If you are wondering whether STEM toys are worth buying, you are at the right place.
Although these toys come with plenty of benefits, there are some disadvantages to STEM toys as well.
I hope this guide will help you make a more informed choice.
Here are some of the disadvantages of STEM toys
What are the disadvantages of STEM toys?
These aren’t the only toys for teaching STEM concepts
It’s not only STEM toys that are educational. Even basic toys like stacking cups can help kids learn about basic STEM concepts.
Not all toys need bells and whistles to be engaging and aid learning.
They can be one-dimensional
STEM toys are too narrowly-focussed. They are built to teach a particular concept. There is not much room for open-ended, imaginative play with STEM toys. Physical toys, on the other hand, offer plenty of opportunities for open-ended play, which enable more learning and exploration.
When a child uses their imagination, without directions, they advance far quicker than any STEM toy.
Research is still out on whether STEM toys help teach STEM concepts
STEM toy brands promote STEM toys as helping to make learning the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
But there is little to no evidence to suggest that these toys actually help children in teaching about those fields.
There’s little evidence that the toy can teach a child anything about STEM subjects.
You will have to do the research to find if the STEM toy you are buying is really worth it and can be educationally beneficial.
These toys are expensive
STEM toys come at a premium price because manufacturers charge more for expertise.
Many of these toys are enabled by apps, use Artificial Intelligence or are integrated into the cloud or the internet.
All this cutting-edge technology in toys will come at a steeper price.
A set of basic wooden blocks or puzzles can be just as engaging and filled with learning as a more expensive STEM toy.
They require more maintenance
You must also charge STEM toys and change the batteries often. They require a lot more maintenance than other types of toys.
The toys are more about careers than playing or learning
According to a study, 76% of parents wanted their children to take up a field in STEM.
This means they wanted their child to become an engineer, doctor, scientist or web developer.
9 out of 10 parents wanted their kids to incorporate STEM skills from an early age.
Children need more toys that are fun.
The learning they get out of it is a value addition.
STEM toys are more about career development than fun, learning and exploration.
Toys geared towards pure fun and simple, imaginative, open-ended play are more suitable for kids.
Before buying STEM toys, you must ensure the following.
The STEM toy should be:
- Interesting, engaging and fun
STEM toys for toddlers
STEM toys for toddlers focus on teaching kids numerical concepts like counting, constructing and building creative skills.
These are some of the best STEM toys for toddlers:
- Building and construction toys
- Interlocking bricks
STEM toys for kids
STEM toys for preschoolers and kids are a little more advanced and interactive.
Some of the best toys for kids include:
- Science kits
- Coding toys and robots
- Magnetic tiles
STEM toy companies capitalize on parental anxiety that their kids could lag behind if they don’t give them that type of toys early on.
But the truth is, there is so much technology in our lives that children don’t really require STEM toys to be technologically sound.
Simple open-ended, outdoor free play or play with physical toys such as wooden toys can keep the child engaged and enhance their creative and cognitive skills.
The STEM toys can be add-ons but should not be the only toys children play with.