5 Benefits of STEAM Toys: Learning Through Play
Dishes are done, homework’s finished, and your kids’ imaginations are coming to life in the playroom. Could it be? You finally have some time to enjoy an episode of your favorite show. Considering how busy the day has been, you’re ready to mentally unplug. We’re parents, too, and we get it.
But unfortunately, that new toy they’re playing with only engaged them for half an hour. Why is that? We’ve seen this happen with our kids time and time again. Chances are, the toy — as much as your kids begged for it — probably didn’t have all the stimulating, engaging benefits of STEAM toys.
Kids and parents love STEAM toys because they engage and educate kids while giving parents sacred free time while their kids play for hours. The best of both worlds!
But what are STEAM educational toys? And what makes them beneficial for play?
In this guide, we’ll share all about the benefits of STEAM toys and why they’re ideal for kids. Because when they’re engaged in play, time seems to slow a bit, meaning you can savor some much-deserved “you” time.
Play isn’t just an exciting time for kids to let loose; it teaches them vital life skills, especially when engaging with learning toys. But not all toys offer the same educational benefits. Enter STEAM toys! These educational toys stimulate learning in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math fields.
What makes a toy STEAM-accredited? The accreditation process involves meticulous testing, and relies on the feedback of professional child researchers to deem whether products meet the following criteria:
Our kids are more likely to spend hours building castles or solving puzzles, picking up the valuable learning of combined STEAM subjects, than study each subject independently. Essentially, STEAM toys merge valuable lessons with fun and excitement!
So, what are STEAM toys good for as far as learning, and how do they benefit your kids? Keep reading!
1. They Engage Kids for Hours
Excellent STEAM toys get your children excited to play with them regularly, for hours! STEAM-accredited toys are fun and engaging; that’s a non-negotiable.
Despite the many educational benefits of STEAM toys (we’ll get into those later), fun is not only a benefit – it’s a requirement.
The first criterion of the STEAM framework discusses what makes a toy “good.” The Toy Association constitutes “good” toys as fun and engaging, inclusive of all play styles, and easy to use.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes: what’s the best part of playtime? The smiles, laughs, wonder, and curiosity of playing. In other words…
Criteria #1? FUN!
2. Reflects Real-World Relevance
An important STEAM attribute is real-world relevance. Kids should be able to use the toy hands-on. And, the toy should have a clear application to the real world.
Think about role-play chemistry sets and remote control cars – these mimic the scientific research that backs medical discoveries and the mechanical engineering that powers vehicles.
Another excellent example of an educational STEAM toy with real-world relevance?
Squaregles’ magnetic building toys! With each pop-out panel and drawing, kids can bring to life stories from their observations and imaginations. They might create structures they’ve seen around town or in fantasy books – buildings, playgrounds, towers, entire kingdoms — the options are limitless.
3. Fosters Problem Solving and Creative Thinking
We all know the scene: kids are engrossed in play with no signs of stopping. As parents, we love this!
Many psychologists and researchers call this a state of “flow.” This happens more freely when kids can play without rules or limitations.
Kids express more creativity and independence. But some guidelines are healthy. And a great STEAM toy offers children freedom and imagination amidst challenges or obstacles that arise during play. So, what can kids learn from STEAM toys? Problem-solving and creative thinking!
For instance, if they’re engaged in playing with magnetic building toys, they might face an obstacle when configuring the pieces into a new structure. Eventually, they will overcome this obstacle by assembling the toy to their envisioned outcome. Voila – a perfect application of their creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
Your kids have the power to make their own decisions about problem-solving and the freedom to test out different solutions!
4. Designed to Engage Play for All Children
STEAM toys are specifically designed to appeal to all styles of play, engaging children with various interests and play styles.
Because, as us parents know — our kids are unique, and each has their own ways of engaging during play. And that’s why STEAM toys are so great — they give every child an outlet to learn and play.
STEAM toys for 6-year-olds to 10-year olds shouldn’t have gender-specific connotations in their colors, images, or taglines.
Why? Researchers have found that children are more drawn to toys that reflect their gender and less drawn to toys that don’t. This means that toys without gender conventions are more appealing to all children.
Squaregles’ educational magnetic toys are a fantastic example. Each set comes with fun little Oggs – gender-neutral characters to star in every creation!
STEAM toys appeal to all styles of play. Whether kids have engineer minds, are artistically inclined, prefer storytelling, science, math, or any subject — they’ll have an outlet with STEAM toys!
5. Easy to Learn and Use
Every parent knows this scene all too well: You just bought your child a new toy they have wanted for months, but when you try to help them use it, you’re both utterly perplexed by the instructions. It usually ends up in the donate bin, right?
“Easy to use” doesn’t mean simplistic. STEAM toys are dynamic and multi-faceted and encourage logical thinking, independence, and creativity. However, the premise will be intuitive with basic instructions for your child. Less time planning, more time learning, and playing!
So, why do kids need STEAM toys? Real-world relevance, engagement, ease of use, inclusivity, creativity, and problem-solving – these toys give your kids valuable learning opportunities they’ll continue to use throughout their lives. And they’ll have a blast playing with them!
STEAM toys will hold a special place in your child’s heart because of the fun memories created from playing with them.
Ready to offer your kids all the fantastic benefits of STEAM toys? With Squaregles magnetic build and play toys, they’ll reap all these benefits! And you can sit back, kick your feet up, and hit the play button on that show you love.
Learn more about Squaregles STEAM-accredited toy sets!