If your kids are like mine, they go crazy over toys they can take a part and put back together. Encouraging science, technology, engineering and math can lead to full-ride scholarships and dream careers with enviable salaries. More importantly, STEM toys keep little ones occupied! Here are fun STEM toys for 4 year olds that they can play with for years to encourage little engineers.
Teach your girls that astronauts are cooler than princesses
My 2-almost-3-year-old daughter is really into growing up lately.
“When I get older, I will turn the light off.”
“When I get older, I will be SEVEN*.” (*on her next birthday, she’ll be three)
“When I get older, my arm will be big.”
And I’ve been thinking about her growing up, too, since it’s not something I can stop. She’s brilliant, adorable, and articulates her opinion like a CEO. She can do and be anything she wants to be. I had a mom that ingrained that in me, and I will ingrain it in her.
And while we watch Sesame Street and learn soooooo many awesome things about diversity and inclusion, I wonder: what can I do to encourage her in ways I’m not familiar with? Like STEM subjects?
There is a huge fault line between boys and girls in STEM subjects – and as both pursue their education, girls drop out of STEM fields.
I’m not qualified to answer that question but I know one thing for certain: it’s cultural, not genetic. Boys don’t have a predisposition to science, technology, engineering and math – they are encouraged more, there are less barriers, and they have more role models that look like them.
That’s why I LOVE what companies are doing to introduce and encourage young girls to STEM at an early age with toys and books that star girls.
And these toys and books are not just for little girls: little boys need the same message that girls can do everything that they can do.
Our favorite STEM toys for 4 year olds
Incorporating STEM toys for 4 year olds & books encourage little minds to explore science, technology, engineering, and math! They will play with these for years!
Hands down, probably the best toy we own. We’ve added to our set over the years, and both of my kids continue to play with Tinker Toys building their own creations. (Mostly swords for the boy!)
With projects and pieces for ages starting at 3, this is a toy that will grow with your kids… and great to bring out at a play date to keep a group occupied!
Fat Brain Toys has a line of smart, colorful, and cool toys. Described as “folding, clicking puzzle of arranging gears to match challenge cards,” and recommended for 6+, this one may be fun for younger ones to explore without the cards and older ones to use a single the puzzle.
share your favorite STEM toys in the comments!
Shop Stem Toys for Preschoolers
- Learning Resources “Gears! Game” 100-Piece Deluxe Building Set, STEM Construction Toy Set, 100 Pieces, Ages 3+ • $21.44
- Learning Resources Skate Park Engineering & Design Building Set, Engineering Toy, STEM toy, Science for Kids, Fun Science Toy, 43 Pieces, Ages 5+ • $15.99
- Magna-Tiles Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar • Magna-Tiles • $34.99
- Fat Brain Toys Coggy • Fat Brain Toys • $20.99
- Learning Resources Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes, Fine Motor, Color & Shape Recognition, Ages 18 mos+ • Learning Resources • $15.98
- TINKERTOY 30 Model 200 Piece Super Building Set – Preschool Learning Educational Toy for Girls and Boys 3+ (Amazon Exclusive) • $49.99
- MAGNA-TILES Clear Colors 74pc Set • $99.99
- LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train – Learn To Count 10954 Building Toy • Lego • $19.99
- Lego 10854 Duplo Creative Box • $93.99
- ETI Toys, STEM Learning, 172 Piece Original Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set for 3, 4 and 5+ Year Old Boys & Girls, Creative Fun Kit, Best Toy Gift for Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr • $29.97
- Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set • $119.99