How do you know if baby and toddler STEM presents (science, technology, engineering and math) are right for your family?
Simply ask yourself the following questions:
Are you a math and science geek?
Do you want your child to be a whiz at math and science?
Are you interested in developing your child’s sense of spatial reasoning and fine motor skills through creative play?
Do you want to give your child every advantage to be fully prepared for school?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, baby and toddler STEM presents are where you want to explore.
Problem is, most STEM toys are geared towards elementary-aged kids. It can be difficult to find options for a younger audience (particularly ages 3 and below).
But don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. We’ve put together this comprehensive list of STEM toys specifically made for babies and toddlers. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.
Goobi Construction Set
The Goobi Juniors Construction Set is hands-down the best early construction toys for young children, before they’re able to grasp the concepts of blocks.
The pieces are ergonomically shaped and easy for young hands to hold. They attract with magnets and allow children starting around age 1 to simply and safety create 3D structures.
Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab Toy
The Little Tikes Stem Jr. Wonder Lab Toy is an adorable mini that lab has everything!
Your future scientist can learn important basics with 20 real hand-on experiments. These experiment instructions are shown in pictures for pre-readers to follow along and use harmless household items.
The Little Tikes Stem Jr. Wonder Lab Toy also makes fun sounds and phrases to keep the learning playful. It is designed for preschoolers and recommended for ages 3 and up.
Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy Set
The Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy Set are adorable plastic pipes that make bath time a blast. They suction to the wall tiles and each can be used on its own or linked up as a chain.
Kids love to pour water and watch it flow, these will help keep that bath water flowing back into the tub while allowing them to explore and experiment.
Many moms swear by ABCmouse.com for early education (starting at 2 years until about kindergarten) ideas. The curriculum has won multiple awards and includes over 8,500 books, games, songs, puzzles, and art activities.
ABCmouse.com has lessons to span across all subjects – including reading, math, science, art, and music. It’s also probably cheaper than you think, they’re constantly running specials like free trials fro the first 30 days and 2 months for only $5.
Why spend HOURS scouring Pinterest for the perfect, age-appropriate education activities? Get your kid an ABCmouse.com subscription and it’s a win-win for kids and parents alike.
Pssst… this one makes a GREAT grandparent gift.
Baby University Book Set
Even though the Baby University Book Set say they’re “for babies”, everyone (including you!) will learn something.
It’s a great book to introduce science concepts – quantum physics, rocket science, etc – in fun, colorful, and engaging ways!
Play22 Baby Blocks Shape Sorter Toy
The Play22 Baby Blocks Shape Sorter Toy and other stacking toys isn’t a new idea, but it has been lost on this generation.
Shape sorting helps develop fine motor coordination and visual spatial skills. It’s also a great first step to puzzle solving.
Playskool Explore ‘N Grow Busy Gears
The Playskool Explore ‘N Grow Busy Gears is a colorful and captivating toy that’s a great first introduction to gears and the concept of cause and effect.
Kids can stack the gears and put items on the middle gear to spin. They can sort the different colors and put the gears in different locations to make them spin/not spin.
On a personal note, due to the educational value and its popularity in my house (starting around age 6 months and even until now at age 4!) it is my #1 gift for 1 year olds.
GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars
The GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars are binoculars made specifically for young kids! They are sturdy and easy to use, with a focus-free, kid-sized eyepiece so even toddlers can see through them without difficulty.
These are an awesome way to pique kids’ curiosity in exploring the world around them! My kids each have their own set of binoculars they use when we go on walks.
Magnetic Building Block Tiles Set
PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set of Building Tiles are colorful magnetic tiles perfect for toddler building. Kids as young as 2 will practice fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial reasoning while playing.
My kids still play with these daily and they are 3 and 5 years old.
Zoobooks (specifically Zoobies or Zootles)
Consider a gift that keeps on giving after the Holidays! Especially one that encourages a love of learning for the youngest of animal lovers.
