Best Science Toys for Kids

The best science toys for kids of all ages

With the recent focus on STEM in schools, parents are finding new ways to work science, technology, engineering and math into their child’s play. After all, play is the best way for children to learn and explore. However, it is important to take your child’s age into account when choosing science related toys. After all, your seven-year-old may no longer be interested in flashcards. And it isn’t safe to turn your two-year-old loose with electronics. So let’s take a minute to look at some of the best science toys for kids at different ages.

Babies

In the first year, your baby is taking everything in. What he learns first, he learns best. So fill his toy box with toys that will help give him an edge when it comes to science. It may not make him a child prodigy, but it will lay a strong foundation for learning when he gets older.

Periodic Table of Elements Blocks

While your child won’t memorize the table, it’s never too early to expose her to the wonders of the table of elements. These blocks are made of pure basswood, for years of safe play. The elements are color coded with their families. All of the noble gasses are printed in one color and all of the halogens are another. Each block shows the name, atomic number and the symbol of the element. So, stack them and knock them down!

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Solar System Mobile

Why just entertain your baby with the wonders of unicorns or cartoon people when you can engage them with the wonders of our solar system. Try hanging this mobile over your child’s crib and let them ponder their place in the solar system. This mobile is a representation of the planets as they revolve around the sun. When your child outgrows the crib, you can hang the mobile in your growing child’s room, a reminder of baby days, and the timeless quality of space.

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1 Year Olds

By the time your child turns one, she is usually mobile and curious about her surroundings. She is starting to put things together like words and pictures, and she will enjoy pointing out items you name. Give her the tools to start her exploration of science with these age-appropriate toys.

Science ABC Flashcards

These flashcards offer you a chance to explore the alphabets as well as big science concepts in a fun and safe way. You and your child can go beyond the traditional “Apple,” “Ball” and “Cat,” to explore basic science ideas such as “Atom,” “Binary,” and “Cell membrane.” The rigid cards will stand up to your toddler’s little hands.

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Sorting Square with Tangrams

Sure, there are a lot of sorting squares out there. But once your child has outgrown the need to shove a square into the proper shaped hole, you are left with a useless toy. This sorting square is different. In addition to helping your child explore the relationship between a shape and its hole, it offers a tangram puzzle. Tangrams have been shown to help children learn about spatial relationships.

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ABC Counting Tower

There are dozens of stacking cups on the market, but this set is unique. It not only explores the numbers one through eight, but also the alphabet from A through H. Each cup fits securely on top of the larger cup, but nests neatly inside for cleanup.

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2-Year-Olds

By the time your child is two, he is ready to start playing with toys in new ways. He is more interested in cause and effect and will try things in different ways to see what works. This is the beginning of scientific practice. The following toys will help your budding scientist test his theories.

Water Boon Bath Pipes

Baby Touch and Feel Book

One step beyond your typical bath toy, this water set lets your child explore geometry and engineering through water play. The pipes fit together, moving water to your child’s whim. However, it also lets your child learn the limitations of moving water through gravity. Each pipe has a suction cup that allows it to attach securely to the tub wall, giving your child unending pipe dreams.

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Smithsonian Animal Cubes

This toy helps your child explore the animal world. Each of the five cubes has six different animals pictured. When the cube is placed in the “reader,” the device tells your child about the animal pictured. As y our child matures, you can switch the reader to game play, and the child can look for animals based on clues given.

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Wooden Lab Set

Your two-year-old may not be ready for a chemistry lab, but you can help her play mad scientist with this wooden lab set. It contains, test tubes, a balance scale, tweezers and even a “Bunsen burner” all made from solid wood to withstand years of hard play.

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3 Year Olds

Your three-year-old is still very curious about the world around him, but he has started to examine the world in more detail. He has also begun to be curious and self-reflective. So, help your child see the world and himself in new ways with these toys.

GeoSafari My First Microscope

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Give your child a close-up view of the world with this child-sized microscope. The eyepieces are extra-large to make it easy for your little one to take a peek. The optics are set at 8x, giving your child a view that is eight times larger than life. The sturdy plastic construction will withstand bumps and falls.

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What’s Inside of Me

Help educate your budding surgeon with this fun dress up opportunity. This apron is made of soft material with hook and loop squares. Soft organs latch onto the apron in their proper places, showing your child where their organs lie. There is even a headpiece that includes the brain. Perfect for play or Halloween, this apron will give your child hours of play and education.

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4 Year Olds

By the time he’s four, your child is probably already developed his own sets of likes and dislikes. Some children are fascinated by bugs, others love robots. But all kids love to be in charge. Give your little scientist toys that give him dominion over nature.

