STEM and STEAM education help prepare future generations with skills that will set them up for success. You likely have heard these terms and may be familiar with some of the benefits of STEM and STEAM toys that encourage skill development within the context of play and fun. This contest will help you understand a little bit about some of these toys, and gives you a chance to win amazing toy prize packages.
STEM and STEAM education in a fun interactive package
STEM toys help children learn skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM toys help spark creativity and imagination with artistic tasks that naturally align with the STEM skills. With most STEM toys, children are developing a range of technical and non-technical skills, making the distinction between the two terms less relevant. After all, even a basic game of gin rummy with a deck of cards involves counting (math), strategy, and planning. For that reason, I’ll stick to using the more common STEM in the rest of this article, with the understanding that children playing with these toys are developing a variety of abilities including creativity, language skills, spatial skills, etc … a combination of skills from a variety of domains.
With STEM toys, variety is the spice of life
Looking at the image at the top of this article, there are some toys that seem more obviously STEM than others. All of those toys are prizes in this contest, but not all will appeal to every child. A child who loves building might prefer the hands-on fun of the Vtech Marble Rush sets. Another child may really love the logistical challenges of the Osmo Coding kits. Yet another may be intrigued by conceptualizing a 3D plastic creation using the 3Doodler kits. You may look at these toys and know exactly which one is most appealing to your child. Or you may wish your child could experiment with a few to develop and stimulate their minds in a variety of ways.
Each of the STEM toys carried at Best Buy allows children to have fun and develop some skills that can prepare them for a successful future. One toy may help reduce screen-time while building listening and reading skills (LeapPods Max), while another might use a tablet screen for unique learning experiences (Snakebyte Pebblegear tablets) or even use a tablet to introduce complex scientific concepts like light diffraction (PlayShifu Tacto Laser). As you explore the range of STEM toys, you will quickly find some that will be perfect for your children.
Experimentation teaches value of failure and success
We all want our children to be happy forever. These toys are fun to play with, but they also teach the kind of lessons we only learn through trial and error. Lessons like: you can’t do something well without having done it poorly first. Many toys have a learning curve: skills improve over time. You know from your own childhood; there were many toys we had when we were young that would now be considered STEM toys. I remember my first model building experience; it was some kind of naval corvette, and needless to say, the boat sunk!
I did have fun though and that’s another thing that your child will learn and carry with them in the future: though it can take some work, science, technology, engineering, and math can also be a lot of fun. Which reminds me of a quote from American author Frank Sonnenberg: If work isn’t fun you’re playing on the wrong team.
The toys we are giving away in this contest will encourage children to ask questions, embrace failure, and be openly creative. The best part is that each winner will get a package of toys covering a variety of STEM skills! We’ll be reviewing most of these on the blog in the weeks to come so return to the blog often to learn more.
How to enter
Entering this contest is easy and you can enter in two different ways:
- In a comment below, tell us about one toy that you had when you were a child that would now be considered a STEM toy AND tell us what skills it helped you to develop.
- In a comment below, tell us which of the toys mentioned in this article, or shown on Best Buy’s toy page do you most want in your home for your children.
What you can win
At the end of this contest we will randomly draw six (6) winners from all eligible entries. Each winner will receive one of six prize packages; each package will include up to four of these toys:
|3DOODLER START PLUS|
|3DOODLER CREATE PLUS BLACK|
|LEAPFROG LEAPPODS MAX EN / FR|
|OSMO CODING STARTER KIT|
|OSMO LITTLE GENIUS STARTER KIT|
|SHIFU TACTO COMBO CLASSICS AND LASER|
|SNAKEBYTE VDF PEBBLEGEAR CARS 7″ TABLET|
|SNAKEBYTE VDF PEBBLEGEAR FROZEN 7″ TABLET|
|SNAKEBYTE VDF PEBBLEGEAR TOYSTORY4 TABLET|
|VTECH MARBLE RUSH CORKSCREW RUSH SET|
|VTECH MARBLE RUSH ULTIMATE SET|
|VTECH KIDIZOOM CREATOR CAM|
This contest runs from Oct 1st to Oct 16th.
Remember you can enter in a variety of ways as discussed above. Spread the word with all of the parents you know. Your child will likely be playing with their children so no matter which family wins, your child will benefit.