The Best STEM Toys, Science Kits, and Nature Games for Kids
Encourage kids to love learning about nature and explore the outdoors all year long with these fun and exciting STEM toys.
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STEM Toys for Kids
Looking for STEM toys and nature-inspired games to help the kids in your life learn about the environment and nature as they play? Look no further. We found the best science-based toys, kits, and games to keep your little ones having fun as they discover the world around them. These toys and games courages fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, creativity, and an interest in everything from geology to paleontology to growing sunflowers and raising butterflies. They’ll have no idea these toys are also educational.
Also check out nature books for kids that make perfect gifts.
Over the course of approximately three weeks, kids watch as live caterpillars transform to beautiful painted lady butterflies with this incredible Butterfly Garden. As soon as your kids are ready for their live caterpillars, simply go online and claim the baby caterpillars to have them shipped live to your door (in all states except Hawaii).
Check out more ideas for attracting butterflies to your garden and backyard.
Beginning Birdwatcher’s Book
This easy-to-read, fact-filled workbook helps young birders keep their own bird lists as they learn about 48 common North American birds, including the blue jay, ruby-throated hummingbird, and red-headed woodpecker. The book includes space on each page for a numbered sticker illustration of the bird described, along with information on its size, habitat, nesting and eating habits, and number and color of eggs.
Disgusting Science Kit
STEM toys can be gross, which is so much fun! The Disgusting Science Kit by Fat Brain Toys features goofy and gross experiments and activities that are also educational. Encourage scientific learning and exploration while also making smelly gasses and gooey slime. Kids can’t get enough!
We found the best gardening gear for kids.
Grow a sunflower inside a flower pot that you decorate yourself with this engaging science activity. The garden kit includes sunflower seeds, gardening pot, and potting mix. Markers, stickers, and hardcover mini-book let them write their own garden story. It’s a two-for-one STEM toy and art project.
Grow and Glow Terrarium
Build your own mini ecosystem that lights up at night! This STEM toy mixes science and art, and comes with everything you need for two plant lifecycles inside a terrarium. Glow in the dark animal figures are extra fun for kiddos.
Kids will be amazed by these jaw-dropping facts about hummingbirds.
Kids ages 4 and up will love the suspense of watching a rattlesnake Jake “guard” his gold nuggets. This nature-inspired game develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination—and lets kids appreciate a little snake-inspired fun.
Giant Ant Farm
What childhood is complete without an ant farm? This classic version was updated to include twice the viewing area to observe ants in action. The set includes an online code voucher for free ants.
National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit
Calling all junior paleontologists! The National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit offers everything you need to keep kiddos digging (and learning) for hours. The set features a dig brick packed with dinosaur fossils, a chisel, a brush, and a magnifying glass to inspect their finds.
Little gardeners should know you can’t have a healthy garden without worms! Teach kids about the secret underground world of worms with this unique worm farm. Just add dirt and live worms—there’s even space to grow small plants the worms can eat.
Worms are also great for gardens! Learn all about vermicomposting.
National Geographic Crystal Growing Kit
Grow three vibrant crystals from crystal powder in water with the National Geographic Crystal Growing Kit! Geologists in training will see crystals begin to form within a day or two, and full growth between seven and 21 days depending on location and temperature. Multiple lights display crystals at night on this STEM toy.
Smithsonian Mega Science Lab 6 Kits in One
Keep ’em busy all summer long with the six experiments in the Smithsonian Mega Science Lab. This multi-purpose kit includes a volcano, eco-dome, Earth and moon models, crystal growing chemicals, and a weather station. Note that this kit is best for junior scientists ages 10 and up. Ready, set, research!
Outdoor Explorer Kit and Bug Catcher
This handy dandy exploration kit supports STEM learning and encourages a love of nature. The portable backpack allows for easy carrying of the 5x power magnification binoculars, compass, butterfly net, magnifying glass, critter case, whistle, tweezers, bug containers, and a hat. Turn your kids into fearless bug hunters!
These are the best-rated binoculars for bird watching.
Erupting Volcano Kit
Kids will blow up at the chance to build an erupting volcano! Get started by building a realistic-looking volcano out of papier-mache. Then paint your creation with the provided paint and make it erupt with baking soda and vinegar (not included.) We love this STEM toy for rainy days.
Rock Painting Kit
Let your little ones decorate the garden with their colorful creations! This rock painting kit comes with 10 smooth river stones in assorted sizes and shapes for painting. You also get 12 acrylic paint colors, two paint brushes, one scratch tool, one transfer sticker, and instructions for turning rocks into art. We’re partial to the rock owl!
Next, check out gifts for bee lovers that are worth buzzing about.