Ready to inspire the imagination? To make your life easier, our science staff has teamed up with education experts to pick the best science toys for kids.
We have researched and reviewed over 250 products. We've also made sure that all products featured here have excellent online customer reviews. In short, they're high quality and offer great value.
The learning toys and games are designed to stimulate the curiosity of infants and babies. All products are specifically made for children that are one month to one year old. They build a solid foundation and promote mental development to give your little science fan a head-start in life.
At this age, a child's brain is going through incredible transformations. Babies are developing their reasoning, perception, and memory. Their bodies need high quality food to grow and their brains need mental stimulation to fully develop.
The educational toys for toddlers featured here are designed for one- to three-year-olds. As your child's brain continues its rapid development, it's important to actively nourish intellectual growth with fun, educational toys designed for this age group.
At this early life stage, a sense of self is developing, and deeper educational experiences start to shape the growing mind. It's an important time, and caregivers should provide an intellectually nurturing environment.
The science toys shown here were picked to promote a broad range of mental development goals, including general learning and reasoning skills that prepare your child for the coming years.
From ages three to twelve, children experience some of their most fundamental intellectual development.
Your child's brain is growing rapidly and reaches 95% of its adult weight by age six. Neural connections and grey matter are developing every year. Rational decision making and reasoning are also emerging, and it's important to foster the brain's intellectual foundations.
This time period is absolutely crucial for development but also a time to have tons of fun. The science toys featured here ensure that your child is getting the very best intellectual support - but we didn't forget about both of you having a blast together! You can't go wrong with these recommendations.
Teenagers (ages 13 through 18 and even older) are ready to explore the world and create their own opinions and experiences. During this time, the brain is on its way to peak power and is constantly craving new ideas. Being mentally active is as important as being physically active.
You can help your child learn important skills and spend time on quality activities with these science products that are smart, interesting, and accepted in their age group (i.e. fun and cool, so they don't just collect dust).
Here are our recommendations based on expert opinions and proven popularity with teens. We have to admit, these toys are so much fun, we've started playing with them ourselves.
Getting a kids excited about learning and schoolwork is one of the most difficult challenges for parents. Although a teacher’s success depends on how much a student learns, it's our job as parents and guardians to help give them that extra motivation to learn new and exciting things.
One of the best ways to get a child interested in seeking knowledge is by introducing them to science toys. This vague phrase covers a wide range of different playthings, but they have one thing in common: educating while entertaining.
Although the main purpose of toys is to amuse children, it doesn’t mean they can’t have other advantages. Here are just a few points that explain how important science-themed toys can be for early childhood development.
Create an interest in various subjects
The key to a good education is a thirst for knowledge. Teachers can only do so much in the classroom, and with over 30 students to watch over, it’s nearly impossible to offer independent guidance on every subject matter. By getting your child a science toy, you’re giving your child the necessary tools to build an interest in a certain field.
Learn while having fun
Many school programs across the country try to combine entertainment with education but seeing as how children dread waking up in the morning for school, it’s safe to say that this goal has yet to be accomplished. You can give your child a leg-up by providing them with fun and exciting educational toys. No doubt they’ll have questions on how things work, and parents will be in the perfect position to fill their eager minds.
Science isn’t just about staring in wonderment at certain objects. Many toys invite children to be creative in building and experimenting. Since there’s no scoring or ranking involved, a child is free to play as he or she desires without fear of being reprimanded for messing up or dreaming about an imaginary world. Your children need complete freedom to learn through mistakes in order to achieve success.
Perhaps most importantly is that science toys, depending on what they can do, can teach your child how to become independent. Finding out how to do things on their own is the first step to becoming self-reliant. As time goes on and as your children’s toys advance in complexity, they’ll be able to figure things out unassisted or at least know where to search for the answer.
