Selecting Toys That Promote an Understanding and Love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Young children can be introduced to basic STEM concepts through play. During a 2013 workshop, GCDC recommended a few toys that advance children's thinking.
Toys were selected with consideration of the Maryland Content Standards. Some of those standards are:
- Constructing Knowledge: Raise questions about the world around them and be willing to seek answers to some of them by making careful observations and trying things out.
- Applying Evidence and Reasoning: People are more likely to believe your ideas if you can give good reasons for them.
- Communicating Scientific Information: Ask, 'How do you know?' in appropriate situations and attempt reasonable answers when others ask them the same question.
- Technology: Design and make things with simple tools and a variety of materials.
- Technology: Practice identifying the parts of things and how one part connects to and affects another.
- Technology: Examine a variety of physical models and describe what they teach about the real things they are meant to resemble.
- Patterns and Functions: Identify, copy, and extend non-numeric patterns.
- Problem Solving: Apply a variety of concepts, processes, and skills to solve problems.
- Reasoning: Justify ideas or solutions with mathematical concepts or proofs.
2014 Toy Recommendations
Both our 2013 and 2014 recommendations are great options. Be certain to explore both lists.