STEM Books, Games, and Toys

We used the following to build our child's STEM development and the family's healthy living. We hope they serve you well as we raise our children to the best of their ability. More to come!

Don't judge an item by its listed age. Our daughter surpassed age limits.
Get it from a local store or online. 

Toy/Game: Hugg-A-Planet Earth: Earth, Moon, and Marsand My First Atlas

AgeAll ages. 

Benefits: Soft, squeezable pillow provides an impressionistic look at the "big picture." Printed with over 600 countries, continents, seas, and more. Cotton shell Filled with all new materials is machine washable.

My Story: A great way to introduce geography and geology. Teach little kids where we are and where other people are. Use it as a pillow or toss and catch like a ball game to make it fun. The velcro opening is great to explain the geology and how the earth is made. My parents and I always had a globe in the house, and we often referred to find new places and understand time, climates, weather, and colors. This one is very portable compared to the traditional globes. Received Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Parents' Choice awards. Use books and stories to explain. 

WarningNone. 



  

AgeInfants and up (6 months - 12 years) 

Benefits: Instead of getting simple teethers, this will help the child's imagination and mortar skills be active. The dynamic web of rods, balls, and beads suspended on a strong elastic cord fascinate babies; the open design makes it easy for little fingers to manipulate the piece and keep a grip on the line. 

My Story: It is a ball and rattle, pops back into shape no matter how you squeeze it. It has replenishable rubberwood with a non-toxic, water-based finish that won the Parents' Choice Award. 5½" dia makes it a great on-the-go or in-house toy to occupy the child—a great gift item. 

WarningNone. 

Game/Toy: Friends Stacking Cubes. 

Age12 months and up.  Begin when motor skills start to develop.
 

Benefits: Count, sequence, stack, balance, build, creative thinking, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. Each side has beautifully illustrated blocks with different themes: counting/numbers, animals, animal babies, and a tree that grows as the blocks are stacked and aligned. As the child gets older, the understanding of the images will grow. 

My Story: Our daughter had one at school and one at home. She loved building and knocking it down, then building it again.  Kids this age love repetition, and this one will occupy them for a long time.  Cubes range from 1½"–5¼" nest nicely into a storage box is easy to take on vacation. Great way to learn the numbers with visuals vs. literals so the kids can understand what the number means. 

WarningNone.

  

Game/Toy: Junior Ramp Racer

Age18 months and up. 

Benefits: Hypnotic flip-flopping racers appeal to ears, hands, and eyes. Well-made wood is safe for young children. These cars zip and flip down the ramps over and over again, keeping them curious. Gives them a sense of gravity. The eco-friendly toy is finished with watercolor-based paints. For every tree used, the manufacturer plants three more.  

My Story
I got it due to Dad's car fantasy. But the daughter loved it the most. Simplified the racing, and she was figuring out how it was working. It is well made. I still have it for other kids to play with. A great time to introduce the concept of gravity and speed. 

Warning: None.


 
   
Toy: TAG Lock Box Memory Game

Age2-6 years old. 
Benefits: Develops hand control, motor skills, muscle strength, and finger dexterity. Improves memory skills, encourages a sense of order, and entertains young children for long periods.

My Story
Builds curiosity and occupies all day.
 
Warning: May learn to open household locks--implement child locks. 

 

Age3 - 8 years and older. 
Benefits: Learn about the people, tools, machines, and parts involved in building a house and how they corporate. The book lists modern homes and simple shelters from the past. Children are curious and are eager to learn and do. 

My Story: My husband is an automotive engineer, and my father was a civil engineer. My daughter and I learned to do everything around the house through them. Although we now hire some help, we can do most household fixer-uppers. My daughter now helps out in putting together electronics from the boxes. Watching others and doing it yourself helps eliminate the fears of doing more complex tasks. Encourage adults to get kids involved in handy work as much as possible. 

Warning: Use the tools with adult supervision.  





 



 
 
Books/Toys: The Stars in the Sky
Books: The kids book of the Night Sky (144 pages), Zoo in the Sky (4 and up), The Moon Book (6 -10).
Toys: Animals in the Stars (3 and up), Explore the stars (11" and 16"dia.), Travel Telescope, and with smartphone adapter (13 and up).

