Toys are a very important part of anyone's childhood. In addition to the most basic game play, good toys also play a very important role in enlightenment education. Not only can you learn new knowledge unconsciously, but also It can exercise children's hands-on ability, cultivate their concentration, stimulate their imagination and creative thinking.
When it comes to enlightenment educational toys, we must talk about STEM and STEAM toys that have been very popular in recent years. After the concept of STEM became popular, the mission of every toy is to rely on STEM, which makes the whole STEM circle mixed up, and directly makes parents who don't usually touch toys confused.
So this article starts from the basic concepts, and will take you to understand what is STEM and STEAM, what is the difference between them, what functions, types, and how to choose.
1. Definition and difference between STEM and STEAM
STEM is the acronym for Science (science), Technology (technology), Engineering (engineering), and Maths (mathematics). , Grasp children's curiosity, explore and learn in games, encourage them to understand scientific principles, and truly entertain and teach. As for the extra A in STEAM, it means Art (Art). After a period of STEM development, many people proposed to incorporate art into it, making the entire STEM system more humanistic and warm.
Whether it is STEM or STEAM, the core concept is the same, that is, to abandon the cramming teaching, and subtly integrate the STEM training process into the structure, color and gameplay of the toy, and train logical deduction through practical operation in the game abilities, problem-solving skills, and most importantly, children will enjoy the entire play process.
2. What abilities can STEM toys develop in children
Generally speaking, STEM toys can cultivate children's following abilities:
① Problem-solving ability: During the game, children have to plan their own strategies, allocate manpower, analyze and think about the problems encountered in the game, and find the best solution to solve the problem. This process will virtually cultivate children's positive attitude towards difficulties, improve their intelligence, and improve their ability to solve problems.
② Concentration: Some STEM toys require children to think hard to solve problems, so concentration is very important. In addition, some toys require children to assemble parts carefully and slowly. This process can cultivate children to complete tasks with concentration.
③ Thinking ability: When facing difficulties, in addition to concentration, thinking about solutions is also very important! In the process of brainstorming, it is often necessary to jump out of the box of thinking to find new methods, which can cultivate children's ability to criticize, deconstruct and challenge the frame.
④ Creativity: The biggest feature of STEM toys is that there is no frame, and there are far more than one way to play. This setting allows children to develop their potential in infinite possibilities and stimulate their creativity.
In addition to the above mentioned, STEM toys can also help develop and enhance children's intelligence, inspire children's interest in science and related subjects, and cultivate children's character.
3. Types of STEM (STEAM) toys
At present, STEM (STEAM) toys can be roughly divided into four categories:
① Science: As long as there are toys with scientific concepts about weather, space, dinosaurs, and chemistry, they can be regarded as science toys.
② Science and technology: The speed of technological development is getting faster and faster, so of course technological toys also have amazing development. For example: robots, toys that can be controlled through APP, and all kinds of toys that can be moved by technology are included in this category.
③ Engineering: Building block toys are the most popular among engineering toys. Building block toys can greatly improve children's imagination. In addition, those related to circuits can also be counted in engineering toys.
④ Mathematics: Almost all STEM toys are related to mathematics. The concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and even differentiation or integration can be applied to toys. For example, to make a large Lego building block, in addition to the process of stacking, it also uses differential and integral algorithms to complete the work. Many board games, Monopoly, also belong to this category of toys.
4. How to choose STEM toys
There are many subdivisions of STEM toys. Parents who are new to this kind of toys will feel very confused about which one to choose. In the end, they may end up buying toys that are not suitable for their children and do not meet their expectations. So when choosing, pay special attention to the following points:
① Color: Color is a very important element in STEM toys. For children, being able to distinguish the color levels and the meanings of colors from an early age can train children to have a broader visual detection ability. Toys are often made in bright colors, as this keeps the child focused for longer.
② Challenging: Toys should be challenging. If a toy is chosen that is too simple, the child will soon find it unchallenging and bored. Therefore, challenging is also a very important factor. Different shapes and sizes can increase the difficulty of children's playing, and at the same time can increase the sense of accomplishment and the flexibility of hand muscle control.
③ Size: The size of the STEM toy is also a very important thing. For example, the size of building block toys must be in sync with the age of the child, because children may stuff anything into their mouths, so pay special attention! When you get older, you can play with smaller-sized building blocks, which can effectively train your child's concentration and patience.
④ Quality: The quality of a toy is really important. There are too many fakes out there. You can’t just buy a toy that “looks good” for your child just because it’s cheap. Definitely take the time to verify the brand of the toy to make sure it is safe and non-toxic.
⑤ Price: STEM assembling toys are usually not cheap, because both design and craftsmanship are more demanding. You can choose an assembling toy that suits your baby according to your ability. The most expensive does not necessarily mean the best. a good choice!
Finally, there are many, many STEM toys on the market. If you want to choose a toy with excellent quality and design from thousands of toys, you can only start with the brand.