I love toys that unintentionally help my kids explore STEM concepts. Unfortunately, many toys advertised as STEM are expensive. But I’ve found 25 Dollar Tree toys that will spark your child’s interest in STEM, and not totally blow the budget! Wondering what concept their exploring? I’ve also listed the concept or idea children play with for the toys!
25 Dollar Tree Toys for Exploring STEM!
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All three of these toys allow kids to explore the concept of projectile motion. How far should you place the football to kick it through the goal posts? What angle do you through the Shotz ball for it to go the farthest? What happens to the chicken if you shoot it straight into the air? All these are projectile motion questions the three Dollar Tree toys answer.
Building and Exploded View Drawings
Construction, Mechanical, and Civil engineers must understand how things are put together. They need to look at a design, and have an idea of how it will be constructed. The Meccano Bolts kits teach children how to construct cars and airplane using bolts. The wooden kits uses grooves and wood glue to assemble. The My Blox kits uses Lego type blocks to assemble. Three similar toys, with three different ways to put them together. When children explore different ways to assemble their toys, they’re also learning there is more than one way to put something together, which is an important skill to have as an engineer.
Engineers solve problems. A design engineer looks for ways to remove a flaw in an existing design. An industrial engineer looks for ways to make a process more efficient. A project engineer works to find a way for equipment to arrive on time. All engineers need to be critical thinkers. Giving kids puzzles is a great way to build their critical thinking skills! The great thing about these two puzzles is that they are small enough to hold in you hands, instead of puzzles that need to be placed on a table. So kids could really work on their problem solving skills anywhere!
Force and Motion
“An object at rest will remain at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force”. Newton’s first law of motion. All the following toys explore the law of motion, from a car starting at rest then being pushed into motion, to yoyos that start moving due to gravity. Watch while kids explore forces and motion with these fun toys!
These two seemingly simple toys will go a long way to teach kids important beginning math skills. A simple shape puzzle can be used to introduce children to their shapes, and to geometry. Magnetic numbers will help preschoolers learn number recognition, and simple equations!
Did you realize when you were playing with Playdough, you were also playing with extrusion? Extrusion is a way to make a product that involves pushing a malleable material (like playdough) through an opening.
In my post 7 Great Construction Engineering Books for Preschoolers, each book introduces children to the trucks and tools used on a construction site. To add to the experience, let the children play with the trucks they just read about. Play with them in a sandbox or in the dirt outside, and let them push, roll, and dump the dirt just like the real trucks!
Energy comes in many forms. These three toys allow children to explore potential, kinetic, and solar energy. They also observe how energy changes from one type to another. From potential and solar energy to kinetic energy.
Chemistry is so fun to play with! Children play with chemistry with these three kits. Grow crystals by watching the solvent evaporate in a mixture. Play with super absorbant polymers while watching the capsules grow. Each one of these kits is certain to spark an interest in future little chemists!
All of these super inexpensive toys are great ideas to inspire your kids to pursue a future in STEM. When children see science, engineering, and math as fun, they are more likely to pursue those careers. And since these toys are such a great value, you can inspire your kids any day of the week!
Check out my other STEM Gift Guides!
Learn how to use your kids toys to teach them Engineering!
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Teach your child Newton’s First Law of Motion
Teach your kid to be a Materials Engineer!
Center of Mass Fidget Spinner Experiment
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