There is a reason why STEM toys are the rage today— children’s brains form neural connections in millions every single day from birth to the age of 5 years. This makes it the perfect time to ease STEM concepts into their lives, and what better way than through play which is known to be the best way to learn. Kids learn fundamental concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math, and are encouraged to explore through STEM toys as they play.
Today, we have toddlers coding, building elaborate scenes, creating, and constructing before they even enter school. No one wants to be left behind, and building up the STEM skills in the child is what every parent is looking at. We hope our review of the 11 best STEM toys for 3-year olds will help you find appropriate toys to build your child’s STEM skills as they play and have fun.
Our Top Picks
11 Best STEM Toys For 3-Year Olds
This toy comes with 163 pieces of blocks, nuts, bolts, wrenches, and moveable wheels that can let your kid’s imagination and creativity run riot. All the parts fit into place with the help of a screwdriver or wrench. It’s big enough for 4 to 6 children to play together with 42 designs that they can try out from the tinker toys guide for beginners, intermediate, and advanced builders. This bright, and vibrantly-colored top STEM toy for 3-year olds is non-toxic and free of phthalate, cadmium, lead, and BPA. All pieces have rounded edges with no sharp corners, and are washable and easy to clean. It’s a great educational tool to enhance problem solving skills, team work, social skills, and much more. It includes a clear storage box where your child can keep the pieces safely when not playing. This video review will help you understand more about the product.
This 46-piece toy flower playset can be arranged in myriad ways, developing creativity and imagination in toddlers. Each piece is brightly colored to enhance color recognition and stimulate a visual sense. The pieces can be interchanged in hundreds of ways to make different flower arrangements. The pieces of this STEM toy for 3-year olds are made from premium-quality materials that are child-friendly and non-toxic with no sharp edges, and are extremely sturdy, durable, and easy to clean. This toy is known to boost fine motor skills and help children to recognize the different flower parts like leaves, stems, pistil, stamen, and more than 10 colors.
This peg shape sorter and stacker with 36 pegs is perfect for a 3-year old to develop enhanced dexterity and better grip. It comprises 12 different colors and shapes which can be used on a 8 x 8 inches orange foam board, as well as a toy drawstring storage bag. The oversized pegs are just the right size for your 3-year old to grasp and build towers. The geometric shapes can be laced together for building and constructing, and work for the geriatric population suffering from Parkinsons, Alzheimers, autism, or stroke rehabilitation as well.
This STEM toy for 3-year olds has shown great results in promoting hand-eye coordination, building early math concepts, sorting and color matching, teamwork and sharing, fine motor skills, developing and strengthening visual perception skills, and making patterns. These toys are extremely safe and non-toxic certified as they are free of BPA, lead, and phthalates.
A set of 300 vibrantly colored straws and connectors, this STEM toy for 3-year olds encourages creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and color recognition. As children play with these straws and connect them to form various innovative shapes, they won’t even realize they’re learning skills such as construction, engineering, reasoning, critical thinking, science, mathematics, and simple mechanics. Extremely safe, this toy is easy to clean and made of non-toxic material, being BPA-free as well. It includes a reusable bag to store the components when not in use. The straws and connectors fit snugly together, and children can build anything from a fort, boat, rocket, airplane, tower, robots, bridge, or tunnel. The straws are flexible so building arches and tubes is a breeze.
An ideal STEM toy for 3-year olds, it’s the perfect way for kids to learn how to count. It comprises a monkey balance, 2 monkey balance pans, 30 double-sided cards, 19 monkeys, and 10 numbers, enhancing learning and retention. It introduces the basic concepts of weight and balance, and is perfect for improving cognitive functions, spatial and visual processing, memory, attention, problem solving skills, and critical thinking. This is a multi-level game with 3 difficulty levels— digit recognition, learning to count, and basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The toy is made from non-toxic plastic so that your precious child is always safe.
Give your child a chance to explore the mystery of science with 30 exciting experiments to create rainbow rain, rainbow fountains, erupt volcanoes, bottle blowing balloons, and much more. The chemicals are packed in different bottles, which children can easily open, and the lid can be closed tightly to use again. It includes 15 colorful cards with instructions on both sides for the 30 experiments, clearly showing the steps from simple to challenging experiments, and thus boosting the confidence of children.
This STEM toy for 3-year olds enhances critical thinking and hands-on skills as they explore and discover. This 47-piece set comprises a pair of goggles, 8 bottles of chemicals, 7 measuring cups, 6 balloons, 5 measuring spoons, 4 large test tubes with scales, 3 droppers, a funnel, a table tennis, and a candle— everything made with environmentally-friendly material.
These adorable and vibrantly-colored animal puzzles are crafted from premium quality, polished, environmentally-friendly wood, and conform to all safety standards. The edges are smooth so that your child can always play safely. The 4 animal puzzles— elephant, fish, frog, and hippopotamus, teach your kids to recognize animals and colors, and also boost their concentration, attention span, hand-eye coordination, and problem solving skills as they figure out the puzzles.
The pieces of this STEM toy for 3-year olds are colorful to encourage brain development and sensory stimulation, and playing with others develops communication skills and bonding. Each puzzle measures 5.8 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches, and the pieces are thick enough for children to pick up easily. The puzzles come packed in a cute and sturdy pouch bag for convenient storage, as well as a customized gift box.
