Are you shopping for the best STEM toys and gifts for your kids this holiday season? Here, you’ll find what’s new and recommended for 2023, as well as the best classic STEM gift ideas for kids.
Discover robots, building blocks, science kits, circuitry, math games, and more.
This is the best list of science, technology, engineering, and math toys and gifts curated by a teacher for parents who want double-duty gifts that are both fun and educational. Use the indicated age recommendation to help you in your shopping.
2023 STEM Toys and Gifts for Kids
From the newest STEM toys for kids to hit the market to the favorite classics, these amazing educational gifts and toys will give children a big value with both fun and learning.
My First Puppy & Kitty
Piece 2 bricks together to make each pet, then pay with them. The pets make sounds with two sounds bricks.
LEGO DUPLO Wild Animals of South America
Build a jungle and play with a crocodile, 2 monkeys, a sloth, baby jaguar, toucan and alpaca, plus trees, rocks waterfall in a 3-dimensional jungle playmat.
Intro to Tools & Building
Learn how to use a hammer, screwdriver, and wrench, and the basic engineering principles behind how these tools work. This set develops fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, and reasoning.
Supermoms! by Heather Lang and Jamie Harper, illustrated by Jamie Harper
ages 4 – 8
Did you know animals are moms, too? And they make safe, comfy homes like the groundhogs and red-knobbed hornbill. They’re creative with transportation — just look at a wolf spider mom carrying her spiderlings on her back or an American alligator carrying her hatchlings in her mouth. Fascinating facts about animal supermoms are paired with engaging comic-style illustrations.
Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Barn
Use a kid-safe toy drill to build a farm with crops, fences, and animal friends.
Construction Site Folding Sandbox Playset
Open up the Construction Site to reveal a contained play space! When you’re finished playing, the sandbox easily folds up and fits everything inside for storage or portable play! Wheel the dump truck around the site and use the truck’s 3-brick mold in the back to build brick walls.
Sorting Snacks Mini Fridge
Count, sort, and make patterns with the snacks and activity cards.
Kazoom Kids Shoes and Socks
Your kids will love these gender-neutral, STEM-themed shoes and socks! Pick from constellations, dinosaurs, science, math, robots, or spaceships. Read my full review about these cool shoes & socks!
Good Eating The Short Life of Krill by Matt Lilley, illustrated by Dan Tavis
ages 4 – 8
Written in the second-person point of view, this picture book speaks directly to you, a baby krill. You grow from an oval, then get eyes and legs, keep growing, and swim constantly– only to be eaten eventually by whales. Engaging writing in a surprisingly delightful and enlightening little story.
Cool Animals Sticker Activity Book by National Geographic Kids
ages 4 – 8
WOW! National Geographic never disappoints. This book is filled with 1,000 stickers of animals, puzzles, games, spelling, patterns, drawing ideas, and much more. Highly recommended.
***If you like this book, check out Ponies & Horses and Dogs.
eeBoo Making Change Game
50 cards, paper money and coins will help kids learn to subtract and make change.
The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish: What Magic Lies Beneath? by Chloe Savage
ages 4 – 8
Informative and funny, this picture book belongs on your bookshelves because your readers will love every bit of it. Dr. Morley and her crew search for the elusive Arctic Jellyfish. As they do, they encounter many other arctic creatures, which helps readers learn about those creatures — belugas, narwhals, and orcas. But the crew never sees the Jellyfish. The fun part is that WE SEE THE JELLYFISH! The illustrator shows the jellyfish in scenes where the scientist and her crew are searching. This is a delightful hide-and-seek romp in the Arctic with a playful jellyfish as the special star.
Uncle Milton Moon In My Room
Watch the moon’s lunar phases that you can change with a remote control.
LEGO Mickey Castle
Do you like castles and Disney? Build a medieval castle for Mickey and his friends, including a buildable dragon.
