What are the best STEM Toys for 3-year-olds? Many anxious parents are eager to bring science and programming toys to their toddlers.
STEM toys help provide exposure to advanced disciplines while keeping every bit of fun. STEM toys are especially beneficial for 3-year-olds boys and girls because kids at this age are always curious and willing to explore new things.
Besides helping enhance motor skills and teaching STEM knowledge, these toys also help promote children’s social and emotional skills. Anxious to explore the best options for your little toddler? Let’s dive right in!
Best STEM Toys for 3-Year-Olds
1. Best STEM Pegboard for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – This open-ended toy teaches toddlers to be creative and use their imaginations. While learning to match the colors and patterns, your child practices her fine and gross motor skills. It is a great toy to practice planning, logical thinking, and exercise hand-eye coordination.
Entertaining Value – You may have seen the term “STEAM”, in which the “A” stands for “Art”. This mosaic pegboard is a great tool to introduce art projects to a young child. Besides the provided pictures, she can also use her own imagination to build custom characters.
Overall – This Mosaic Pegboard is open-ended, attractive to kids, and fun to play with. It is also portable so that you can bring it to parks, restaurants, or grandparents’ house. It is one of the best introductory STEM toys for 3-year-olds.
2. Best STEM Maze for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – This busy town board toy is a great STEM toy for improving a child’s dexterity. Besides the vivid color and attractive design, the magnetic wand is a great addition to make it more amusing to kids. While trying to find the path to guide the colored balls, your child will encounter road blockages and need to figure out alternative routes.
Entertaining Value – This toy is entertaining for toddlers because there is so much to learn. In addition to learning counting and distinguishing colors, your child will have fun maneuvering roadblocks to reach her goal.
Overall – This magnetic game board is ideal for parents who want to help their kids become more patient and persistent.
3. Best STEM Building Blocks for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – Many parents are eager to introduce puzzles to toddlers but most puzzles are for kids older than 3-years. This bristle set is a great alternative. Made with soft edges, it is safe for small toddlers but is every bit of fun. Coming with wheels and animal figurines, your child can turn these blocks into unlimited types of buildings and structures.
Entertaining Value – These bristles are easy to connect and separate, therefore, they won’t easily frustrate your little one. No matter your child is into cars, plants, or buildings, this block set can accommodate her creativity thanks to the interlocking design.
Overall – The Battat Bristle Block Set is a great puzzle toy for 3-year-olds. It is safe for small hands and is as robust as any other puzzle toys for kids.
4. Best Engineering Toolbox for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – This toolset is a wonderful tool to introduce basic engineering and manufacturing knowledge to toddlers. It sparks curiosity by letting toddlers use handtools. Your child will learn to aim, use force, and troubleshoot. The working drill also makes realistic sounds to make the play more believable.
Entertaining Value – 3-year-olds love imaginative plays and make-believe toys. With this immersive toolbox, your child can indulge himself in hours of fun. He may have seen you using tools such as hammers, wrenches, and drills.
Overall – This interactive toolbox satisfies a toddler’s desire to fix things. It is one of the best STEM toys for 3-year-olds that can also light up and play sounds.
5. Best Wooden Puzzle for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – At 2 years of age, many toddlers are starting to learn to count and recognize letters. This peg puzzle set teaches more than just numbers, colors, and letters. It also trains a child to observe patterns and match shapes. Additionally, each pattern comes with a printed name so that your child can learn the words of each object.
Entertaining Value – This toy set can grab toddlers’ attention easily because of its vivid colors and vibrant figures. The knobs with rounded edges are a thoughtful design because it makes it easier for 23-year-olds to hold and aim. Once your child is able to do simple math operations, you can also use this toy set to construct equations.
Overall – This Puzzle Set is an entry-level STEM puzzle for toddlers. Your child can also bring it along to parties and holiday gatherings and share it with her friends.
