Skip to Content

The Real Preschool STEM Gift List You Need

There are a lot of STEM gift lists floating around.  Some of them have a lot of great ideas.  But they don’t have what I tend to want most.

I want to know what toys are going to survive my one-year-old twins and their destructive streak?

What STEM gifts can my four-year-old use on his own and which are activities that need parental help?

These are the actual categories we need when buying gifts for the kids in our lives but haven’t wanted to say out loud.  This is the real preschool STEM gift list you need.

STEM gifts for your preschooler that meet all your needs- quiet toys, kits, fancy toys, and more. #STEM #preschool #GiftList

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more info.

STEM Toy Categories

These are the real categories I am interested in when I shop for STEM toys.

  • My Kids Won’t Break Them Toys
  • Something For Quiet Time Toys
  • Keep Them Entertained For Hours Toys
  • Impressive STEM Toys
  • Not Really STEM But You Can Make It Work Toys
  • Just Give Me a Kit Already Toys

These toys are what most parents are really looking for.

The ‘My kid won’t break them’ toys

These are the toys that are designed to be handled a bit roughly.  Or a lot roughly.  Or the recipient has little sisters that like to throw toys around even if they don’t belong to them.  Not that we would know anything about that.

These encourage STEM imaginative play, and they can really work.  But they can take a beating and be used by the littlest hands.  How do I know?  We own them, and they are sturdy as heck and keep on working.

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bugnoculars

Fisher-Price Medical Kit

The ‘Something for quiet time’ toys

Ben is at a point where sometimes he naps and sometimes he just rests.  I like to give him the option of something to read while still having downtime.  Books are also perfect to learn more about topics that are harder to explore in real life but still interest preschoolers, like dinosaurs and space.

These are great gifts you can hand over to your kids and walk away.  They can learn, pick out activities for the future, and you can get other things done.

(Be sure to check out my list of best STEM books for kids—> Preschool Science Books)

1000 Extreme & Extraordinary Dinosaur Facts (Discovery Kids)

Solar System for Kids : The Sun and Moon

Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

Science Is Simple: Over 250 Activities for Preschoolers

The ‘Keep them entertained for hours’ toys

These toys are great for open-ended play.  They encourage STEM skills without your child even realizing it.  Your kids can build, explore the physical laws of the world, and create to their heart’s content.

They are also pretty fun for adults to play with as well, making it a great family time activity.  These are some of our favorites.

Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors Set – The Original, Award-Winning Magnetic Building Tiles – Creativity and Educational – STEM Approved

LEGO Classic Creative Bricks 10692 Building Blocks, Learning Toy

TINKERTOY ‒ 100 Piece Essentials Value Set ‒ Ages 3+ Preschool Education Toy

The ‘Impressive obviously STEM aimed’ toys

There are some great toys out that are clearly created with teaching kids STEM in mind.  These are more impressive to give because of that obvious aim, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun.

We have the math robot, and we’ve played with the rest at friends homes.  I kind of want to buy them because I like playing with them.

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi

The Learning Journey Touch & Learn, Mathematics Bot

Kidwerkz Dinosaur Toys, STEM Learning (106 pieces), Take Apart Fun (Pack of 3), Construction Engineering Building Play Set For Boys Girls Toddlers, Best Toy Gift Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr, 3 Years and Up

The ‘Not really a STEM toy but can be used as one’ toys

My favorite part of these toys is that they can grow with your child.  They are games that are fun on their own, but you can grab them and add a STEM twist to some directed play.

These toys are a good investment when it comes to long-term use.  You can use them for specific learning activities, then play them as they are intended as your child gets older.  (Or with the adults after the kids go to bed.)

Uno Card Game

Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes

LCR® Left Center Right™ Dice Game

SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception

The ‘Just give me a box with everything I need in it’ toys

These are the kits.  I know I write a lot about how to do STEM with your kids without needing a kit.  But let’s be real, sometimes it is so nice to have everything you need in one box.

Oh, and toss in some specific instructions so you know exactly what to do.  That is where kits come in.

The Purple Cow The Crazy Scientist Lab Bubbles and Foam Science Kit by The Purple Cow

Creativity for Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium – Science Kit for Kids

Looking for STEM gifts for your preschooler that they can play with alone? Or that can take a beating? This is the real list you need. #STEM #preschool #Giftlist

These are some of my top choices for little learners this holiday season.  Remember every activity doesn’t have to be perfect.  You don’t need to know all the answers, and your kids don’t have to do everything perfectly.  You just need to be willing to wonder.  Happy sciencing!

Check out these STEM with preschooler posts for more fun ideas!

Easy Christmas STEM Activities

Fast and Fun Fall Science Activities

You Can Clean Pennies with Ketchup?!

Best Preschool Science Books

Holiday Learning Activities for Kids

STEM toys! Get the gift list you need this holiday season. Which toys won't break? Which robotics actually work? What can different ages enjoy together? Get the real info you are looking for. #STEM #science #toys #STEMToys #sciencetoys #giftlist #christmasgift #toddler #preschool #kids

Looking to buy your kids STEM toys that your child will go back to again and again? Hopefully toys that they can play with on their own for hours? Here are the best STEM toys that your child will play with for hours and that will grow with your child. #STEMtoys #STEMgiftlist #giftlilst #science #Toddlertoys #preschooltoys

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

How to prevent childhood fears.
How To Help Prevent Childhood Fears
← Read Last Post
It is so hard to see our friends and loved ones go through tough times. How do you deal when you are on the sideline of grief?
On the sideline of grief
Read Next Post →

* Checkbox GDPR is required


I agree

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 16th of November 2017

Oh my gosh! My son wouldn’t love so many of these toys! It’s good to know which ones can take a beating because he’s also going through quite the destructive phase!


Saturday 18th of November 2017

Ali and Sammy destroy things too! I know it isn't intentional, but we need toys that can be loved hard. These passed the test for us!

Sarah | Digital Motherhood

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Fab ideas, we love STEM toys. I wish I'd got my daughter started earlier on all this! #WanderingWednesday


Saturday 18th of November 2017

Thanks for stopping by! It's never too late to give some STEM a try. The best thing we can do is show our kids we are willing to try it too! :)

Michele Tripple

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

What a great list of STEM gifts! Thanks for sharing at #WanderingWednesday at Confessions of Parenting!


Wednesday 15th of November 2017

great list, deffo given me some Christmas present ideas for little ones in the family! X

elizabeth hurt

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

These are super great ideas! Especially liked the Uno! Gonna bookmark!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.