STEM toys for 5 year olds are toys that prompt kids to engage in activities that enhance their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Science kits, building kits, and coding robots are all examples of toys that promote age-appropriate STEM learning for 5-year-old children.
The general rule of thumb when introducing STEM toys to kids is to introduce each of the concepts (science, technology, engineering, and math) in order from concrete to abstract.
For example, simple hands-on activities like building with blocks should be introduced to a child before more abstract coding activities like programming robots.
Here are 15 of the best STEM toys for 5-year olds. Choose the toy that best fits your child's abilities and inclinations and get started with some STEM fun!
1. Kontu Hello (K10) Magnetic Stem Blocks
This is such a fun a unique STEM toy for 5-year-olds. These wooden blocks are magnetic and great for open-ended play.
With these neat blocks, kids learn about the concept of magnetism while developing important STEM skills like math and physics.
This set also comes with counting cards for hands-on math practice and STEM challenges. This makes a perfect gift or a great addition to any homeschooling curriculum.
Check it out: Kontu Super Mega Awesome! (K25) Magnetic Stem Blocks
2. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run
This is a seriously cool STEM toy for 5-year-olds. It's unlike any other marble run on the market - it has some pretty neat features and the marbles glow in the dark.
Kids will spend time building up the perfect marble run, all while developing their critical thinking skills and fine motor skills. When they have to create the perfect structure, they can hold the light (it comes with the set) to the marbles and dim the lights to watch their spectacular creation in action.
Check it out: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run
3. Light-Up Terrarium Kit
Terrariums are so much fun for kids and they teach a lot of important lessons. This particular terrarium kit has an added feature that kids find really fun - it lights up.
The Dan & Darcy Light-Up Terrarium is a STEM kit that teaches kids about ecology while giving them the hands-on, sensory-filled experience of layering the rocks and soil.
It also comes with some fun stickers and decorative items to set inside the completed terrarium.
Check it out: Light-Up Terrarium Kit
4. Snap Circuits Beginner
When people think of Snap Circuit sets for young kids, the Snap Circuits Jr. set typically comes to mind. This set right here is actually the best introduction to circuit building, though.
The Snap Circuit Beginner set is perfect for 5-year-olds because the instructions are presented as easy-to-follow diagrams. Kids simply place the circuits on the board as they are shown in the pictures to complete the awesome hands-on projects.
Kids can do fun electronics projects like making a plastic egg light up, making a fan spin, and triggering all sorts of sensors.
This is seriously a cool STEM toy.
Check it out: Snap Circuits Beginner
5. K’NEX Education – Intro to Simple Machines
K'NEX is a classic STEM toy that enhances creativity in kids while introducing important engineering concepts and architectural skills.
This set comes with 7 awesome hands-on projects kids can try out, but it's also great for open-ended building, as well. Kids get the chance to develop their building skills and work with wheels and axels, which is really fun.
Check it out: K’NEX Education – Intro to Simple Machines
6. Jasonwell STEM Toys Building Blocks
This is a brightly colored and seriously fun STEM toy that kids will love.
This toy gives 5-year-olds the chance to work with nuts and bolts, axels, wheels, manual tools, and even a working screwdriver. They can make 2D and 3D shapes and tons of fun building projects.
The instruction booklet is easy to follow and all the pieces are easy for small hands to grip.
Check it out: Jasonwell STEM Toys Building Blocks
7. Hape Your Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle
Kids always have questions about the human body. Kids also really enjoy puzzles. That makes this one of the best STEM toys for kids who are interested in how our bodies work.
This puzzle has 5 layers from the skeleton all the way to the clothed body. Kids learn about bones, muscles, organs, and skin. The puzzle is also anatomically correct, lending to important conversations about their own bodies.
My children seriously love this STEM puzzle.
Check it out: Hape Your Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle
8. Dino Soap Making Kit for Kids - Dinosaur Science Kits for Kids All Ages
Soap-making kits are so much fun for kids. This dinosaur soap-making kit is extra fun because of the - well, dinosaurs!
