Most parents believe that teaching basic concepts of STEM is not suited for kids ages 5, but in reality, the learning curve of young children is at its critical best during this period.
Our team spent 48 hours testing the best STEM toys for 5 year olds to help you build your budding scientists!
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Top 10 Stem Toys For 5 Year Olds
1. Kinetic Sand
Kinetic sand is one of the most popular educational toys for children.
Unlike many STEM toys that impart textbook concepts and STEM skills, this fun learning toy focuses on hands-on learning and imaginative play.
The kinetic sand toy is a perfect gift for kids who go wild with their building skills.
The toy encourages open-ended building with their imagination as the only limit.
2. Magna-Tiles 100-Piece Clear Colors Set
This STEM toy teaches one of its core concepts — engineering!
Using the 100 pieces of magnetic tiles, kids can build structures of all shapes and sizes.
The Magna-Tiles building kit includes magnetic pieces of various polygonal shapes that easily stick and detach, making the building process easier and so much fun!
3. CoolToys Monkey Balance Cool Math Game
Math skills are usually the hardest concepts that kids ages 5 and below must learn, but this toy surely makes it easier to teach!
This robot monkey from cool toys teaches kids about counting by acting as math manipulatives.
Using the small monkeys, kids should match them with the number in question at the same time to balance the scales.
What a great tool to train critical thinking skills!
4. Snap Circuits Beginner
This toy from Snap Circuits Jr is true to its name, as kids can create electrical circuits by snapping the pieces together!
From making music to turning up the fan, these circuit challenges designed to train your child’s curious minds would surely do the trick!
This hands-on toy is also a fun way to ignite your child’s love for electronics.
5. 4M Kidzlabs Crystal Mining Kit
Learning STEM is about the impartation of concepts and the reinforcement of gross and fine motor skills.
Kidzlabs’ mining science kit allows a child to unearth magnificent crystals within the plaster rocks.
Unlike building kits, this STEM toy does the contrary.
We’re sure that your son loves to break stuff so let them have that fun with this toy and discover the gems underneath!
6. Shapemags Magnet Building Tiles Magnetic Blocks
If you’re looking for a Magna-Tiles alternative for your child, then this option is the closest you can get.
Develop creativity and other STEM skills like balance, engineering, and problem-solving and create the most wonderful structures!
Shapemags building kit is a great option for hands-on STEM learning in a fun and interactive manner.
7. Code & Go Robot Mouse
In this technology era, learning to code at a young age is a must-have quality.
Good thing Learning Resources offers coding robots that teach programming logic to children!
Kids can now learn basic computer science concepts minus the screen time.
From easy trails, coding challenges up to complicated labyrinths; your child is in control of everything.
8. Botley the Coding Robot
Botley is another coding robot to look out for and arguably one of the best STEM toys for teaching programming logic.
While most learning toys that teach code are standalone, Botley comes with one reversible tile-board and other peripherals to support your kids’ playtime!
The 42 included cards make an awesome board game for Botley; plus, the cool robot traces all black lines on its path so kids can also perform great science experiments with it!
9. SmartGames Castle Logix Game
Another building kit that cultivates the budding scientist and engineers in kids, Castle Logix, is a science building kit where kids build what the challenge booklet dictates.
Using pieces of different lengths, your child has to recreate the castle indicated therein.
This is a fun tool to stimulate children’s natural creativity. Plus, Castle Logix is one fun STEM toy for kids where the educational insights are learned hands-on.
10. SmartGames Color Code Puzzle Game
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math toys commonly deal with creativity and basic STEM concepts.
In contrast, this toy focuses on training color discrimination and logic in kids.
Watch them solve the 100 puzzle challenges using visual perception as they have fun learning about different colors.
This is quite the same with the STEM toys for kids offered by Fat Brain Toys, but with more variety.
Affordability is always an ideal quality for a STEM toy. When looking to purchase gifts for a Science kid, choose the ones that offer the best learning process without breaking the bank. The top 10 list above features some of the most affordable options around, so choose one that can help propel your child’s learning.
Ease of Use
Kids aged 5 are still on the verge of discovery and might need some help along the way. The best toys to get them are the ones they can operate by themselves without much parental support needed (although it is advisable for parents always to keep an eye on their kids during playtime).
Safe To Use
Children at 5 are typically aware of choking hazards, so that’s not much of an issue. However, it would be best to steer away from toys with very small parts or sharp objects that can cause any unwanted injury. It’s a good thing that most STEM toys are safe, so parents don’t have to worry much about their child’s safety.
Toys should align with the level of understanding and the level of difficulty that your kids can handle. While simple color discrimination toys like the SmartGames Color Code Puzzle might be fun and enjoyable for 5-year-olds, some children might find it extremely hard to complete a Rubik’s cube — even though both STEM toys tackle logic, visual perception, and problem-solving.
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Durability is one common factor that matters when choosing STEM learning toys. Not only does this ensure that the toys will last longer, but it also assures even if kids drop the toys from their clumsy hands, they won’t break easily.
Another feature you might want to consider is choosing toys that are not “one-time-use.” For example, the Kidzlabs Crystal Mining Kit is a one-time-use toy, although it is indeed effective to reel children into the world of Archaeology. If that’s not your style, then go for toys that kids can use for an indefinite period of time, like a kid-friendly microscope with extra-large eyepieces.
- Increases Cognitive Development – A STEM toy should facilitate learning and your kid’s brain development.
- Introduces The Sciences – STEM toys are called that way for a reason. Not only should they increase your child’s mental capacity but also introduce them to the key pillars of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
- Hones Motor Skills & Coordination – Practicing the brain is just as important as practicing dexterity and hand-eye coordination. A STEM toy must also support this learning.
- Provides Interactive Bonding Time – STEM instructive toys typically advocate against the screen culture. That’s why interactiveness is important because it promotes imagination. 
- Creates Opportunities For Creativity – Art is a natural element of STEM, and this fact must be upheld when looking for educational toys. 
- Narrows The Gender Gap – The toys should never be gender-specific, rather it should promote neutrality to invite more women and build more women scientists to participate in the STEM workforce.
Yes, LEGOs can be considered STEM toys because they can effectively teach children about Engineering. They can also train their motor abilities, creativity, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving – all of which are instrumental for kids’ cognitive development. Here’s our list of the best science kits for 6-year-olds.
Yes, STEM toys can teach kids about Math and Science. These are typically the secret messages embedded underneath the guise of a harmless toy. Toys that promote STEM are powerful because they are fun and impart critical concepts.
Our Choice for the Best Stem Toys for 5-Year-Olds Is…
STEM learning is a critical aspect that kids ages 5 should start acquiring while young. The educational value that these toys bring to the table can be carried over to adulthood.
After intensive review and deliberation, we conclude that the best STEM toy for 5-year-olds is the Kinetic Sand. Aside from inciting learning and curiosity, it also promotes open-ended play for the young ones with 10 tools and molds to use! It’s also safe to use since it’s non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and made from natural sand.
Thank you for reading this far! I hope that the information provided in this article will be helpful to you.