STEM toys for children
Does STEM sound familiar? If you are a parent or interested in child development, you’ve most likely heard of or will soon come across the concept, which for good reason is becoming more and more popular. And rightly so! Behind the concept are lots of ideas for involving and developmental play that are worth looking into, and it’s definitely worth introducing kids to STEM toys. The future awaits!
What is STEM?
It’s one of the leading trends in contemporary education. STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Simply put, STEM refers to exact and natural sciences and their connections and solutions to various scientific challenges. While we know that a lot of adults feel reluctance towards exact science, stating that they are “humanities-oriented” and that “mathematics is too difficult”, fortunately children don’t know that. They don’t know what STEM is. Their curiosity about the world around them is natural, and it is the rewarding and difficult role of their caregivers to fuel their hunger for knowledge and satisfy it in a way that’s adapted to their age.
We’d like to take the opportunity here to make a request to adults: abandon any prejudices (if you have them). What might seem serious or complicated to us should simply be great fun for children! Think of it as a first lesson about nature, without distinguishing between chemistry, physics or biology, but full of answers to burning questions like “what’s this?”, “why?”, “how does it all work?”, answers that inspire a desire for further answers. A good STEM toy is one that: encourages children to play while learning something new at the same time, to develop their skills and imagination, to find courage to experiment. It already sounds great, right? So … play!
STEM toys for children … of all ages
STEM toys allow children to develop their natural interests, they teach creative thinking, encourage children to look for connections in the world, and provide knowledge in a way that’s adapted to the children’s age. Even Einstein was a little kid once! Children are natural scientists who explore the world around them through experience – it’s why they repeatedly throw a spoon from the table to check whether it really falls to the ground every time, it’s a way of testing objects using all of their different senses, it’s a way of asking millions of questions. We’ve included different play scenarios to many Banana Panda products. These scenarios show how to play in lots of different ways with toys that might, at first glance, seem like they’re “just” a puzzle or game. We do things a bit differently here because STEM accessories and educational aids:
- fuel children’s natural interest in exact and natural sciences,
- deliver knowledge,
- broaden imagination, support creativity and logical thinking,
- inspire experimentation,
- encourage children to ask their own questions,
- demonstrate how to play in an original way.
STEM toys and games from Banana Panda
An unconventional approach to play means our puzzles and games are fantastic STEM toys:
- the very creative Make-a-Match Puzzles series is a great set of developmental puzzles for children from the age of one up to preschool age! The diverse themes and level of difficulty are adapted to children’s age and interests. The removable wheels can be put together and played with in lots of different ways that develop imagination and creative thinking;
- Discover our creative puzzles: Mix & Match Robot Lab, Mix and Match Trains and Suuuper Size Puzzles My Body – all the pieces from these sets can be connected in any way, so children can put them together however they like! What’s more, the themes are closely related to engineering, inventions and transport, and anatomy. Future doctors are certain to appreciate the highly detailed Observation Puzzle My Body;
- The Space Puzzles series is perfect for stargazers, scientists and pioneers – we know what future space explorers, engineers and inventors enjoy playing with! Banana Panda’s varied puzzles provide inspiration to learn more about our universe, robots, spacecraft and the history of cosmic discoveries;
- Did you know that games from the Suuuper Size Memory Game series can be used for various types of play that children will love while also providing … an introduction to programming? Placing the fields from the memory game board in a specific way or moving around them according to a set code is a fantastic way to play at programming without a computer;
- Play Make-a-Match Puzzle Number Train! This long puzzle train, in which you can arrange passengers and wheels with the numbers 1 to 10 however you like, is a fun way for introduce children to their first math lessons and teach them to recognize numbers!