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40 Best STEM Toys for Kids, According to the Scientists, Parents and Testers

Learning science, technology, engineering and math has never been so fun.

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Science toys have always been popular — think back to those retro chemistry kits and erector sets — but wow have they come a long way. When it comes to science, technology, engineering and math — collectively known as STEM — it's getting harder and harder to tell the toys from the real thing. And kids love using these educational toys for at-home learning: When Good Housekeeping conducts its yearly tests, STEM toys are always at the top of the list of hot new toys and gifts for kids. And, with toys that have kids coding before they enter preschool, constructing elaborate scenes, making their own room decor and even building their own robots, why wouldn't they be popular?

But which ones are the smartest purchases or make the greatest gift ideas? The Good Housekeeping Institute Parenting and Pets Lab put its own scientists on the case, evaluating STEM toys for quality, ease of use and whether kids engage with the concepts behind them. Then, more important testers — kids themselves — made sure they were fun, since no one's learning anything from a toy that sits in a closet. (Each year, the best of the best make it into the Good Housekeeping Best Toy Awards.) We put their recommendations together with some editors' picks and bestsellers to make this list of the best STEM toys of 2022.


There are the usual microscopes and experiment sets, but also (programmable) magic wands, cool kits that blend science and art and lots and lots of coding robots. Your budding scientist won't know what to play with first!

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Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
MindWare
Magic Potion Science
MindWare
Kid Favorite
Educational Insights
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope
Educational Insights
STEM Solo Game
ThinkFun
Gravity Maze
ThinkFun
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Luki Labs
Pinxies Butterfly Hot Air Balloon
Luki Labs
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Snap Circuits
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit
Elenco
Math Toy for Preschoolers
hand2mind
Numberblocks MathLink Cubes 1-10 Activity Set
hand2mind
Fun Coding Toy for Preschoolers
Fisher-Price
Code 'n Learn Kinderbot
Fisher-Price
Now 23% off
Engineering Challenges
ThinkFun
Roller Coaster Challenge
ThinkFun
Moving Magnetics
GeoSmart
GeoSmart Mars Explorer
Geosmart
From the Good Housekeeping Institute's Scientists
Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping Amazing Science
Good Housekeeping
Now 22% off
Unique Building Set
Ravensburger
Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run
Ravensburger
Now 50% off
Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Award Winner
Millbrook Press
Washed Ashore: Making Art from Ocean Plastic
Millbrook Press
Now 10% off
STEM for Crafters
Thames & Kosmos
Creatto
Thames & Kosmos
Best Coding Toy for Preschoolers
Learning Resources
Coding Critters
Learning Resources
Screen-Free Coding
Learning Resources
Botley the Coding Robot
Learning Resources
Bio 101
Melissa & Doug
Magnetic Human Body Anatomy
Melissa & Doug
Affordable AR
Abacus Brands
Dino Dig VR
Abacus Brands
Fun Physics Lesson
Copernicus Toys
Bubbles of Steel
Copernicus Toys
Coding for Elementary Schoolers
Sphero
Sphero Mini
Sphero
Beauty Chemistry
Thames & Kosmos
Ooze Labs: Soap & Bath Bomb Lab
Thames & Kosmos
Coding for Artists
Educational Insights
Artie Max
Educational Insights
Fun STEM Toy for Preschoolers
Educational Insights
Design & Drill See-Through Creative Workshop
Educational Insights
Intro to Robotics
Wonder Workshop
Dash Coding Robot
Wonder Workshop
Now 17% off
Science in Augmented Reality
Abacus Brands
Bill Nye's VR Science Kit
Abacus Brands
STEM Toy for Artists
Crayola
Paper Butterfly Science Kit
Crayola
LEGO
BOOST Creative Toolbox
LEGO
Best STEM Activity Book
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Ada Twist's Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Science-Themed LEGO Set
LEGO
Olivia’s Space Academy Building Set
LEGO
STEM Toy for Toddlers
LeapFrog
100 Animals Book
LeapFrog
Coding for Wizards
Kano
Harry Potter Coding Kit
Kano
Perennial Favorite Building Toy
Magna-Tiles
Magna-Tiles
Magna-tiles
A Science Fair Favorite
Copernicus Toys
DIY Volcano in a Box
Copernicus Toys
Cute STEM Toy for Babies
Fisher-Price
Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank
Fisher-Price
For At-Home Experiments
Crayola
Color Chemistry Set
Crayola
Best STEM Decoration
Moon Picnic
Weather Station
Moon Picnic
Connects to a Tablet
Osmo
Genius Kit for iPad
Osmo
Unique Building Toy
Plus Plus
Learn to Build Super Set
Plus Plus
Toddler Math Toy
Fat Brain Toys
Dimpl Digits
Fat Brain Toys
Cool Puzzle for STEM Fans
Studio Roof
Stegosaurus 3-D Puzzle
Studio Roof
For Earth Science
Creativity for Kids
Creativity for Kids Sunflower Garden
Creativity for Kids
How we choose the best toys
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Before including our favorite picks in an article, the Good Housekeeping Institute does rigorous toy testing to ensure we're recommending only the best. Many of our choices come from our yearly Toy Awards, where we test each item based on the following criteria:

✔️Safety: Our engineers and analysts make sure that each toy reaches all safety standards. They also assess things like pinch points and make sure toys won’t shatter into small pieces to pose a potential choking hazard.

✔️Ease of Use: We look at each toy to evaluate how simple it is to assemble, how well it’s constructed and how durable it is during play.

✔️Kid Approval: Aside from testing each toy for skill-building attributes, like how well it develops social-emotional skills, all our final decisions come from more than 100 children, ages 1 to 15, who assess the fun factor!

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has provided expert reviews and advice on everything parents and children love, including educational toys, sensory toys and more.

This guide was updated by Jamie Spain. In her role as Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst, Jamie Spain brings years of experience to the GH Institute, having reviewed products for Good Housekeeping from the hottest new toys of 2022 to the best strollers.

Much of the toy testing for this article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's chief technologist and director of engineering, with the help of Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor. For more than 15 years, Rachel has put her training in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics to work by researching, testing and writing about parenting products. She has been a judge for the Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards since its inception as well as Good Housekeeping Toy Awards and other industry awards, including the Best of Parenting at CES and JPMA Parenting Awards. Plus, as a mom to three kids under five, she's personally tested many of the products we recommend in real life.

Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting, from the postpartum years through the empty nests, since 2015, and she's pitched in with Good Housekeeping's toy coverage since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors.

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