What’s Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon? and Other Questions About Moths & Butterflies by Rachel Ignotofsky
ages 4 – 8
Just wait until you see the gorgeous illustrations throughout this book. I could frame them all! Learn all about moths and butterflies, starting with their differences, their life stages, their metamorphosis, their anatomy, and more interesting information about their diet, mating, and spreading pollen. Kids will love reading about these important insects. Perfect for primary-grade classrooms and homes.
LEGO Classic Around the World
Kids will love this LEGO collection of 950 bricks for creative building and play plus find directions for 15 models.
Elmer’s Color Slime Kit
This kit contains all the ingredients you need to make colorful slime– and who doesn’t want to do that?
GeoSafari Ant Factory
Don’t worry–this is escape-proof habitat. Set up the ant factory to learn about habitats, feeding, and behavior. (Please use the ants you can order in the mail — it will be a disaster if you don’t.)
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers 40+ Things to Invent, Draw, and Make by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts ages
ages 5 – 10
This is an excellent, engaging activity book based on the fantastic STEM Rosie Revere, Engineer picture book. Colorful illustrations and a cool layout will entice readers to try, fail, and learn. Discover more about simple machines, build a marble run, solve engineering challenges, design a stuffed animal carrier for your bike, learn about inventors who failed a lot, and so much more.
Fandex Kids Bugs
The brightly illustrated cards fan out, and each one of the 35 bugs has a uniquely shaped top. Pick one and read the information including what their bite is like and other information from nature.
National Geographic 15 Geodes
Discover your crystal treasures when you crack open the geodes wearing the included goggles.
Educational Insights Circuit Explorer Space Station STEM Toy
Explore electricity & circuits! Build a Deluxe Base Station with towers, a planetarium with color-changing dome light, a communication station with a rotating radar dish, and more. Also includes astronaut and robot figures for pretend play and stickers for customization.
Lego Super Mario Adventures
Kids get a chance to build their own Super Mario Bros. course with this awesome LEGO set with its very own Mario figure!
Minecraft Llama Village
Use the 1252 pieces to make a Llama Village for your Minecraft characters, including a llama herder, llama knight, savannah villager, blacksmith villager, pillager, vindicator, llama, baby llama, and a baby sheep.
Make a Pie!
This eeBoo game introduces kids to fractions with pie and play– and helps reinforce halves, thirds, fourths, eighths, and sixteenths.
Lego Downtown Fire Brigade
Children can act as firemen with this extra fun LEGO set, which comes with a working light, a swivel ladder, a cool helicopter, plus much more!
LeapFrog Magic Adventure Globe
This is an interactive globe. Tap on it with the stylus to learn about places, cultures, languages, animals, and more.
LEGO Friends Forest Camper Van and Sailboat
Get your LEGO Friends mini-dolls outside in nature with 3 dolls, a raccoon toy, a detailed camper van, a sailboat, and more!
Learn about electricity, matter, and energy!
Uncle Milton Moon In My Room
Watch the moon’s lunar phases that you can change with a remote control.
Amazing Plants of the World by Stepanka Sekaninova, illustrated by Zuzana Dreadka Kruta
Narrated by an enthusiastic, quirky gardener, read about weird plants that stink, look peculiar, eat meat, mimic other things, and many more such oddities. The illustrations are accompanied by a lively description that gives pertinent facts while engaging readers with the gardener’s strong voice.
Plague Busters! Medicine’s Battles with History’s Deadliest Diseases by Lindsey Fitzharris and Adrian Teal
Well-written and fascinating, in this nonfiction book, middle grade readers will learn about the deadliest diseases throughout history, from The Black Death to Scurvy. Each disease is explored in a full chapter with stories of people affected, remedy options (which were generally quite awful!), the history of the disease including inventions and innovations in understanding and treatment, and famous deaths from the disease. You’ll read about people like Louis Pasteur, who found a treatment for rabies (a deadly disease from which Edgar Allen Poe died), and John Snow, who figured out how cholera was spread. I loved this book and think your readers will, too. Also, who doesn’t need these facts for trivia night, anyway?
