funnel, just like what the real scientist use.

7. A Smart Turtle That Teaches STEM

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Zumo Learning System, $160, Amazon

This turtle is more than just a stuffed animal. Zumo is an electronic device that aims to get your kids excited about all things STEM. Use Zumo as the controller to play the various games featured on the accompanied tablet. All games aim to teach kids the math skills necessary for all STEM subjects.

8. A Strategy-Building Board Game

Sequence for Kids, $13, Amazon

The kid version of the popular strategy-building game. Sequence For Kids allows kids to understand strategy by pulling a card and matching the chip on the board. They'll need four in a row to make a true sequence.

9. A Mouse That Encourages Coding

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Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set,  $40, Amazon

Touching on every STEM subject, your toddler will have a blast learning puzzle-solving and coding skills with Code & Go Robot Mouse activity set. The goal of this STEM toy is to program your mouse button control to follow the maze that you create. With two speeds and multiple sounds, this mouse will get your kid ready to enter any STEM-related field.

10. Building Blocks Of Engineering

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Guidecraft Grippies Builders 30 Piece Set, $49, Amazon

The Guidecraft Grippies Builders set is great for introducing your wee ones to engineering. These pieces are oversized, so you're making them safe for baby to play without fearing a choking hazard. They're also soft, magnetic, and easy to grip, so your kid can build all sorts of shapes and models.

11. A Robotic Bee That's Causing Quite A Buzz

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Bee-Bot, $184, Amazon

Bee-Bot is a robot designed for young children to learn about coding, sequencing, and problem-solving skills. This bee knows more than 40 commands that kids can program by using the arrow keys on top of the bot, allowing them to explore different moves.

12. A Program To Create A Video Game

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Osmo Coding Set, $50, Amazon

How cool would it be to create your very own video game? Created by the TIDAL Lab at Northwestern University, Osmo Coding introduces kids to the basics of computer programming through coding blocks and an app. Each piece in this set features a specific command, and when put together, kids can control Awbie, a strawberry-loving creature on the Osmo coding app.  

13. A Basic Way To Learn Physics

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Learning Resources Stem Force & Motion Activity Set, $19, Amazon

Your future scientist will learn about all the laws of physics with the force and motion activity set. Featuring cars, a pendulum ball, weight blocks, and other tools, this toy will help kids explore what causes friction, motion, push-pull, and more.

14. A Garden That's Geared Up For Success

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Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Build and Bloom Flower Garden Building Kit, $25, Amazon

Gear your kid up for STEM subjects with this whimsical Learning Resources flower garden. With 116 pieces of interchangeable gears, kids can mix and match pieces to create endless combinations and design. Kids will learn problem-solving skills, experimentation, and cause and effect, necessary for future STEM fields.

15. An Insect Kit

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Insect Lore Live Cup of Caterpillars, $16, Amazon

The Insect Lore insect kit teaches little ones all about life cycles. They'll love watching these tiny caterpillars grow and eventually morph into beautiful butterflies. Not only do kids learn all about this insect species, but they'll develop emotional skills such as letting go.

16. A Puzzle-Solving Fairytale

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Camelot Jr., $26, Amazon

This puzzle-solving game is comprised of three levels ranging from beginner to master. The goal is to connect the prince and princess using different combinations and strategies, helping kids develop their logic skills through Camelot Jr.

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