It’s time to start testing and reviewing toys for the 2015 holiday season and passing my favorites on to my readers. The two important things I look for in toys for the kids are: (1) How engaging are they and (2) Do they have some educational value, especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning. So, here goes the first in a series of Holiday Gift Guides for kiddos.
We received these toys from Educational Insights to review. All opinions are our own.
My 3-year-old daughter is a little diva, so I knew she’d love a microphone, but this toy is way more than that. When she presses the microphone on a color (anywhere!), a sensor on the bottom reads the color. Then the microphone plays a different note for each color. It’s fascinating even for adults to try the microphone on colors around the house.
The RainbowJam comes with a 16-page activity book that includes a color-coded keyboard for composing, and several original songs about the colors.
This is a fantastic toy to help preschoolers learn colors and encourage creativity. Plus, it provides hours of entertainment.
I LOVE this toy because it’s basically a power tool that inspires STEM learning with little girls. It’s not just a pink pretend drill, it’s a battery powered drill with two drill bits and a case that unfolds to become a flower board for creating designs with the included bolts. The Design & Drill comes with a guide for creating 12 patterns.
My favorite things about the Design & Drill are that it encourages STEM learning, hand-eye coordination, spatial relations, and problem-solving skills. Plus, this is another toy that was a hit with my daughter and kept her busy FOREVER!
This 6-piece, animal-themed chemistry set comes with 10 hands-on activity cards with directions for how to conduct mini science demonstrations. We tried out the slime-making activity and had a great time. We still have many more activities to try.
This is another great STEM learning toy that introduces key scientific principles and processes, supports early math skills and measurement, and provides hands-on experience with physical science and the senses.
What do you think of these preschool toys? Do you have any good recommendations for learning toys, especially in STEM areas?