Light-Up Rock & Gem Collection
Not only does this set contain 29 unique rocks, gems, and minerals but it also includes a 32-page book with rock details and activities.
Animal BFFs by Sophie Corrigan
I’ve poured over this book because the writing is engaging, and the information about unusual animals who live together is interesting. I particularly love the funny dialogue bubbles of conversation between animal duos that you haven’t ever heard about — like warthogs and banded mongooses or ruby-throated hummingbirds and spiders– and why they’re paired up.
LEGO Friends Heartlake City Grand Hotel
Build a Parisian-style hotel with 4 mini-dolls and 3 animal figures!
Almanac 2024 National Geographic Kids
The National Geographic Almanac is a must-own resource for families. Practice your nonfiction reading comprehension skills as you learn about animals, space, science, history, geography, and much more. Each page is designed to entertain and educate with stunning layouts and eye-popping photographs.
Snap Circuits My Home Building Kit
Build over 50 different projects using building circuit blocks with snaps!
Shashibo Shape-Shifting Box
Magnetic puzzle box for sensory stimulation, relaxation, and imagination.
This handheld version of the Nintendo Switch is the perfect gift when it comes to price and size for any kid looking for an awesome game console!
Human Body Learning Lab: Take an Inside Tour of How Your Anatomy Works by Betty Choi, M.D.
Colorful pages with kid-friendly writing, illustrations, diagrams, labels, photos, and more add up to my new favorite book on the human body. Start reading about the body’s cellular building blocks and keep reading about subjects like the circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, the five senses, the reproductive system, and more. Written by pediatrician Dr. Betty Choi, you’ll learn about different systems of the body and then do fun activities to reinforce the knowledge.
My Audio Pet Mini Bluetooth Speaker
How cute is this tiny (2″ high) animal speaker? It connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device! (Pick from lots of animals including a unicorn, pug, beaver, and dragon.)
LEGO Creator 3 in 1 Medieval Castle
How cool is this castle with a drawbridge and 3 Minifigures!?
Wild Outside Around the World with Survivorman by Les Stroud illustrations by Andres P. Barr
Les Stroud recounts exciting personal adventure stories of exploration and survival in all sorts of places around the world. Fascinating stories are accompanied by photos, illustrations, maps, and informational insets. I couldn’t put this book down and HIGHLY recommend it.
Thames & Kosmos Glow in the Dark T Rex Excavation Kit
Excavate your own glow-in-the-dark Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton model. This dangerous prehistoric giant comes to life when you excavate its bones with a hammer and chisel and assemble them into a skeleton. The skeleton lets you reenact prehistoric adventures or surprise your friends with its glowing effect when the lights are off. The kit includes 13 skeleton pieces buried in a plaster block, excavation tools, and a descriptive manual.
Super Sphere STEM Experiment Kit
Not only will you build a robotic sphere, but you’ll also get directions for six more robot models. Program the robot to do different things and use a remote control to make your models move.
How Do Meerkats Order Pizza? by Brooke Barker
You might think this book is about meerkats. It’s not…completely. It’s actually an engaging and informative book about scientists who specialize in specific areas of study — including meerkats studied by Dr. Marta Manser and also Japanese macaques and bonobos studied by Dr. Cecile Sarabian and lizards studied by Dr. Earyn McGee. The book is illustrated in comics with dialogue bubbes and handwritten text. It’s amazingly dense with factual information but remains easy to read, interesting, and appealing to the eye. Readers will want to pour over this book for days and learn about animals and scientists. Maybe it will inspire a new career trajectory…or just educate kids on more of the natural world. I love it!
LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship
From the Mandalorian season 2, build the airship of Boba Fett. I love this because you get Boba and Mando plus the ship so it’s a cool building option for under $50.
The Deep! Wild Life at the Ocean’s Darkest Depths by Lindsey Leigh
ages 8 – 12
What an engaging dive into the ocean! Read about the ocean layers and the cool creatures who live in each ocean zone. The unique handwritten font instead of a traditional font gives the feeling of waves and playfulness. Cartoon illustrations show interesting creatures like the barreleye fish, the prambug, the hagfish, and the tripod fish. And the dialogue bubbles of conversational creatures only add to the genius of this eye-catching book. I predict this will be very popular with middle grade readers!