Age3 - 13 years and older. 
Benefits: The kids Book of the Night Sky won the parents' choice award. A great family activity that plays the game of "night Sky I Spy" makes the constellation candles and details the cultural history. Four seasonal chapters are covered in 144 pages. Zoo in the Sky from NAtional Geographic covers 16 animal constellations introduces astronomy that inspires curiosity and wonder. The Moon Book explains the fascinating glowing and changing orb in the sky. Details the phases, eclipse, tides, history, legends, stories,  and lunar explorations. Animals in the Stars lacing cards will let the kids recognize ten constellations by lacing the patterns with a glowing lace in the dark to simulate the night sky. Develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Explore the stars by roaring the blue wheel to align the "clear skydome" in standard and pocket sizes for traveling. The start chart shows the major constellations of the northern sky. Durable, weatherproof, and includes a night vision flashlight filter. Travel Telescope will let the kids experience the wonders of the cosmos up close. Explore the night light and wildlife during the day with the crisp 70mm dia. aperture and two coated glass optical eyepieces (10x and 20x magnification). Feel free to introduce early if the child is ready with adult supervision. 

My Story: The sky is accessible to everyone. Kids get fascinated by the stars. Why not teach them. Our responsibility is to teach the findings of science and the infinite universe. My father was fascinated by 
Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who predicted space and technology advancements before they happened. We lived close to Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Science Education, and we used to visit to see his student's work and watch every talk he gave. It was fun to watch my cousins work who studied there. Space science has enabled many technologies and satellites to do things faster and connect with more people on earth and out of the earth. It has advanced beliefs, science, and technology. I was surprised when my daughter knew more details of the solar system at age three than I can recall. 

Warning: Use toys with adult supervision.  






   

Age3 - 8 years and older. 
Benefits: Children will spend hours with these books. There's so much to see and learn. Watch how a school gets built from demonstration to final planning in the year at a construction site book with "I spy" activities. Rhyming text and "noise" words carry the child through every step of road building, from planning to building to cleaning up in the award-winning Roadworks book. The book "I Wonder Why plains have wings?" answers more curious questions like why cars need gas? Why don't trains fall off the trails? Why don't ships sink? like in an encyclopedia. The Parents Choice Gold Award-winning toy, Rush Hour Jr., will let kids clear traffic jams building logical thinking skills using the 40 challenge cards. Made By Me Kits allowed the child to develop their functional SETM skills, building non-toxic, no glue or tools required wood vehicles. 

My Story: Children are curious and have many questions at this age. These books provide many answers. When they see these activities in real life, explain them further. My father and husband both fixed machines and vehicles; we were exposed to many of these activities. My father took us to construction sites since he worked there. Watching the equipment and what they do makes the understanding deeper, resulting in new challenges achievable during the day-to-day, academic, and professional settings. Get the kids involved in fixing and exploring the equipment as much as possible. 

Warning: Toys can be a choking hazard. Recomend adult supervision. 





Age3-8 years old. 
Benefits: Sharpen recognition and memory skills. Fun for kids to play. This game heightens focus and attention to detail while enhancing spatial memory. Features drawings of smiling children from 24 different nations, some dressed in native costumes. 

My Story
A walk around the world, and the kids will not stop playing it. It is very entertaining and learning for adults as we explain the countries the faces came from.  Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. 

Warning: None.  

    

 

Age3 - 6 years.
 
Benefits: All pieces have a non-toxic finish.  Children love hearing the realistic "crunch" as they "slice" apart from the Velcro that holds the pieces of food together--a fun way to prepare for learning to use a real knife. Foster early brain development. Pretend play develops cognitive skills for abstract thought. Children want to repeat this activity over and over! 

My Story
: My daughter imitated me when I was busy in the kitchen. As she got comfortable, I got her involved in the actual food-making process. #1 parent recommended for creativity and learning. Doctors recommended that inspire hands-on imaginative thinking.

Warning: None. Actual food making--always with adult supervision. 

   

      
 

Age3 years and up. 

Benefits: Children can create endless designs and patterns with this 200+ piece set. They can bend, twist, thread, weave, and lace the various components together, making something new every time, all while developing fine motor skills. Spark creativity and celebrate the process of making art. This kit is a great collaborative activity. 

My StoryMy daughter and her friends can spend an entire day on it. Once, she did an activity for school through a role-play on making puppets with these. She still has it after playing with it countless times. The best gift she got. Can create architectural designs. 

WarningDon’t let the little kids put the pieces in the mouth—clean up after playing. 




Age3 years and up. Begin when motor skills start to develop. 

Benefits: (Physical, Mental, and Psychological): Improves fine motor skills, manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, cognitive performance, develops patience, social and communication skills, responsive learning, sensory learning, and non-verbal reasoning. Relieves stress, aids in family/community bonding, develops precision, develops structural awareness, passes the time, can be played anytime anywhere, educational enrichment, and fun. 

