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13 STEM Toys for Toddlers

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I recently posted a list of STEM toys for elementary aged kids. Those are pretty easy to find. But, what about the toddlers, you asked?

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are important to toddlers, too. I imagine most of the toys you have encourage these skills in even the tiniest of our people, but I put together a list of 13 toys that encourage STEM learning for toddlers. Of course, this all depends on your child and where they are, so please consider that when deciding what they will like.

For toddlers, the emphasis is going to be mostly on the engineering and math parts, but the science comes in very easily as well. When building, a child will go through the scientific process without even thinking about it! We’ll let them hold off on technology for a while longer!

STEM Toys for Toddlers

Many of these toys we have in our home and have seen a lot of love.

1. Crystal Slot-Together Translucent Builders
Crystal ClimbersCrystal Climbers

Crystal climbers have been a big hit with our kids as soon as they could put the pieces together. With each piece having several slots, the arrangement possibilities are infinite. They quickly learn that you need a wide base for tall structures and that they need to be balanced. It’s a great way for them to discover building and gravity with fun play.

2. Childcraft Town and Country Train Set with Bridge and Accessories – Set of 50
Childcraft Town and Country Train Set with Bridge and Accessories - Set of 50Childcraft Town and Country Train Set with Bridge and Accessories – Set of 50

Build a bridge, tracks around a community or more. The kids love experimenting with all of the pieces. They even get to add in scenery and signs to keep it all safe.

3. Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, ClassicMega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

Blocks are great for building all kinds of structures. Kids discover what is needed to keep a building standing. They find out if they can put spaces and gaps in their buildings and they will not fall over. As soon as kids can push them together, they can build to their hearts content. Our girls started playing with these around 15 months and keep building into their preteen years.

4. Tot Tube Playset – Toy Car and Ball Tunnel Ramp Race Track
Tot Tube Playset - Toy Car and Ball Tunnel Ramp Race TrackTot Tube Playset – Toy Car and Ball Tunnel Ramp Race Track

If this is in stock, GET IT! I see it sold out so often. It’s so simple and yet so effective. Kids can experiment with the height of the ramp as well as the surface at the bottom. My girls like to see if they can get a ball to come out fast enough to knock things over. They even set up courses of sorts to see what can happen after a ball or a car comes out of the tube.

5. Little Balancing Game
Djeco DJ08554 Toddler Game- Little Balancing GameDjeco DJ08554 Toddler Game- Little Balancing Game

Balancing is all about engineering. Plus, you add in the elements of a fun game and frogs and lily pads. It’s always great when kids are learning but not realizing it because there is such a fun game element.

6. Melissa & Doug Caterpillar Gear Toy
Melissa & Doug Rainbow Caterpillar Gear Toy With 6 Interchangeable GearsMelissa & Doug Rainbow Caterpillar Gear Toy With 6 Interchangeable Gears

Who knew that toddlers could learn how gears work? If you spin the front gear, all of the rest go. If you remove one in the middle, the gears will no longer all move. The kids really like the rainbow and the fact that it is a caterpillar.

7. Play Visions Sands Alive! Deluxe Starter Set
Sands Alive Ultimate Dino and Castle Sand Molds Set - Includes 18 Molds and Play Sand TraySands Alive Ultimate Dino and Castle Sand Molds Set – Includes 18 Molds and Play Sand Tray

I know…sand. But, this isn’t like typical beach sand. It stays together and allows molding of different shapes. There are kits with generic shapes as well as dinosaurs (anybody want to be a archeologist) and safari animals (veterinarian, possibly?). My girls have played with this sand starting at a very young age with supervision and then older on their own. It’s surprisingly easy to clean up, too.

8. MagWorld Toys Builder Magnetic Tile Building Set
MagWorld Toys 24-Piece Builder Magnetic Tile Building Set, Clear Colors Size: 24-piece Model: MWR24MagWorld Toys 24-Piece Builder Magnetic Tile Building Set, Clear Colors Size: 24-piece Model: MWR24

These are great magnetic pieces that also build animals, bridges, shapes and more. Plus, at the same time, they are learning about magnetic poles, and attraction and repulsion. The creativity these generate is nothing short of amazing.

9. Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Farm
Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set: 5 Wooden Panels and 5 Matching Laces - FarmMelissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set: 5 Wooden Panels and 5 Matching Laces – Farm

With cute farm-animal art on both sides, it’s fun to practice lacing and tracing skills with this wooden set. Contains five sturdy, double-sided lacing panels, plus five color-coordinated laces! Develop hand-eye coordination and attention skills with this great activity.

10. Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker
Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker - Wooden Educational ToyMelissa & Doug Geometric Stacker – Wooden Educational Toy

Practice counting, stacking, shape sorting and more with this great geometric stacker. Kids can also explore what happens when the shapes don’t go in order and how it looks.

11. Melissa & Doug 60-Piece Standard Unit Blocks
Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray (60 pcs)Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray (60 pcs)

Nothing better than plain old blocks. It comes with a great wooden storage crate for easy storage. Packing them all up to fit perfectly in the box is a feat of it’s own.
Ideal for building and introducing early match concepts as well as math and fractions later on.

12. 52 Piece Tegu Original Magnetic Wooden Block Set
52 Piece Tegu Original Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Tints52 Piece Tegu Original Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Tints

Experience the mystery of magnets with Tegu’s Original 52 Piece set. Combine both the love for blocks with the love of magnets allowing pieces to stick together. These are great for those naturally curious kids and perfect for those seeking toys supporting open-ended and unscripted play.

13. Magformers Magnets in Motion 83 Piece Power Set
Magformers Magnets in Motion 83 Piece Power SetMagformers Magnets in Motion 83 Piece Power Set

Build amazing creations that use Electricity, exciting Gears, and Power. This kit includes 15 Different Magnetic Shapes, plus Accessories as well as Motorized Generator, and Remote Control. This is the pinnacle of toys for kids for STEM education.

If you like the idea of these, but want to add a fun subscription box for monthly deliveries, check out Creation Crate. 

Creation Crate is a tech subscription box that teaches electronics and coding by combining hands-on projects and online courses. 

  • Every month, you’ll receive a new electronic project from our curriculum
  • Projects become more challenging as you learn new lessons
  • Canadian subscription box of the year “kids/teens”

Creation Crate: Monthly Electronic Projects: 1 month: $29.99; 3 months: $26.99/month; 6 months: $25.49/month; 12 months: $22.49/month

You can get 25% OFF your first Creation Crate project using promo code: HS25!

If you need some ideas for older kids, you will want to check out my article on STEM activities for kids: a gift guide. These gifts generate a ton of STEM project ideas even for the littlest ones in your house from building to creating to moving parts and more.

STEM toys for toddlers


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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

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6 Comments

  1. Amanda Baker says:

    Thank you for posting this!! There are a few of these that I’d love to try out with my daughter 🙂

  2. These toys look so cool. I would like to get a few of them

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