Snap Circuits Mechanical Coding Robot
Learn to code a robot that can lift, throw, kick, draw, and more by snapping the coding buttons onto the coding wheel!
Lego Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Razor Crest
Any kid who’s into Star Wars will be full of excitement when they get a chance to step into the role of The Mandalorian and build their very own action-packed spaceship!
LEGO Star Wars The Child
This is a detailed rendering of The Child from The Mandalorian with 1,073 pieces!
Solar Powered Mars Rover
Put the components together to make a solar powered Mars rover and Moon buggy.
Lego Art World Map
Build and display this unique, ocean depths-inspired world map with 11,695 pieces!
More Favorite STEM Toys and Gifts for Kids
Classic STEM gifts like these continue to impress parents and kids alike with their educational value and high-interest, fun factor!
First Robot Engineer Kit and Storybook
As you follow the 32-page illustrated storybook manual, you can build models of the ten robots featured in the story. Large, colorful plastic building pieces make it easy for small hands to put the models together.
Design & Drill Bolt Buddies
Build your own airplane with your drill– complete with a spinning propeller.
With this math-focused STEM game, kids use the cubes to match the patterns on the cards and develop visual-spatial skills, pattern identification, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination.
Super Sorting Pie
Even though it’s meant for young learners, my kids played with this toy until they were late elementary school! It’s great for math concepts like patterns, sorting, and numbers, and makes for lots of fun if you open up a pretend restaurant, too.
LeapFrog Go With Me ABC
ages 3 – 6
How fun is this!? It’s a STEM and literacy toy! Growing learners choose from seven different activities while learning and practicing phonics and letter writing. Open to find 26 letters, a write and erase board, and a variety of games including letter names and sounds, writing, reading, drawing, and animals. Includes 26 letter pieces that can be plugged into the interactive letter spaces to explore the letters of the alphabet. In one mode, kids follow along while Mr. Pencil introduces letter writing. It’s interactive, educational, and fun. (ALSO AVAILABLE IN BLUE/GREEN.)
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope
Investigate things close up with a talking microscope that teaches children using 60 different images and several different modes.
Hape Super Spiral Quadrilla
Build marble runs with a cool building block set that gives kids the opportunity to engineer and play for hours on end.
Brain Flakes Interlocking Plastic Disc Set
Create interesting designs with over 500 interlocking discs!
Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards
These pattern boards are a perfect way for any child to learn problem-solving and color recognition while having a lot of fun playing a hands-on, creative game!
BRIO Builder STEM Set
Get your young engineer building with 136 building pieces including nuts, bolts, a hammer, a screwdriver and more.
Magformers Vehicle Wow Set
Play around with these awesome magnetic shapes to form any number of unique vehicle patterns for this miniature carnival boy to ride around in!
Mini Motor Math Activity Set
Count, add, subtract, pattern, and more using mini rubber cars and numbered tracks. Not only does this hands-on game practice math skills, but it also reinforces fine motor movements and hand-eye coordination.
Educational Insights Design and Drill Space Circuits
We highly recommend this STEM gift for kids. (Even my husband loves this toy! And he’s well above the recommended age range.) Mini engineers get to complete 20 space-themed missions by creating circuits. With over 50 pieces, kids learn engineering and problem-solving skills as they learn to light, spin simple motors, add momentary buttons and switches, and more. Plus the working power drill to build and repair circuits is THE BEST!!
Pigeon Math by Asia Citro, illustrated by Richard Watson
Hilarious! Addition and subtraction never felt so fun!! An increasingly exasperated narrator TRYING to tell the story about ten pigeons can’t quite do it because the birds come and go, plus there’s a cat, and well, it makes for some great silliness and inviting math opportunities. Use the pictures to help answer the math equations. Visual support, goofy humor, and plenty of kid-appeal make this a 100% must-own, must-read STEM picture book.
