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STEM Toys for Toddlers And Play | How To Inspire Them!

STEM toys for toddlers and play are like bread and butter. Ideally, you do not want one without the other. Fortunately, play is what kids do naturally! Just give them the time to play every day, add a few STEM toys, and you have what it takes.

Learn more about the best STEM toys to inspire your toddler.

What does STEM stand for?

In case you are not aware of the term, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It includes an approach to learning that fosters activities to stimulate questioning, brainstorming, out-of-the-box thinking, experimentation, critical thinking, and so much more!

Furthermore, it sparks your child’s curiosity and inspires them to ponder, “Why is the grass green?”

At this point, your toddler is rapidly discovering and learning all about their surroundings. Therefore, it is essential to provide play opportunities and STEM-related toys that use your kid’s imagination to wonder, build, and problem-solve.

What are STEM Toys?

STEM-building toys target curious, hands-on learning of science, technology, engineering, and math through play. However, finding quality STEM building sets for your 2-year-old can be difficult.

Generally, STEM toys for toddlers should be simple, like a set of blocks for toddlers. What makes these unique toys for toddlers distinctive is their potential for creative, independent, child-led, and open-ended play.

What To Look For In STEM Toys

STEM toys for 2-year-olds should be uncomplicated; think wooden building blocks, magnetic blocks, and blocks for toddlers. Fill their shelves with age-appropriate toys that expose them to basic STEM concepts and stimulate independence, innovation, and building.

Remember, you are not looking to teach content but rather to inspire them through play.

Here is what we think makes the best STEM toys for toddlers.

Age Appropriate

The first thing to remember, they should be age-appropriate. Follow the age guidelines and recommendations established by the manufacturer. Not only for safety but developmentally, they are there for a reason.

STEM toys for older children are not helpful and can actually discourage your toddler.


What makes a set of wooden toy blocks so special is that they offer endless possibilities. The key component to their success is there is no one way to build or play with them.

Open-ended STEM building sets develop skills like exploration, resourcefulness, reasoning, and logical thinking. STEM-building toys can be stacked, knocked down, lined up, or used in imaginative play. For example, a block can become a phone, or several blocks a bridge or road.

Let your toddler’s imagination and creativity run wild!


Engagement is the name of the game. STEM toys enable toddlers to take a hands-on approach to play, tasks, and challenges.

However, STEM learning toys alone are not enough – engaging with your child in play every day is essential!

Get down on their level, talk, ask questions, and most importantly…listen!

Remember, you are there to play:

  • Let your child lead the way.
  • Hold back on intervening.
  • Let your toddler explore on their own.
  • Give them time to figure out how things work.
  • Encourage them to think outside the box.

You might be blown away by some of the inventive ways they use the toys or blocks.

stem building toys for toddlers-two young boys engaged in block play with blocks for toddlers
Engagement is the name of the game!


Free play led by the child without adult intervention should be encouraged. This is the time to refrain from adult instruction but instead let them investigate and experiment through trial and error.

They need to build something, take it apart, and reconstruct it in new and different ways. However, it is still meaningful for you to be an active participant in their play.

Interesting and Fun

Most importantly, let’s not forget the fun element! You can stock the toy shelves with all the “right” toys, but there is no advantage if your toddler won’t play with them. Provide a few simple options, and then follow your toddler’s lead.

If they continually go for the magnetic blocks, which encourage basic engineering skills, expand their block play area with various magnetic building blocks for toddlers.

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Best STEM Toys For Toddlers

Discovery Building Sets recommends a variety of STEM toys for 2-year-olds.

  • STEM building blocks that allow toddlers to assemble things.
  • STEM building sets for hands-on 3D manipulation, which positively impacts brain development.

Explore some of the best STEM toys for toddlers:

Magnetic STEM Toys

With their colorful shapes and easy-to-grip magnetic pieces, these STEM building toys are perfect for architects as young as 18 months old. What’s more, they reinforce matching, patterning, nesting, balancing, and stacking skills.

STEM learning toys for toddlers are ideal for engaging your child in magnetic play. These magnetic toys for toddlers also encourage the exploration of basic engineering, geometry, and 3-D building.

toddler girls playing with magnetic STEM toys for toddlers smartmax, grippies stackers and curves

Magnetic Blocks For Toddlers – Grippies® Builders

Magnetic blocks for toddlers are one of the first sets of STEM toys for toddlers. The award-winning STEM Toys, Grippies® Builders, provide an early introduction to magnetic exploration, engineering skills, and organic construction. Furthermore, these open-ended STEM building sets for toddlers allow creative 2-D and 3-D building.

