Since William Higinbotham first invented Tennis for Two back in 1958, games have evolved at a blistering speed. Today, video games are the go-to leisure option for the majority of children and teenagers in their free time and addictive games have become a central aspect of our lives. Grand Theft Autos, Call of Duty, the augmented virtual reality universe of Pokémon Go or more recently, the Fortnite craze — all have parents worrying about their children’s screen time. 

Video games and screen time can be beneficial and everybody enjoys seeing their loved ones having fun. But there is no denying that today kids spend too much time in front of screens and less time outside or doing other things. 

STEM toys provide a wonderful alternative for young ones to have fun while using their brains and solving problems at the same time. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and these types of toys and games encourage creativity and curiosity. Here we take you through three different types of STEM toys that inspire a brighter way to play.

Remote Control Toys

Remote control toys are fun for kids because it places them at the wheel. They are allowed to simulate driving or flying or be in control of any other vehicle they’re too young to operate in reality. Video games can’t compete with remote control toys in this regard because there is nothing like the real-life thrill of being in charge of a physically moving object. Drones especially offer a fascination to rival the popularity of games like Fortnite and Pokémon Go. 

Drones may be pricey compared to video games, but today you can buy other remote control toys at incredibly low prices. Remote control toys offer another world to children and are fun for people of all ages. Best of all, they provide several benefits other toys don’t. These  toys improve children’s motor skills, as they practice their hand-eye coordination when racing friends or family members — and also persuade them to play outside. Younger children are attracted by the flashing lights and apparent living nature of the toy while older children grasp an understanding of how the remote control makes the toy perform different actions.  

Our World Toys

We need to educate the next generation about wildlife and the importance of our natural environment. Luckily, animals are interesting to people of all ages — but they are especially magical to children. 

Animals once again represent a world that video games can never replicate. A digitally created animal or creature will never have the same effect as a real dog, horse or other animals. Interacting with pixelated animals through consoles isn’t the same as encountering one face to face. 

Many STEM toys allow and encourage children to be outside and engage with nature — it’s just a case of finding the right toys to do this effectively. Binoculars, microscopes, butterfly gardens, botany sets or crystal sets are great presents provided they are good quality and actually do the job. Things that grow will fill kids with pride, knowing that they had a part to play in the creation of something. Even something like creating a mini garden or attaching a window bird feeder could inspire an interest they will develop in the future.

DIY Construction Toys

Things that make children proud also make them happy and thus give them an urge to want to do it again. From an early age, children like to create and it’s common for parents to get involved with their child’s playsets and help create something extra complicated. Marble toy runs and lego have been popular STEM toys for years for this very reason — even when we grow older, we love creating something from nothing. 

With young kids, the benefits of DIY construction toys are obvious. They improve children’s operation abilities and help them use creative thinking and problem-solving. With some toys, they can learn basic physics as they ensure their creations are stable and safe. Hand-eye coordination and logical thinking are necessary and come naturally when using construction STEM toys. These attributes aren’t forced but flourish naturally. 

Quite basic lego creations can become complex animals or small worlds. Toys like the 12 in 1 Hydraulic Solar Construction Kit, for example, allow children to build a dozen different creations with the help of an easy instruction kit. Whether they are interested in vehicles like diggers, forklifts and tanks or animals like elephants and the T-Rex, they will find the enthusiasm to create. Incorporating solar modules, hydraulic transmission and motorised gearboxes will help them learn complicated construction aspects in a fun and effortless way. A vast multitude of construction sets exist, so there is something for every age group. Construction toys are brilliant for giving children a new, fun challenge and for watching them excel. 


Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.