Zoob Builders Zoob Bot
Build your own robot with motorized wheels and light-up eyes! You’ll get ZOOB pieces, wheels, gears, axles, a motor, tires, and joints that snap, click, and pop together. Create monsters—or vehicles—or monsters that turn into vehicles. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. We love our ZOOBS and highly recommend this STEM kit.
Playstix interlock with a snap-and-lock feature and are color-coded to make building easy. This kit includes 150 Playsitx and an idea booklet with instructions and examples of things you can build.
Design & Drill BrightWorks
This STEM / STEAM toy is the total package with technology, engineering, art, and math! Follow the 12 included patterns or create your own design. Insert the translucent bolts, use the kid-friendly power drill to drill them in, and watch as your illuminated creation comes to life.
Alien Slime Lab
Get messy as you mix up batches of unidentified “alien” slime and conduct tests on them to analyze and investigate their special properties. Real science and playful science fiction come together in this wacky, activity-filled kit! For example, conduct viscosity tests on the slime, dissect it with tweezers and a plastic scalpel, cut out a brain shape, Stamp it with an alien head, and add eyes to your Alien slime! (Non-toxic.)
Added to: Best STEM Kits for Kids
LEGO 3 in 1 Creator Robot Explorer
ages 7 – 12
The best thing about these 3 in 1 kits is, well, kids get to build three different things from one set of blocks! This 2019 kit offers directions to make a robot dog, robot bird, and robot explorer. (Sorry, it’s not a real robot. Scroll down for that!)
Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit
Yum! Make chewy jelly candies, crystal rock candy, chocolates, lollipops, and experiment with food chemistry!
LEGO Disney Princess Elsa’s Magical Ice Palace
Just in time for the 2nd movie! Frozen fans can build Elsa’s ice palace with a revolving staircase and sliding bridge. This kit comes with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Marshmallow, and 4 Swogie minifigures.
Except Antarctica! by Todd Sturgell
A stoic narrator shares information about turtles until…the turtle, who doesn’t live in Antarctica, sets off for Antarctica, making the narrator very irked. Soon, the turtle is joined by other animals who are also NOT found in Antarctica. Hilarity ensues with an increasingly exasperated narrator who does not want any traveling companions, including a dung beetle, owl, snake, bee, mouse, and frog. Several pages of back matter explain more information about each animal and the continent of Antarctica.
Solar System Glow in the Dark Puzzle
Will your kids love this 60 piece jigsaw puzzle with thick pieces and glow in the dark features?
OSMO Genius Starter Kit
Use with an iPad and solve puzzles, learn and practice math skills, practice geography, learn to draw, read, spell, and more!
Ooze Labs Chemistry Station Science Experiment Kit
This educational chemistry set is perfect for children who love doing their own experiments and want to create something colorful, slimy, or fizzy in their very own lab!
These cute critters get kids excited to learn how to code!
Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Police Motorcycle
Use a real drill to build a police motorcycle and sidecar. Then play with your police dog and police person. Great for fine motor skills and imaginative play.
Coding Critters Dragon
Help your preschooler code with a magic dragon and coding storybook of adventures, including monsters and a fire tornado. Give this STEM toy and watch your kids learn to coce
Mars: Earthlings Welcome by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
Mars is a planet with a big personality. In first-person narration, Mars shares all its many features that are much better than Earth. Like two moons and 37 more minutes in a day! It’s funny, entertaining, and very informative.
My First Rock and Gem Collection
Learn about rocks with these rock samples, field guide, and mystery rock excavation kit. Also included are rocks you can decorate with paint and googly eyes. Would your kids love this STEM toy?
LEGO Brick Box
This is a must-own STEM gift for all kids. You’ll get 790 pieces of LEGOS from which you can build and create using your own imagination.
Gears, Gears, Gears Robot Factory
Ages 4 – 7
My kids and their friends love this gears kit SO MUCH. Parents, you’ll love to see how the gears inspire creativity through building and engineering. See my full review here. This is one of my favorite STEM toys to give kids!