Magnetic Building Blocks – Magicube™

Magnetic building blocks, Magicube™, are an open-ended STEM magnetic construction toy. They offer an inventive way to help your toddler explore science, magnetism, and engineering while developing their creativity.

Magnetic Building Toys – Smartmax

Smartmax magnetic building toys allow toddlers to safely investigate the scientific world of magnetism, including attraction and repulsion. With their oversized pieces, toddlers can easily engineer amazing structures.

Wooden STEM Toys

Wooden blocks for toddlers are a well-loved household favorite. Our high-quality hardwood blocks come in a variety of enriching and unique sets. These wooden building blocks are versatile and an essential component of block play, providing open-ended play experiences.

toddlers playing with wooden stem toys including wooden unit blocks, wooden square magnification blocks and wooden mirror unit blocks.

Wooden Toy Blocks – Unit Blocks

Wooden toy blocks, also known as unit blocks, are constructed to a basic unit block measurement of 1.4″ x 2.8″ x 5.5.” Wooden blocks stimulate open-ended quality block play and encourage young architects to create bridges, buildings, and entire utopias.

Also, block play exposes your toddler to spatial awareness, early engineering, creative problem-solving, and basic math concepts.

Wooden Square Blocks – Magnification Blocks

Wooden square blocks with their cool magnification windows are perfect for getting your toddler up close and personal with science and nature. Unlike traditional magnifying glasses, our unbreakable blocks are ideal for on-the-go exploration and outside activities.

These science toys for toddlers enhance STEM-based activities, such as nature activities with materials found outdoors.

Wooden Play Blocks – Mirror Blocks

Wooden play blocks are ideal for indoor and outdoor STEM activities. Constructed of hardwood frames with an unbreakable Mylar inset window, wooden building blocks are the perfect addition to your block center.

Sized to the standard unit block measurements, they incorporate science and math concepts into your toddler’s play experience.

STEM Building Toys

Blocks for toddlers are colorful, durable, and come in various shapes and sizes. Their open-ended nature encourages building and exploratory play concepts. STEM building blocks are a terrific way for small hands to begin discovering the joy of building.

stem building toys for toddlers colorful plus plus single shaped blocks piled up in a bin with a toddlers hand scooping them

Building Blocks For Toddlers

Building blocks for toddlers are classic large snap-together blocks with unlimited possibilities. Toddlers, through trial and error, learn to visualize, manipulate, and build creative structures. As introductory engineering toys for toddlers, they also develop fine motor skills and creativity.

It is essential to remember that while there is a time and place for following the instructions, this is not it. To really grasp the creative boosting powers, encourage your child to “free-build” their own inventions.

Building Toys for Toddlers

Our building toys for toddlers, Plus-Plus® BIG, are a new and unique set of construction toys. Their open-ended possibilities are perfect for introducing your toddler to STEM-based building.

With its colorful, one simple shape, this toy construction set encourages a complete STEM building experience for your toddler. Each toy block easily connects, creating flat mosaics or imaginative 3-D builds and designs.

Stacking Blocks for Toddlers

Our stacking blocks for toddlers, Bristle Blocks®, feature soft, interlocking bristles that easily stick together at any angle for frustration-free building. They offer endless possibilities for STEM-based building and hours of creative and imaginative play.

STEM Toys and Block Play

Blocks are the perfect STEM toy and block play is the ideal introduction to STEM activities. They grow with your child through all the developmental stages.

Not to mention block play supports social developmentlanguage development, coordination, fine and gross motor development, and cognitive development, like math and science.

Children love to challenge themselves, and there are always fun and exciting block activities to do. Consider a big basket of wooden building blocks or magnetic blocks for toddlers as an invitation to open-ended play.

This might very well be why these building and connecting toys continue to perform and rank well for promoting creativity, social interaction, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Qualities like flexibility and simplicity are what make STEM-based toys effective at promoting STEM skills.

So, how do we inspire and develop skills like creativity, self-confidence, communication, adaptability, and collaboration?

Let them test their limits, interact with others, figure out how things work, discover new things, and work through their problems.

Oh, and you can add in some engaging STEM-building toys for extra measure. 

Just manage your expectations. STEM learning toys do not promise to turn your child into the next Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, or Frank Lloyd Wright.

They do, however, support essential development skills like innovation, creative problem-solving, spatial awareness, teamwork, and free-thinking, all of which are important for your toddler’s growth.

wooden building blocks for kids-mother and daughter playing with wooden toy blocks

STEM toys for toddlers are a unique way to spend quality time together, playing and building. Like pioneers, our young children discover their world through exploration.

Let’s invite them into a world of discovery with a set of wooden blocks for toddlers.