This kit introduces kids to chemistry in an engaging and fun way. It comes with multiple choices of scents and colors with which kids can customize their soaps.
It also comes with a child-friendly cutting tool for extra fine-motor refinement.
9. Educational Art Play Sand
This set of play sand and molds provides hours of fun, creative, STEM play for kids.
Kids get to build countless structures and increase their fine motor skills, creativity, and problem-solving skills by building with this play sand. The sand is placed inside the molds and holds its shape so kids can use it for fun building projects.
This kit gives kids a hands-on sensory experience while promoting a child's STEM understanding.
Check it out: Educational Art Play Sand
10. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Geodes
Geodes are fascinating to kids and adults, alike. What a great opportunity to let kids explore their fascination while learning about science!
This National Geographic Geode kit gives kids the chance to crack open cool rocks to reveal the colorful and amazing crystals inside.
This STEM toy also comes with a detailed and informative guide that teaching 5-year-olds about how geodes are formed.
Check it out: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Geodes
11. WITKA 99 Pieces Magnetic Building Sticks
The WITKA Magnetic Building Sticks set is a super fun STEM toy for kids that teaches kids about the science of magnetism while they build.
This toy teaches children about engineering through endless open-ended building opportunities. Children's critical-thinking skills are challenged by figuring out how to connect the pieces in order to create 3D structures.
Math skills and fine motor skills are also developed by using this building kit.
Check it out: WITKA 99 Pieces Magnetic Building Sticks
12. Lucky Doug 140 PCS Fort Building Kit
Most STEM toys combine the focus on enhancing STEM skills through fine motor activities. The Lucky Doug fort building kit sets itself apart from the other toys on this list with its incorporation of fine-motor-, gross motor, and STEM play.
With this cool building kit, kids get to use their whole bodies to build 3D structures. What kids really love about this kit, though, is they actually get to climb in and out of the things they build.
Check it out: Lucky Doug 140 PCS Fort Building Kit
13. Science Can America Wave Gemstone Dig Kit
Kids love imagining they are on archeological expeditions. Sometimes there is a lack of cool things to dig up in the backyard, though.
This gemstone dig kit gives 5-year-olds the chance to use real tools to dig up real gemstones - how cool!. Kids get to chip away at the rock, brush their gemstones off, then wash them to make them shine.
Check it out: Science Can America Wave Gemstone Dig Kit
14. Educational Insights Artie 3000
The Educational Insights Artie 3000 robot is one of the best STEM toys for kids for parents who are looking to encourage their child's love of everything STEM.
This cool robot introduces kids to some of the basic concepts of coding while providing hours of entertainment. Kids develop all-important coding skills by programming the Artie 3000 to draw fun art designs with markers.
Check it out: Educational Insights Artie 3000
15. Hape Solar System Puzzle
This Hape solar system puzzle has multiple elements of STEM learning.
Kids are first challenged to construct this fun circular 2D puzzle and then place the planets in the correct place. The LED sun is placed in the center to illuminate the planets.
It also comes with a cool double-sided solar system poster that has lots of neat solar system facts on it.
Check it out: Hape Solar System Puzzle
I hope you got some great ideas for STEM toys for your 5-year-old. With STEM building, it's always process-over-produce. So, have fun, and rest assured that your child is building their STEM skills while they play.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best stem toys for toddlers?
Simple toys like building blocks and magnetic tiles are the best STEM toys for toddlers. This is because they are made for child-size hands and are designed for toddlers to be successful in the building.
Are Montessori toys better?
Montessori-style toys make great STEM toys. They promote learning and engagement through their simple designs and educational functions.
What are the best stem toys?
The best STEM toys are toys that encourage the child's critical-thinking skills by having them use their imaginations to problem-solve. The list above has 15 of the best STEM toys for 5-year-olds on it.