ZOOB 125 Piece Set
ZOOBs are colorful snap-together plastic gears, axels, and joint pieces. They’re not electronic; they’re totally battery-free. AND WE LOVE THEM! Without a doubt, ZOOBs are one of our most-played with, favorite open-ended toys that have lasted for years of childhood! (If you can’t tell, we highly recommend them.)
Hape’s Stacking Music Set
Ages 4 – 15
Sing along with this musical marble run! It includes xylophone keys built into different pieces so you can make music as the marbles roll down the raceways.
We think this STEM math game and science game is AWESOME. It’s a one-player game that gets us to balance the seesaw, learning physics, and logic at the same time.
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build Invent Create Discover by Jack Challoner
This STEM book stands out from the crowd because it’s so beautifully designed and written. Yes, we’ve seen lemon batteries in a ton of other books, but I really like the way this book presents the information so that a kid could pick up the book and do the experiment themselves as well as learn the science behind the project. A great choice.
We play this fun and funny math game all the time. Add this STEM game to your family game night for giggles and math practice. You won’t regret it!
Klutz Make Your Own Soap
Learn soap-making basics (chemistry) in this Klutz STEM kit. You’ll be melting to molding, plus adding fragrance and glitter in designs like a cat, a fish, a cupcake, a star, and more.
Glow-in-the-Dark Slime Lab
Slime is hot right now! This kit gives older tweens and teens everything they need for cool slime experiments along with an activity guide.
My kids love this STEM game so much. Try to solve the formula on each challenge card using your 3 test tubes using the 6 colored balls. But, don’t touch the balls with your hands or you’ll be out! The first one done wins the card; the first person to get five cards wins. Read my full review here.
Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run
Power marbles with gravity in this hands-on educational and science STEM set with 24 problem-solving building exercises.
Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit
Build up to 10 different awesome moving machines with this awesome STEM kit that comes with over 30 separate LEGO elements to create and design with!
Get your kids hooked on an engaging game requiring problem-solving, thinking, and visual-spatial strategy! The goal of the 1-player Gravity Maze game is to figure out how to build a working marble run using the colored translucent plastic towers. We love and highly recommend this game!
SPRK+ Robot from Sphero
Your kids can do so much with Sphero’s new app-enabled robot that inspires not just coding but also learning STEM / STEAM topics in creative ways. SPRK+ from Sphero caught my kids’ attention from the get-go and held it as they began to explore the various learning possibilities with it. Read my full review here.
One by Wacom Digital Drawing Tablet
The original Wacom tablets cost $500+ so this is a more affordable option at $60 for kids who want to get started with digital art. Plug into your computer and start drawing!
Audio Gaming Chair
We first saw these chairs at our neighbor’s house– they are pretty cool, right? Listen to music, watch TV, read, play video games, or just relax. It’s got 4 speakers plus wireless receivers and transmitters and is compatible with most gaming devices.
The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names by Matthew Murie and Steve Murrie, illustrated by Julie Benbassat
Get ready for funny names, magical names, fierce names, delicious names, and weird names. But even better is the ANIMALS with these unusual names. Like the striped pyjama squid which is a cool-looking stripped squid. Or the yeti crab which is a crustacean with hairy arms. My favorite weird creature is the Tasseled Wobbegong! Permanent facts (species, habitat, and interesting details) are written in a text box with a well-written elaboration of about a page describing the animal’s looks, behavior, habitat, abilities, and more. Each animal has at least one illustration, sometimes more than one, and sometimes a photograph. Fantastic!
Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
Put those science skills to use by growing these amazing, eye-catching crystals that come with their own display cases!
The Superpower Field Guide Eels by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
Filled with fascinating facts written in a conversational voice, this latest book in the series brims with pizazz! Follow the story of Olenka, an amazing eel of secrets and superpowers. Full-color illustrations, humor, and facts–so many facts–you won’t be able to put this book down.