While almost all toys can teach your child something, there are a growing number of educational toys on the market that hone in on individual development skills. Unlike the standard toy, educational toys help a child develop a particular skill or teach a child about a particular subject. Educational toys can be simple or complex, modestly low tech or extremely high tech, but the best educational toy deals we found are all effective in their purpose.
Many of today’s educational toys fall under a category call S.T.E.M. toys, which is an acronym for the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. S.T.E.M. learning can take place in and out of the classroom and is recognized by the National Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies, intended to prepare children for the growing number of jobs within those four disciplines. Earlier this year Amazon even went as far as to launch a S.T.E.M subscription service to cater to growing interest in this sector of learning.
Just in time to get your young genius ready for the school year, we’ve rounded up the best learning toys available to give your child a head’s up on his or her classmates. Read on to discover the best educational toy deals for kids that are both helpful for developing brains and, most importantly, fun.
Help your child learn science alongside culinary skills with this Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit, which is currently 56 percent off on Amazon. The kit is intended for children 8 years old and up and allows them to use their skills of observation and their stomach to experiment like a real food scientist.
The kit is packed with ingredients, recipes, activity cards, and a test tube laboratory, so your children can create 10 different and repeatable delicious, creative and edible concoctions from the safety of your kitchen. Kids get a sense of how good science can taste as they whip up rockin’ crystallized candy, cupcakes, cookies, and fizzy drinks.
The kit specifically focuses on helping kids learn through play why soda pop fizzes, why cakes rise, and why other chemical reactions happen when cooking. The kit is part of the series of home science kits based on the nationally recognized Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program pioneered at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, in which Scientific Explorer is the industry leader in fun, educational, and activity-based science kits.
The Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit regularly retails for $27 but is currently marked down to $12 on Amazon, saving you $15 (56 percent).
Give your child a hands-on introduction to electronics with this Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Discovery Kit, which is currently 29 percent off on Amazon. The kit is the electricity-focused model in a line of fully compatible and upgradeable Snap Circuit products, which have received several awards including the National Parenting Center-Seal of Approval, and has been featured on the list of Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products list as well as the Best Educational Products list.
The learning toy comes with instructions to make over 175 projects with over 55 color-coded circuit components. The real circuit components snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices without the need for tools or soldering. The pieces are numbered and color-coded to make identifying them easy, which further teaches children how to follow instructions.
The lessons start out simple and then build up in complexity so you child can learn at his or her own pace. Projects include building an infrared detector, strobe light with spinning patterns, color changing LED lights, glow-in-the-dark flying fan, strobe integrated circuit (IC), color organ controlled by iPods or other MP3 players and more. This particular kit is ranked No. 3 in the Amazon subcategory of Electronics under the Learning and Education category.
The Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Discovery Kit regularly retails for $80 but is currently discounted to $57 on Amazon, saving you $23 (29 percent).
Give your child a robot that’s not only fun but also helps him or her learn to code with this Wonder Workshop Dash Robot, which is currently 17 percent off on Amazon. The robot is designed for children 6 years old and up and is responsive to its world, which makes learning to code fun for kids.
The educational robot comes with hundreds of exciting coding adventures and projects available in Wonder and Blockly apps. Simply use your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet to program Dash to move, dance, light up, make sounds, avoid obstacles, and even react to voices. The Blockly apps feature built-in challenge tutorials that teach you how to program Dash from the very beginning, so your child can play with the robot straight out of the box. In addition to coding skills, the learning toy helps your child develop patience and build problem-solving skills with hundreds of projects, challenges, and puzzles as well as endless possibilities for free-form play.
The Wonder Workshop Dash Robot normally retails for $150 but is currently on sale for $124 on Amazon, providing a $26 (17-percent) discount.
Introduce your child to the world of smart home configurations with this LittleBits Electronics Smart Home Kit, which is currently $62 off on Amazon. This smart home kit can turn any ‘dumb’ household object (such as a fan or lamp) into an internet-connected device.
The smart home kit helps to foster tomorrow’s innovators and idea-makers. The kit makes creative discovery and invention a snap for next-generation thinkers, designers, and tinkerers of all ages and genders with no programming, soldering, or wiring required. It includes everything needed to make internet-connected devices right out of the box and you can connect nearly everything because the library can now ‘talk’ to the internet and vice versa.
The kit helps kids develop design and critical thinking skills through invention, whether they build from instructions or their own imagination. Kids learn the power of starting to creating something and then using it, improving it, and experimenting with it. The product focuses on helping to unleash the inventor within by engaging kids in an incredibly powerful, exhilarating, and most importantly, fun process of invention, rather than prescribing one-off experiences.
The LittleBits Electronics Smart Home Kit regularly retails for $250 but is currently discounted to $188 on Amazon, saving you $62 (25 percent).
Get your child hooked on the world of engineering and construction with this Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set, which is currently 47 percent off on Amazon. This model is a brand-new addition to the best-selling Gears! Gears! Gears! line of building toys and helps foster your child’s imagination.
The kit providing opportunities to design and build structures while experimenting with simple mechanics and science. As a S.T.E.M. learning tool, it helps improve the areas of the brain dedicated to sorting, grouping, counting, design, and construction. The kit features bright colors and easy-to-assemble pieces that encourage children to create moving masterpieces as they learn by play the processes of cause and effect. The gears connect in countless ways to produce fascinating chain reactions of spinning, whirling, and twirling creations. The kit is suitable for children 3 years old and up and this basic set is perfectly compatible with other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets (including Wacky Factory and the Pulleys Plus accessory set) so the collection can continue to grow as your child does.
The Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set normally retails for $30 but is currently marked down to $16 on Amazon, providing a $14 (41 percent) discount.
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