Although the word art doesn’t appear in the acronym STEM (that’s science, technology, engineering, and math, for the uninitiated), that doesn’t mean there’s no creativity under that umbrella of skills. In fact, many STEM-focused kits intended to teach kids about those fields not only rely on innovation but even encourage artistry. Depending on the project, a STEM kit can develop a youngster’s love of both science and art and show how they complement each other. Browse our roundup of the best products below.
1. Kookye Lilypad Starter Learning Kid
This kit introduces users to electronic sewing, or e-sewing, a process that involves using circuits and LEDs to make textiles light up. It comes with all the materials your child needs to create small, high-quality wearables out of felt, such as pins and festive masks, as well as little toys. The manual includes clear instructions and diagrams.
2. Poraxy Motors Electronic Assembly Kit
Budding engineers who enjoy a creative challenge will love this kit for quirky inventions. It includes durable parts that come together seamlessly (with the help of a screwdriver) to form mini cars, a small generator, and a bubble machine. Kids will see how components come together and work in tandem to form a functioning machine.
3. JoyLabz Makey Makey Invention Kit
The winsome Makey Makey, a two-sided circuit board, can be plugged into a computer and connected to almost any object to turn it into a controller. It is a fantastic teaching aid, with limitless potential to illustrate basic concepts of circuits and electricity. Educators can connect the Makey Makey to, say, a banana, a pie tin, or a sandwich, and the device will mimic a keyboard and mouse, allowing you to control programs with those everyday items. Kids will have a lot of fun thinking of ways to build on and interact with the circuit.
4. Dan&Darci Create Your Own Light-Up Wind Chime
Craft a personal wind chime that lights up with this charming, hands-on kit. It comes with everything you need to assemble a solar-powered ornament, including five bright markers and two patterned templates to color. Once your chime is assembled, simply slip the colored template into the shade, leave it out in the sun, and see your colors illuminate at sundown. This wind chime is also weatherproof, so you won’t have to worry about leaving it out on a rainy day.
5. Histoye STEM Toy Kit
Like a supercharged Lego set, this kit features 113 hardwearing pieces that can be assembled to create a variety of motorized inventions, including robots, race cars, and motorbikes. The parts are versatile and can be connected in countless ways, so they encourage children to visualize and design their own inventions. Parents will appreciate that this kit comes with a durable plastic carry case for neat storage and portability.