Five-year-olds are avid learners and problem solvers.
At this age they learn to count, start adding / subtracting and can tell the time.
This is a time when their enthusiasm for problem solving should be encouraged!
You can help develop their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) knowledge in a fun way with educational toys for 5 and 6 year olds.
The secret to building STEM skills for beginning learners is to tap into their innate curiosity.
They already develop their engineering and math skills naturally through exploration.
The Boston Children's Museum has this great guide on teaching STEM skills to preschool kids, including simple activities that will encourage them to explore further.
An important point we want to emphasize is that with these activities and toys it is important to build confidence at this age.
Ask "what" questions, instead of "why". This allows the child to feel more like an expert, rather than trying to get to a single “correct” answer.
For example, "What can the magnet pick up?" or "What happened there?" instead of "Why could the magnet only pick up certain things?"
You may not even know some of those why questions!
Asking the “what” questions encourages the child to observe and analyze the situation.
Then they will probably start asking you the 'why' questions so be prepared.
Now let's dive into the best STEM toys for 5- and 6-year-olds!
What we discuss in this comprehensive post:
- 1 Best STEM toys for 5 and 6 years
Best STEM toys for 5 and 6 years
Learning Resources Botley the coding robot
Botley is one of my favorite coding robots (already written about all the choices here)!
You can start building basic problem-solving skills that you use in coding from an early age.
The best thing about the Learning Resources Botley is that it is screen-free.
You have a remote where you enter Botley's commands to program him to navigate a maze, move stones and more!
Monkey Balance Math game learn to count
This is a great math game! With this game your kids can work on the basics of addition, subtraction and counting.
It's a fun and engaging way to build basic math skills!
The numbers only go up to 19, so you can't use it for double-number arithmetic, which is the main drawback.
Scientific Explorer Magical science for magicians only
This science kit comes with everything you need to cast incredible 'spells' and then learn the science behind the reaction!
I love the magical theme of this kit! The science experiments will make your kids say, "whoa!"
While pretending to be a wizard it doesn't feel like an educational toy at all!
This kit is great for 5 year olds, but requires adult supervision and assistance.Check prices and availability here
4M Crystal Mining
This fun kit simulates a real crystal hunt and taps into the already active imaginations of 5 year olds.
It's a great way to get kids excited about geology and the natural world around them.
It is a great independent gift for a 5 year old as they can "dig out" the crystals themselves.
Some reviewers do recommend wearing safety glasses.
Magnetic Stick N Stack Shape Magformers
Now let's take a look at great construction toys to develop technical, creative and problem-solving skills!
If you are a Magna tile enthusiast, you can purchase these sets to add to the collection so your creations can keep growing!
These are great because your 5 year old can get really creative while building STEM skills.
Encourage your child to think about the power of what he is building by asking those 'what' questions. "What's the strongest building?" "What stays together best?"
Check them out too in our article about the best magnetic toys
K'NEX Imagine building set
According to the manufacturer, the recommended age for this K'NEX set is 7+, but we are adding it to the list as it can also be a great option for your 5 or 6 year old.
If you have a 5 year old who already works with construction kits this one is great!
Some of the pieces may be harder for a 5 year old to put together, so you may need to help.
This kit is part of the K'NEX Imagine series, aimed at stimulating children in STEM.
If you are looking for a really fun new kit for a young child who likes to build things, this kit with endless options is a great choice.
Lego chain reactions
Do you have a LEGO lover at home? One who can't get enough of it, maybe already registered for it the free LEGO Magazine they can receive at home?
Then this book is definitely something for them! This book explains how to build awesome moving machines.
A bit like the NEMO chain reaction show but then they can get started themselves!
It comes with 30 additional LEGO parts you will need for some of the moving components.
You will need these extra LEGOs to complete many of the projects.Check the latest prices here
Edushape Marbulous Marblerun
Marble tracks may not seem like STEM toys, they are way too cool and especially this one from Edushape!
But they are a great toy for developing problem building and solving skills.
It's a fun toy for a 5-year-old, but they'll enjoy it for a few more years too!
I previously written about marble tracks here and one of the nicest, and certainly the most fun to build in this age category, is this one from Edushape.
Toys that they like and learn from
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