My StoryWe got to know our daughter on a different level and her unique creativity to replicate monuments and develop innovative structures. Color blocks are great for sorting designs and when needed to split with others. We used it to make structures as well.

WarningDon’t let the little kids put the colored wood in the mouth. 


Age3 years and up. Feel free to introduce early through storytelling. 

Benefits: Exercises the brain. Develops perspective, improves memory, deepens focus, elevates creativity, boosts planning skills, increases self-awareness, protects against dementia, and helps with ADHD. Chess is shown to raise students' overall IQ scores. A Venezuelan study involving 4,000 second-grade students found a significant increase in their IQ scores after only 4.5 months of systematically studying chess. 

How to play:  Follow the instruction in the box or send me a message

My StoryOur dad always played with us. It was fun to beat him. My daughter needed small steps when I introduced her at the age of three. She learned most of the tricks through online games. We play during the holidays. The magnetic board is great to play when traveling.

Warning: Limit the screen time with the online version. 
 
Game/Toy: Butterfly Growing Kit 

When you are ready to begin, go online to redeem your voucher for five live caterpillar larvae (requires an additional $7.95 shipping fee). Please note the butterfly larvae cannot be shipped outside the continental U.S.A. and Alaska.

Age4 years and up.
Benefits: From small larvae to beautiful butterflies, the three-week metamorphosis of Painted Lady butterflies illustrates the cyclical nature of life. 

My Story: Our daughter sees the entire lifecycle of these butterflies in our backyard. The kit was helpful to explain as a fun activity—an introduction to the circle of life and biology. Keep the kids' minds intrigued and help them understand how the biology of everyday things work. Explain further through books. 
Winner of Parents' Choice Award and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award 

Warning: Choking Hazard.

 


Age4 years and up. Feel free to introduce early if the kids are interested. 

Benefits: Great for all card games, including Solitaire, Spades, Go Fish, Palace, Trash, Kings Corner, 99 (Ninty Nine), Spoons, and many more! Teach the kids the challenging games. You will be surprised how fast they pick up. Builds math, critical thinking, strategy, and teamwork skills. 

My StoryI started it when I was little. We played as a family. I have some of the best childhood memories of playing card games. The card games occupied the long holidays and when my parents were at the estate or gone for the weekend. We do it with my daughter now on most occasions when we have hours in the car or on a flight.  

 

Age5 years and up. 

Benefits: The working stethoscope for children to play as a doctor. Allow children to discover their heartbeat and gain awareness of their bodies with this real stethoscope. A calming activity since children must be very still and quiet to hear their hearts beat. The book introduces young children to the human anatomy with a clear, accessible look at the circulatory system with activities and resources. Did you know that a baby's heart beats more than 120 times a minute, while a mouse's heart beats more than 500 times a minute, or you can only feel your pulse in an artery and not in a vein?

My Story They love pretending to be doctors as they develop their imagination, role-playing, and social skills. Children were shocked to hear the beat working. The Book educates them well to make it a fun activity.  

Warning: Choking hazard for children under 3. 
   
 

Age7 years and up. Feel free to introduce early if the kids are interested. 

Benefits: Fun and easy sequencing card game. Players use skill and strategy to create sequential stacks of cards. Enhances math and critical thinking skills. 

How to play:  The players in the game look to discard all the cards in their stack as quickly as possible. The first player to do so wins the game. Skip-Bo card is a wild card that can be played to start a building pile or any other number. 

My StoryThe bright colors are attractive to the younger kids. Our daughter was introduced at age seven and would not stop playing. I wish I had introduced this to her earlier. We taught her the strategy tricks from the adults who win—team up to make the kids win, so they feel empowered. Kept the little kids next to the game, so they enjoy and learn at their pace. Excellent family game to teach kids how to gracefully lose and try again until they win. We also use it when traveling. Added by the request of our daughter. 

 

Age7 years and up. Feel free to introduce early if the kids are interested. 

Benefits: Travel friendly. Easy to learn and so much fun to play! Enhances math and strategic thinking skills. 

How to play:  In a race to deplete your hand, match one of your cards with the current card shown on top of the deck by either color or number. Strategize to defeat your competition with unique action cards like Skips, Reverses, Draw Twos, and color-changing Wild cards. When you're down to one card, don't forget to shout "UNO!"

My StoryThe bright colors are attractive to the younger kids. Our daughter plays with her friends for hours. Keep the little kids next to the game, so they enjoy and learn at their pace. Teach kids how to gracefully lose and try again until they win. Added by the request of our daughter. 



 

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