Zoobies (made by Zoobooks, remember Ranger Rick??) is a magazine designed for ages 3 and under! Once you go to the Zoobies page, you can choose either a subscription (I believe the current one is about giraffes) or stand-alone, educational board books.
The Zoobies subscription comes bimonthly and contains: lift-the-flap features, beautiful photography and illustrations, and educational concepts like colors and shapes – all contained on durable pages (baby/toddler proof!).
Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy
This is a super cool toy. Each segment of the Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar determines which direction it will move and kids change its path by rearranging the segments.
This toy is great for practicing planning, sequencing, and problem solving. Its recommended for ages 3 and up and younger toddlers may not be able to connect the segments on their own.
Expansion sets are also available for even more combinations.
Marble Run Building Blocks Construction Toys Set
The Marble Run Building Blocks Construction Set uses connecting blocks making it sturdy enough for toddlers to build and enjoy. While having fun creating a marble run they are also exercising their logical thinking and spatial reasoning.
It should be noted that this is best for older toddlers as the marbles could be choking hazards.
The Dinosaur Take Apart Toys With Tools have over 85% 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Toddlers LOVE to take things apart and try to build them back together again. These toys let toddlers explore this is a safe way.
This set specifically is easy to use and very engaging for kids, one that they can continue to play with for many years in the future.
If dinosaurs aren’t your kid’s thing – they also have a set with an airplane, train, and race car.
The HABA Rainbow Rocket 9 Piece Wooden Stacking Play Set is like a vertical puzzle for kids!
It’s a cool concept: colorful wooden blocks that stack in a certain way to form a rocket/tower shape. This is a great gift for babies beginning around 18 months.
Fat Brain Toys Kids Spinagain Toy
As the Fat Brain Toys Kids Spinagain Toy motto says, “it’s the stacking toy with a spin”!
Yes, this one definitely puts the regular stacking toys to shame. Here the discs spin down the corkscrew pole to keep a child’s attention. They can also unscrew the pole from the base and choose either the wobbly or sturdy bottom.
The Fat Brain Toys Kids Spinagain Toy is great for hand-eye coordination, sorting, color recognition, and cause-and-effect learning. Works great for children beginning around age 1.
Skoolzy Peg Board Set
The Skoolzy Peg Board Set is incredibly versatile and perfect for little hands. Kids love stacking these pegs while simultaneously practicing fine motor skills, as well as, sorting, counting, and patterns.
This set also comes with a bag to easily store the pegs and a downloadable activity guide.
Melissa & Doug Number Matching Math Bus
Don’t all toddlers love school buses? I know mine does.
The Melissa & Doug Number Matching Math Bus is a fun shape sorter and promotes math skills with number recognition and counting. Also included are equation cards and all of the pieces can be stored inside the bus for easy clean up.
This is a favorite in our house! Even the equation cards, that my toddler obviously does not understand yet are regularly used as roads, bridges, and even railroad ties, so definitely great for imaginative play.
AlbeeBaby.com is one of the largest family owned online stores selling baby-care supplies, clothing, furniture and adorable TOYS since 1933.
I could go on and on about how cute Albee Baby is, but for the purposes of this article I want you to go the main site (AlbeeBaby.com) and then Toys > Learning & S.T.E.M. Unlike a lot of other websites are mainly geared towards older chilldren, Albee Baby has lots of educational toys for children age 3 and under (like the ALEX Toys Little Hands Peg Farm).
As if that isn’t enough awesomeness already, they also usually have free shipping options available!
Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock
I love the wooden Melissa & Doug toys and the Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock Educational Toy is no exception. The bright and complex shapes fit into the clock like a puzzle encouraging number, shape, and color recognition as well as fine motor skills.
This is also a great introduction to time telling through play.
Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set
The eggs in the Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set are so cute and fun. They also help toddlers with color and number recognition and matching as well as fine motor skills. The egg crate is also included for easy storage.
These are a great addition to a play kitchen to sneak in some STEM skills.