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 2021 as well as the best classic STEM ideas for kids.
Discover robots, building blocks, science kits, circuitry, math games, and much 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.
2021 STEM Gifts for Kids
From the newest STEM toys for kids to hit the market in 2021 to the favorite classics, these amazing educational gifts and toys will give children a big value with both fun and learning.
LEGO Duplo Town Airport
An airplane with a building and three figures will encourage kids to build and play!
LEGO Duplo Garbage Truck
Build, organize, and play with a recycling man and a boy, a movable truck that tips, 3 bags, and 3 waste bins.
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.
An interactive sloth that claps its hands and bobs its head along to fun lights, songs, and music. Press the buttons on its feet for songs and phrases about the alphabet, numbers, opposites, and colors, plus colorful lights.
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!
Let’s Go for a Walk by Ranger Hamza, illustrated by kate Kronreif
Ranger Hamza invites you to go for a sensory nature walk! He asks you to notice the colors and then to find things that are red, big and small things, different shapes, bugs, and letters and numbers. Then, he asks you to feel the textures, smell the smells, and so forth. Brightly colored illustrations and text scattered around the pages, this book really engages readers and will teach them to notice the world with all their senses.
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.
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.
MindWare Dig It Up! Giant Gem
Excavate a gigantic gem stone with 12 polished gemstones hidden inside!
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.
Uncle Milton Moon In My Room
Watch the moon’s lunar phases that you can change with a remote control.
Star Wars Baby Yoda Animatronic
Kids will love this adorable, animated Baby Yoda, who’s head, ears, and eyes can move, all while also being able to use the force and take a force nap!
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!
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 your own colorful slime– and who doesn’t want to do that?
RAD Robots MiBRO
Kids love this interactive remote control robot with accessories and over 50 functions and sounds! Use it to talk, tell jokes, and learn programming thinking.
National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit
Spend hours using paleontology tools like a chisel and a brush to dig up REAL dinosaur fossils!
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 very own Super Mario Bros. course with this awesome LEGO set that comes with its very own Mario figure!
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!
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 and bothered turtle who does not want any traveling companions which include 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!
Crayola Paper Flower Science Kit
Make 12 wicking flowers then customize your bouquet with this STEM craft kit.
Hello, Little One: A Monarch Butterfly Story by Zeena M. Pliska, illustrated by Fiona Halliday
Not only is this a brilliant circular story that shows the life cycle but it’s a sweet friendship story, too. The caterpillar meets a butterfly who tells him all about the world and then must say goodbye. Written in first-person with vivid verbs and evocative illustrations, this is a beautiful nonfiction picture book. “I am graceful and beautiful. I can flit, flutter, and fly.”
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!
Squishy from Head to Toe
Learn anatomy with this dissectable science kit of the human body with a transparent body and skill and lifelike tools.
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.
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.
Make five colorful, rubbery balls resembling planets using the included spherical mold and polymer granules.
A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You A Laugh Out Loud Guide to Life on Earth by Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley
Learn a lot about so many things in this cool book of comics, diagrams, and secret diaries that explain topics like body parts, animals, and plants using cartoon panels and first-person narration mixed with “bigger picture” expository information. For example, read “A day in the life of” things like the eye, heart, a bee, anglerfish, and a toadstool. Or read “The secret diary” of a tornado. This book is sure to appeal to any reader!
Explosive Combustion Science Lab
Make a colorful explosion, fizzy bombs, and plenty more with this exciting, hands-on science kit made for kids who want to discover more about STEM!
Scientific Explorer Crime Catchers Science Kit
Solve fun mysteries using science experiments that have kids thinking like a real scientist would!
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 kit that comes with over 30 separate LEGO elements to create and design with!
This amazing build-it-yourself computer kit will teach kids how to create games and animations, teach them engineering concepts, and help them learn new coding using Scratch and Python! This box, created with children who know very little about coding in mind, is the perfect gift for any child looking to learn STEM and have a lot of fun at the same time!
Almanac 2022 National Geographic Kids
With schooling at home and more families homeschooling, 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!
LEGO Speed Champions Mopar Dodge
Build then race these cool cars!
Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries: Ten Interactive Adventures in Mathematical Wonderland illustrated by Aleksandra Artymowska
I love this delightful puzzling adventure for exploration, thinking, and problem-solving! Join Molly on her strange adventure where she does inside-out math, climbs an impossible staircase, learns about tessellations, solves infinite door puzzles, and more! Lift the flaps to read clues and read the information to learn more about Molly’s latest mathematical mysteries like cubes, patterns, Latin Squares, and much more. FANTASTIC!
My Audio Pet Mini Bluetooth Speaker
How cute is this tiny (2″ high) animal speaker? 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.
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.
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.
LEGO Star Wars Imperial Light Cruiser
Mandalorian fans, now you can build the Imperial Light Cruiser and get 5 minifigures with it.
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!
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.
LEGO Star Wars The Child
This is a detailed rendering of The Child from The Mandalorian with 1,073 pieces!
Lego Art World Map
Build and display this unique, ocean depths-inspired world map with 11,695 pieces!
More All-Time Favorite STEM Gifts, Toys, and Games for Kids
Classic STEM gifts like these continue to impress parents and kids alike with their educational value and high-interest, fun factor!
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.)
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.
Kids First Aircraft Engineer Kit
Budding engineers will love to design 10 different models of airplanes using the 73 colorful, chunky building pieces with simple assembly instructions.
Magformers Police Set
Follow the directions in the booklet to build 20 police concepts including a police station, a car, an armored truck, and more. OR use your imagination and the Magformers to make your own creations.
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.
Think Gizmos Take Apart Car
Kids use the 30 parts including an engine battery and a toy drill battery to build and take apart this racecar. When the engine is turned on, this STEM toy car gives off realistic sounds and lights.
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!
Playmobil Mars Space Station
We are big Playmobil fans in our house — and love the looks of this cool space station for astronauts.
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.
STAR WARS LEGO Millennium Falcon
This is a must-own for Star Wars and LEGO fans. Finn, Chewbacca, Lando, C-3PO, D-O, BB8, and Boolio minifigures come with this detailed Millennium Falcon model set.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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!
KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit
This 80-page book will help kids learn to make stop motion animation and regular movies. Set the stage with any of the six included background settings and thirty-six LEGO elements like a pizza, banana, baseball cap, six mini-figure heads, and more!
iPad Pro + Apple Pencil
Both the Pro and the Apple Pencil have been much-used gifts for both my girls. They’re loving the pencil for drawing apps and think the functionality of the Pro is so much better than their old iPads.
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.
The Alexa Dot was our successful compromise with our daughter who still wanted to listen to her music in her room but wasn’t allowed to have screen time in her bedroom. Now it’s become a favorite way to play music for both our girls. It’s voice-controlled and you can use it as an alarm, speaker, timer, and more.
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.