A blue tyrannosaurus rex, a green triceratops, and a brown velociraptor are the 3 dinosaurs that this DIY building kit includes. The realistic and multi-color design holds the attention of kids and enhances their fine motor skills, critical thinking, creativity, and imagination while developing their brain. The dinosaurs have joints around at the head, hands, and feet, and they can swing their body in different poses as well.
Children can even mix and match dinosaur parts to create a special dinosaur. This set includes a low-speed electric drill with 2 kinds of drill bits, 3 manual screwdrivers, and it is easy to assemble. The dinosaurs of this STEM toy for 3-year olds are crafted with non-toxic, durable, ABS material with smooth edges that don’t hurt your child’s hands.
Comprising 5 pull back vehicles— a truck, mixer, crane, excavator, and bulldozer, these toys can be assembled into 5 different vehicles or combined to make one huge robot. Children can use their imagination and explore different possibilities, as well as improve motor skills, while greatly reducing their screen time.
The toy vehicles are made of non-toxic sturdy, durable, and thick ABS plastic with a smooth surface so that they don’t hurt the hands. Each part can be magnetically attached, making the assembly more convenient and simpler. This STEM toy for 3-year olds also has light and sound functions that makes it all the more interesting for kids. This toy offers never ending fun to kids as they learn problem-solving skills while playing.
Comprising 48 3D-colored magnetic blocks, a booklet with design ideas, and a storage bag, this STEM toy stimulates creativity, imagination, visual discrimination, and hands-on play that makes children more independent and boosts their growth. The magnetic blocks in 7 different colors are made of high quality, non-toxic, odorless ABS material, and have rounded edges for safety, and are incredibly sturdy due to ultrasonic welding. This STEM toy for 3-year olds conforms with international safety standards and boosts shape and color recognition, hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, spatial, and logical thinking.
Encourage your child to connect with everyday life through 30 interesting experiments, and make science projects more real for them with hands-on experience. It includes 30 simple instruction cards that inculcate the spirit of discovery and exploration in young children as they create fantastic things like a rain rainbow, colorful fountain, volcanic eruption, underwater flower, candle absorbs water, and milk animation to name a few.
This STEM toy for 3-year olds comprises 8 bottles of chemicals in high-quality packaging bottles, 7 measuring cups, 6 balloons, 5 measuring spoons, 4 large test tubes with scales, 3 droppers, a table tennis, a pair of goggles, a funnel, and a candle. Children are familiarized with the concepts of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and cultivate thinking skills, problem solving skills, creativity, imagination, patience while boosting hands-on abilities.
Now that you have been through our review of the 11 best STEM toys for 3-year olds, here are a few tips to follow while choosing one for your precious toddler so that they thoroughly enjoy it and it’s a great educational tool for them as well.
How To Choose The Right STEM Toys For 3-Year Olds
- Age appropriate
It’s rather common for parents to buy their kids toys which are designed for older kids as they feel it saves money as children can play with it for longer. This unfortunately doesn’t work for STEM toys as the age recommendations on the toy let you know whether it’s safe for your 3-year old to play with, and if it’s appropriate for their stage of development.
- Interesting and interactive
It’s very important that a STEM toy should stimulate your child’s interest, otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose. You will notice if your child has a tendency of gravitating towards a particular kind of toy, so let your kid take the lead when it comes to choosing a STEM toy for better learning. Also, choose a STEM toy that can be used in several different ways by your child as that boosts maturation and development.
- Magnetic construction toys
These toys which are available in colorful and beautiful sets are the best if you are trying to enhance your child’s motor skills and problem solving skills. It hones creativity in children as it’s a combination of creating, building, thinking critically, and piques their curiosity.
- Cash register toys
These toys are a combination of make-believe and basic math as kids practice counting money and items. This not only boosts their imagination, but is also educational as they learn about honesty as a value, and about spending money.
- Block sets
This is again a simple STEM toy that teaches basic engineering concepts to children while enhancing their problem solving skills. Children can design structures as they choose and discover for themselves how some foundations are stable and some are not. It also teaches them about numbers and measurements, and basic math concepts like shapes, arithmetics, and counting. They can also figure out similarities and differences as they combine and sort out figures.
- Science kits
Science kits are the perfect STEM toys to enhance kids’ curiosity and inquisitiveness, and develop critical thinking. These kits lay the foundation for them to ask key questions through observation. Though all children don’t grow up to be scientists, it teaches them to follow their instincts and boosts their naturally curious nature.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Priti Bose has scoured through numerous trusted websites to compile this list of the best STEM toys for your 3-year-old. She has explained each product in detail using her in-depth knowledge of children’s products and keeping your requirements in mind. Moreover, she has provided a helpful purchasing guide comprising all the primary factors to consider before choosing the right STEM toy.
STEM toys are not only fun to play with, but also help develop your little one’s fine motor, visual coordination, and problem-solving skills, encourage cooperation, sharing, and teamwork, and stimulate the senses. They are scientifically designed, keeping in mind the needs and wants of children spread across different age groups. When choosing a STEM toy for 3-year-olds, factor in their tastes and preferences and ensure the toys are safe to play with. From building blocks to stacking toys and science kits, the options are endless. With the right toy, your little one is set to embark on a journey of learning filled with fun.