If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably accumulated an awful lot of toys over the years. A combination of fad toys, gifted toys, toys that have never, ever been played with, the favourite toys and the timeless ones. I think we all learn as parents which toy types are a hit and I am very much now all about the ones that will provide hours of entertainment as well as education for our children; and if they can also bring them together as siblings, even better! With this in mind, I have selected 8 STEM toys to educate and entertain from Very’s large toy section to give you a little gift inspiration for this holiday season.
Let’s Explore Camp Stove
Melissa and Doug toys are always a brilliant option and we love the ones we currently own so this Let’s Explore Camp Stove immediately grabbed my attention. Our boys love the outdoors and camping so I knew it would be right up their street. With turning knobs, an adjustable burner, a double-sided grill plus 24 accessories including wooden utensils, cups, play food, plates and a kettle to create ‘drinks and meals’ this toy will provide hours of fun… And it certainly has done here.
William has used the camp stove to carefully ‘cook’, using the utensils to move the play food around, picking items up with the tongs, pretending to light the burner, checking off what we would like on the menu, talking to us about what he is doing and also role-playing alone and with others. Lots of fun whilst also learning.
We are really into our wooden toys from both a sustainability point of view and a durability one so this Wooden Mixer ticked both of those boxes. The mixer itself lifts up and down as well as twists to allow the child to simulate it working and comes equipped with a bowl, egg, flour and sugar bags, a chopping board, a rolling pin, a wooden carton of milk and two wooden cookies. It is ideal for those who have either a play kitchen or possibly even a mud kitchen and I think it even goes nicely with the Camp Stove toy mentioned above. You could add a set of working scales to their game and use this time to talk about quantities and measurements. Again, this STEM toy will provide hours of imaginative play whilst helping with your child’s fine motor skills.
My First Daily Magnetic Calendar
If you have a child in Pre-School or Primary School you will want to be able to support their learning at home and being able to recognise the days of the week, the months, the weather and so on is really beneficial. This My First Daily Magnetic Calendar from Melissa and Doug is just perfect for those curious minds and with your help each day you can encourage them to choose the right magnetic tab to place in the right section and have some great discussions each morning about the changing seasons, how they are feeling, what activities they are going to be doing and what events are taking place.
Dinosaur Stamp Set
For children, play doesn’t always need to come in the form of a standard toy. Arts and crafts are a fantastic way of still enjoying themselves whilst learning and engaging with others around them. We use a lot of craft in our home to bring a little calm to the day and it works brilliantly for all ages – even us adults!
This Dinosaur Stamp Set makes a great STEM toy as you can incorporate the action with learning about dinosaurs, talking about shapes and creating patterns and scenes. Made from sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic ink it is durable and safe.
This Coding Lab comes with over 10 experiments with 30 pieces of content and a 36-page educational book to help your child to unlock the coding process without the use of a computer. This is aimed at those aged 8+ making it ideal for my older child, Jake, who is currently very into science. It is a STEM-focused product which stimulates education and creativity through play; developing important skills like concentration, memory and creativity.
We all want to be able to aid our kid’s reading and writing skills and one fun way of doing this at home is by playing games like Junior Scrabble. This particular board game by Mattel is ideal for a wide range of ages as it has two sides to be used depending on your child’s abilities. For the younger child, there is a board that includes letters and pictures to encourage them to choose the right letters to create their word. On the flip side is a junior version of scrabble for those who are more confident with their spellings. Both will help with their vocab, recognising their letters, understanding how we sound letters and words out and of course, improving their spellings. Scrabble is also a puzzle game which means your children will need to look for clever ways in which to make their chosen words fit. Hours of fun for the whole family.
Fire HD Kids Tablet
Kids being on tablets may come with varied views but we live in a world where technology is important and it is now being regularly used in schools and for homework purposes so having one for your child is really beneficial. We already have one tablet at home but since our youngest started school we have come to realise that another one is necessary and the Fire HD Kids Tablet looked like the best option for his needs. Not only does it come Wi-Fi ready, has Bluetooth, 32GB, and an 8 inch HD screen but it also comes with a 2-year warranty plus a kids-proof case; what more could you ask for?!
This will be used to do his homework on Education City and Purple Mash, to play educational apps like the Cbeebies one, for reading books on Kindle and for playing puzzle-type games.
Store-It Wooden Sandpit
We only have a very small garden which means I am always weighing up what we can and can’t fit into it. Having created a mud kitchen play area last year, William has since been asking for a sandpit but finding one to slot in was my biggest problem – until I came across the Plum Store-It Wooden Sandpit on the Very website. It was the ideal size for the space I had in mind as well as being a great size for the children to use AND it has a section for storing sandpit toys inside! I love that Plum uses sustainable wood and ethical practices to make their products with so this item really proved to be perfect for us as a family. It comes with everything you need to build it and even has a protective cover provided for when it isn’t in use.
A sandpit is a great addition to a garden as it really does provide hours of fun and creativity whilst encouraging a wide range of ways in which your child can play. Oh, and if you think it is just a toy for the summer, think again! I set this up in November and as we are often outdoors and the weather is still quite mild, William has had lots of play out of it after school already.
All of these and more can be found on the Very website and to make it even more affordable there are some great offers right now meaning you can choose some fantastic STEM toys to entertain and educate your kids this Christmas or for future gifts without any worries.
Which toys caught your eye?
*This is a paid collaboration with Very. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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