6. Best Building Kit for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – If your child is not impressed with puzzles, try this gear blocks set. Rather than 2D structures, this building set can turn into 3D toys of any shape. Your child will learn to count, sort, stack, group, and join gears together. These essential skills help lay a solid foundation for learning STEM subjects in the future.
Entertaining Value – This toy is entertaining to 3-year-olds because they can construct their own toy machines. Besides strengthening toddlers’ problem-solving abilities and cognitive skills, this toy can also enhance confidence and helps establish healthy self-esteem.
Overall – The Stack & Spin Playland is one of the best STEM toys for 3-year-olds and even bigger kids will get a kick out of it.
7. Best STEM Rocket for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – Your child can build three different vehicles using these colorful parts. It’s a great tool to introduce advanced engineering models such as rocket ships, planes, and helicopters. Your child will also learn to use a toy wrench to assemble all parts together. What a great training kit for our future engineers!
Entertaining Value – Many building blocks can turn into patterns and shapes but this toy set turns into make-believe toys such as cars and planes. Then your child will have a blast teaming up with his friend for a pilot training session!
Overall – This 3-in-1 Building Kit is ideal for 3-year-olds who are into cars and airplanes. It gives them the chance to build their own vehicles. It’s great for special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas.
8. Best STEM Truck Toy for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – If your child is fascinated by the tractors and big construction trucks he sees on the road, he will adore this dump truck toy set. These pull back cars feature buttons and lights, perfect for pretend-play. Besides its stylish appearance, it can make simulating sounds to make the play experience more fun. Besides, the doors can open and shut, and the dump container can lift up. Your child can enjoy this toy outdoors in a sandpit or in the park.
Entertainment Value – This toy is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Parents can use it to encourage 3-year-olds to stay away from mobile screens and TVs and instead spend more time in nature. Your child will also enjoy pressing the buttons to make all sorts of car noises.
Overall – These Pull Back Dump Cars are great STEM toys with surprisingly realistic looks. It gives children a chance to examine construction trucks from close-up, and test out their capabilities.
9. Best STEM Car Track for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – This well-built car ramp toy is popular among daycare centers for pre-school learning. Besides being fun and entertaining to 3-year-olds, this toy trains your child to focus, to visually track an object, and to learn about gravity. Additionally, the colors are designed in a way to encourage color recognition and color matching.
Entertaining Value – Your child can use this toy ramp alone or with friends. There are two platforms to set off the cars so that two kids can have a racing competition. Playing with others can promote communication skills and foster social-emotional connections. The only thing to watch out for is that toy cars are fairly small.
Overall – The Toy Car Ramp by Top Bright is a wonderful gift idea for toddlers because of its modern look and parent-friendly design. It’s more than the best STEM toys for 3-year-olds but also an amazing pretend-play toy for kids to play together.
10. Best STEM Stacking Toy for 3-Year-Olds
STEM relatedness – This Stack A Peg superset is another educational puzzle toy that aligns with STEM standards. It trains 3-year-olds to sort, stack, match patterns, and create shapes. Though your little one won’t learn a specific STEM subject, she will learn to concentrate, think logically, and figure things out.
Entertaining Value – The good thing about open-ended toys is that toddlers won’t get bored easily. You may need to provide some guidance at the beginning to let her see the potential of what this toy can do, but once she gets a hang of it, she will have fun playing with it for hours on end.
Overall – The Stack A Peg is a great open-ended toy that combines learning with playing. Though you may not enjoy collecting all the loose parts when your child is done playing.
When it comes to the best STEM toys for 3-year-olds, the main goal is not to let them learn a specific science subject, but to train them to be observant and think logically. Don’t forget that the number one trait for a toy is to entertain your little one. So don’t be frustrated if your little one doesn’t seem to be interested in the beginning, many STEM toys take some time to grow on small kids.
Cecilia Yeung is a successful entrepreneur and product researcher. She has a background in psychology and children’s education. As a working mother of two, she loves to write about children’s education and development.