Preparation for their future career
Science toys aren’t just aimed at elementary students and younger. Some of the more complex toys, models, and kits are marketed for teenagers and young adults. These toys can actually help a child prepare for a career in the wonderful world of science by introducing the basics. Your child’s first telescope may be the push he or she needed to pursue a career as a microbiologist or forensic officer.
Though technically not a toy, science books are a gateway to introducing your child to various subjects. Reading may be a chore to younger children so picture books may be the best way to convey an educational message.
+ Eye-catching illustrations
+ Books cover various science topics
- Not suitable for toddlers who can’t read (unless you want to read to them)
- Child may not be interested in reading
Plushies are a whole lot of fun for children. A science-themed plush doll is a great way to teach your child the fundamentals of science without a lot of teaching and preaching.
+ Fun and fuzzy
+ Cute characters
- Not much of a “learning” toy
- Easily ripped apart
Putting models together is an extremely entertaining way for older children to get into science. Models can be anything from airplanes to solar systems and even dinosaurs.
+ Long-term entertainment
+ Lots to learn about models and model assembly
- Small pieces can be a choking hazard
- Complicated models may cause disinterest
Experiment kits are for the super-curious children who can’t get enough of science. These kits come with all the supplies needed for hours of fun.
+ Direct learning toy
+ Fun for the whole family
- Choking hazard
- May require parental supervision
Puzzles are probably the most basic type of science toy, but they’re not any less entertaining. Putting together large puzzles is a challenge that children absolutely love doing, and the end result can be anything science-related, such as a beautiful picture of a part of the universe, the molecular world, or perhaps something your child is more familiar with.
+ Different complexity levels based on child’s ability
+ Simple but amusing
- Choking hazard
- May get bored midway through finishing a puzzle
Last but definitely not least are telescopes. These toys allow children to view faraway objects with relative clarity without needing to spend hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars on specific lenses and accessories.
+ Easy to assemble
+ There’s always a distant object to observe
- Child-friendly telescopes aren’t that powerful
- High learning curve
The “right” science toy for your son or daughter depends entirely on his or her fascinations. However, if your child hasn’t expressed any interest in science subjects, then you may need to do a bit of digging. This 4-step guide will help you determine which science toy your child may have limitless fun playing with.
Unless your teenage son or daughter has a thing for plush dolls, you may want to leave those alone. Most science toys have a label that lets parents know which age group would enjoy playing with them the most. This is especially true for books, models, and experiment kits.
2. New or existing interest
If your child does not enjoy learning about science or has never expressed an interest, then you’ll have to be proactive in finding what would draw his or her attention. Consider science disciplines that fascinate you – you and your child might actually share an interest. If your son or daughter loves chemistry, biology, or space, then the appropriately themed toy should excite them the most.
3. Playable or observable
Not all science-themed toys require a hands-on approach to enjoy. Some toys, like models or crystal balls, simply entertain by being there, whereas kits, books, and telescopes might as well just be paperweights if they’re not played with or read.
4. How much time you can watch over your child
Many science toys like experiment kits, telescopes, and models may require parental guidance and supervision. These toys consist of several moving parts, most of which are tiny and easy to swallow. The last thing you want is to teach your child the ins and outs of your local hospital’s emergency room when they’re getting their stomach pumped.
IMPORTANT WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
The products listed here may contain small parts that are choking hazards for children! Toys can pose a hazard to babies and young children – they can choke, suffocate, or otherwise harm the child. Young children explore their world by putting things in their mouths, but children under three years of age do not have a well-developed coughing reflex and will choke easily on small items. All children, regardless of age, need close supervision with any toys to help prevent accidents from happening. Adult supervision is required at all times!
Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for age appropriateness as shown on the product's official packaging. Only buy toys that are right for your child’s age! Should the product's packaging or other product information (especially in regards to recommended age) deviate from the information presented here, DO NOT give the product to your child! All information presented here is for entertainment purposes only. We do not assume any liability for the information presented here. It is your responsibility to ensure that products are age appropriate and safe to use for your child. Please always be careful, safety comes first.