The Best STEM Gifts For School-Age Kids, According To Education Experts

Budding scientists, engineers and math-lovers will love these toys and games that teach important life skills and are fun to play.

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If you’re out to raise the next generation of great thinkers, problem solvers and innovators, so-called “STEM” toys — a genre of toys and games that has risen in popularity over the past several years — might just provide the foundation to do so.

STEM is an academic discipline that groups together science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to Andrew B. Raupp, executive director for, a privately held educational research organization, it’s most beneficial to introduce some of these elements to kids as early as possible.

“Implementing STEM approaches in early education not only can help students perform better on standardized tests and in careers, but an early start in STEM can also have additional benefits that may help reduce inequities in the workforce later on,” Raupp told HuffPost.

It’s not just children who should be involved STEM-based play, Raupp said. He’s a proponent of lifelong learning as a way to reduce cognitive decline and indulge in curiosity, all while having fun doing it. 

“STEM toys are available to all ages,” he said. 

A large part of Raupp’s and’s work revolves around evaluating and credentialing STEM toys and educational resources using a non-biased framework and voted-upon STEM standards.   

“We are unique in that we avoid financial conflicts of interest by turning down commissions, affiliate partnerships, sponsorships and advertising revenue,” Raupp said, noting that the organization differentiates themselves from other toy award programs by offering a recognition-based program that brands don’t pay to be a part of. 

Using a list that Raupp provided to HuffPost, along with’s gift guide, we rounded up top-rated and very gift-able STEM toys for kids that can help nurture future tinkerers and foster imagination and cognitive abilities.

A bridge-building set

An interactive STEM lab

A computer building kit

A modular robotics set

An innovative 3-D strategy game

A circuit board building block set

A buildable pulley system

A cardboard construction system

A smart digital rendition of the Rubik's Cube

A light-up crystal growing kit

An educational ant farm

An interactive and augmented reality science game

A stomp-powered rocket launcher

Pixel building and puzzle bricks

A simulated dissection kit

A complete water ecosystem kit

Creative and constructive building sticks

A smart-connected dice game

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