Teach My Preschooler The Solar System

Baby Touch and Feel Book

This interactive solar system can bring the universe alive for your child. The kit includes a poster of the solar system, flash cards, and a puzzle. So your child can match the puzzle pieces to the poster and the flash cards, then fit the pieces together. This places each of the planets and the dwarf planet, Pluto, in their correct order. This toy not only encourages your child to explore the solar system, but it also helps your child master matching and fine motor skills.

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Nature Bound Bug Catcher Vacuum

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Want your child to explore the natural world without getting bitten? Then this toy is for you. Just turn on the low suction vacuum and the wand sucks insects into the long, clear wand. For there, your child can transfer the insect into a lighted bug cage to watch the creature up close. When your child is satisfied, you can release the animal back into nature, keeping both your child and the creature safe while encouraging your child’s love of the natural world.

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Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Coding skills are vital in today’s computer-driven world. This toy will help your child learn how putting commands in sequence will make things happen. The Code-a-Pillar has a motorized head with eight different segments. Each segment gives a specific command that ranges from “go forward” to “turn right,” to “stop.” Your child adds the segments desired and the toy follows the directions in order. As your child thinks about how to command the toy to move, she learns simple coding skills that she can use later when programming.

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5 Year Olds

Your five-year-old’s world has grown exponentially. She has either started school, or will start soon. She is working on controlling her actions and learning about herself and those around her. Give her scientific toys that will extend other Kindergarten skills.

Human Anatomy Puzzle Set

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Explore the human body inside and out with this puzzle. The base is shaped roughly like a child. Pieces are magnetic and can be added to make the child male or female. In addition to internal organs, there are pieces that explore the skeleton, the respiratory system, the vascular system and more. The toy includes a stand so that your child can display his creation after he has built his person.

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T-Rex Excavation Kit

Encourage your child to explore the world of Paleontology with this kit. It comes with a tray of packed material and a wide range of tools that allow your child to first “dig” out the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After all the bones have been excavated and cleaned, your child can follow the simple directions to put the bones together and create a scaled model of a T-Rex skeleton.

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6 Year Olds

As your child matures, he knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. So, his interests will largely dictate his play time. You can add to his list of things to enjoy by encouraging new experiences and playing along with them.

National Geographic Break Open 10 Geodes

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Explore the hidden world of crystals with this museum quality toy. Geodes are formed when crystals grow inside other forms of rock. While they look like plain stones on the outside, inside they sparkle like gems. National Geographic has teamed up with some of the highest quality mines in the world to guarantee that you and y our child will find beautiful geodes after cracking open these unassuming stones.

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Miracle Grow Kids Table Top Greenhouse

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Explore the miracle of new growth with your child’s very own greenhouse. The Miracle Gro Table Top greenhouse comes with everything you need to plant and grow marigolds. Your child can decorate the planter with the paints included. Together you can watch the plants grow from tiny seedlings to strong, healthy flowers you can plant outside. Because they are marigolds, you can pull the petals of the flowers as they dry and save the seeds for the next generation.

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Perfume Science Kit

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Science isn’t all about making stinky chemical reactions or getting dirty. Science can also make things beautiful. This science kit will help your child explore the world of scent. This kit includes games to test your child’s sense of smell, explore the history of perfume and how the sense of smell works. Your child can also learn how to extract scent from common household objects and local plants such as vanilla and violets. Then combine these scents with those included to create custom perfume.

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7 Year Olds

Your seven-year-old studies science in school almost every day. Depending on the school, this may be his favorite subject, or it may be something he dreads. So give your child scientific toys that will spark his imagination so he can really enjoy the world of science.

My First Mind-Blowing Science Kit

This science kit has something for every child. Does your child love volcanoes? Great! She can make a volcano with color changing lava. Are crystals your kid’s thing? How about growing jiggling crystals in a test tube? But the really great thing about this kit is not just that you have everything you need to do the activities, but it also explains the theories behind each experiment. So, you can learn right alongside your child.

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Butterfly Pavilion and Hatching Habitat

Baby Touch and Feel Book

Who doesn’t love butterflies? With this kit, you can use the pop-up butterfly habitat to hatch and raise your own butterflies. You and your child can watch your tiny caterpillar grow ten times its original size. When it reaches full-size, it will make a chrysalis and then hatch into a painted lady butterfly. This kit comes with five, live caterpillars, so there is no need to order anything. However, it also means that you will need to set up the habitat immediately upon receiving your kit. You can also order more caterpillars to grow butterflies after the first ones hatch.

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