9 Tech Toys That Teach Kids STEAM

STEAM-Focused Toys

Jimu Buzzbot/Muttbot Robotics Kit

Toy companies are embracing the modern strides of technology more than ever this year, with a slew of new toys, games and products aimed at kids that involve tech in some way. Whether a toy connects to a phone app or encourages kid to learn to code, tech is where it’s at. Check out these 9 awesome picks for kids, including some STEAM-style (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) products.

Jimu Buzzbot/Muttbot Robotics Kit – $149

Ages: 8+

        This small robotics kit is a great introductory build kit for kids interested in tech and robots. This kit comes with instructions for two robots, the Buzzbot and the Muttbot. Kids can try out pre-programmed functions, or learn beginner’s coding to teach the bot some new tricks. The kit also inspires creation, with variable parts and functions for building new bots.

Mattel ViewMaster VR – $32

All Ages

        Virtual Reality is blowing up in a big way. Mattel has released this affordable VR headset aimed at kids to provide games and educational experiences through a related collection of apps. Users can immerse themselves in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman, or follow a few Smithsonian guides through natural history. It also works with Google Cardboard apps.

Osmo Genius Kit Game System for iPad – $99

Ages: 5-12

        Osmo set out to combine kid-oriented technology with the tactile nature of hands on play, and so created a game system for use with an iPad tablet. The tablet sits in a base and uses a reflector over the camera, allowing the tablet to see game pieces on the table in front of it. Children can solve puzzles, practice counting, draw, learn the alphabet or even coding from an early age. The Genius Kit starts at $99, but Osmo offers expansion kits up to $149.

LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker – $20

Ages: 4-7

        The LeapBand Activity Tracker is a fitness wearable just for kids. The watch features a virtual pet that kids care for by “feeding” healthy meals and staying active. Being more active unlocks new features and accessories for the virtual pet, encouraging kids to keep moving.

VTech Kidizoom Action Cam – $39

Ages: 4-9

        Little adventure seekers can capture photos and videos with this Action Cam, which is similar to a GoPro but marketed for young children. The camera is waterproof and drop/tumble resistant, so kids can strap it to bikes or skateboards, and also go swimming with it.

Anki Cars – $150

Ages: 8+

        These smartphone-app controlled robotic cars are the hottest thing in toys right now. They’re like Hot Wheels—but better. Each car is a “warrior” with special features that let it battle opponents on the race track, which is fully customizable. The coolest part? The cars feature more than 25 artificial intelligence personalities to battle. The AI systems keep the cars on track and make split-second “battle” decisions so every race is a challenge!

Amazon Kids Edition Fire Tablet – $100

Ages: 3+

        Since most things requires an app these days, including a ton of new toys on the market, a kids edition tablet might be a good idea to manage all those smart programs. It’s designed with kids in mind, and comes with a free year of Amazon FreeTime and features full parental control. The tablet has a lot of great technical specs as well, including 16GB of storage and an SD card slot to add more for apps and games. There’s a 7-inch display, a kid-friendly grip case, and a 2 year warranty to replace the product should anything happen—no questions asked.

ArcKit – $40-$400

Ages: 14+

        This modelling system was originally designed for architects, which automatically gives it a superior cool factor. There are several kits that allow kids to build realistic, scale models using the same techniques that architects use every day. Kits come with a digital guide to help you master the basics, but no set instructions, so kids can use their imagination to design and build something completely unique.

Little Bits Electronics Kits – $90-$300

Ages: 8+

        Little bits is looking to inspire invention in children, and keep them interested in science and technology. The electronics kit is made up of easy to use electronics pieces that are color coded, magnetic, and reusable to create a vast range of little machines. Kits inspire creativity and curiosity, but also teach fundamentals of electronic systems. Learn coding, how to make smart objects in your home, build a synthesizer, and so much more. Ultimately, the little bits create a library of power supplies, input buttons, output functions, and everything in between, so that users can begin inventing their own projects.

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