Best Science Toys for Toddlers: What’s the Difference?
There are different types of science toys available for children ages from 2 years to 5 years. Some of them are designed with kids in mind while others are meant only for adults. There is no wrong or right answer when it comes to selecting the best toy for your child, but there is something to consider before making a decision.
The first thing to understand is that not all science toys are created equal. While some are intended for children, others might not be suitable for young minds. For example, if you’re looking at buying a robot vacuum cleaner, then you should probably avoid anything made by Roomba Company (R.O.B).
These robots don’t have any safety features and they may cause injury to small children who play with them too much.
Another type of toy that doesn’t necessarily fall into one category is the “toy” itself. A toy could be a physical object like a car or a video game. You might think that playing with a computer would be appropriate for little hands, but it isn’t. Even though these things look similar, they aren’t really the same thing. They’re just two examples of many different kinds of toys out there.
If you’re an adult trying to buy a science toy for a child, you should know that there are plenty of differences between them. The most obvious is that the toys are built differently. This means that you shouldn’t expect to buy something that requires batteries and have it last very long. For example, there are so many different kinds of remote control cars out there that you might not realize that they aren’t all created equal.
Most of the time, you’ll notice that most RC cars are made with plastic parts. While this isn’t bad, it can break easily if it’s dropped from a normal height. Most kids are known to be pretty clumsy sometimes, so you’ll probably want to get something that can survive a few tumbles off a couch or chair. Fortunately, there are some RC cars that are made with die-cast metal parts and some even have foam bumpers for added protection.
If you’re really serious about buying a science toy, then you should probably buy something made for kids in general. While it is true that some toys are specifically designed to be educational (we’ll get to those later), most are made to be fun for the child. For example, LEGOs are great for developing problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination, but they are also fun to make silly creations with. It all really depends on the parent as to what is going to be best for their child.
The other thing to consider is how much of a science buff you are. If you really want a child to learn something from their toy, then you should get them a toy that is completely educational. These toys usually have an adult as the target audience instead of a child. An example of this would be a microscope. You could buy your child a toy microscope so that they can look at little creatures too small to see with the naked eye.
The only problem with these types of toys is that they are usually not very fun for kids. Not to mention, some of these things can get really expensive really fast. Thankfully, some of these toys can be used for years as a child grows up. For example, instead of buying a microscope, you could buy your child’s favorite science magazine or get them a membership to an online science magazine. This way they can find out about everything they want to know about science without having to spend a lot of money.
The trick about gift-giving in general is that you have to keep the person’s interests in mind. Of course, this is the most important factor when it comes to buying a science toy. Even if you can afford it, you’re not going to buy your child something that they aren’t going to enjoy. That being said, if your child likes spending time with you and you have the money, then go ahead and get them something educational. Chances are, they’ll enjoy it as much as you will.
Ready to Buy?
It can be very difficult to choose the right science toy for your child, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you keep them in mind and you pick something that fits their age, temperament, and interests, then it’s sure to be a hit. Sometimes it’s best not to over think these things and just get your kid the gift they would really enjoy. If you really want to make a science toy buying experience easy, then go to Amazon where you’re sure to find everything you need.
Best Science Toys And Kits On Amazon
1. Thames and Kosmos Biology Genetics and DNA Kit
About: Have fun while learning about the science of heredity! This kit comes complete with plant and animal cells, double helix models, a packet of yeast, a forensics science kit, and more! The perfect gift for anyone who wants to learn about the subject without having to do all of the reading in a textbook.
2. Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
About: This is one of the best science toys for kids who are just starting to get into the subject. It comes with a test tube, lens, compass, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff that they are sure to love. The best part is it will teach them about basic science concepts while keeping them entertained.
3. Munchkin Labs Dinosaur Ovals and Climate Change Island
About: This toy is a great way to get your child interested in the sciences. It uses two separate models to show how animals adapt to their environment over thousands of years (the oval shape of the animals) while also showing how humans have been directly affecting the environment through carbon emissions and global warming (the island that the animals live on).
4. National Geographic Be A Geo-Detective Kit
About: Use this kit to learn how to be a real life explorer! With 20 different mystery objects included, you will not be able to stop yourself from finding out answers. This toy is great for children of any age.
5. Thames and Kosmos Air Fighter Launcher
About: Using this air fighter launcher, you can send your little fighter planes towards your opponent to “attack”. Both sides can launch the planes by pulling back on the launchers arm and then watching as the planes fly across the room. It comes complete with 4 planes and everything else you need for hours of fun.
Age: 8+ (Must be able to put together models)
6. Thames and Kosmos Remote Control Machines Kit
About: This kit comes with everything you will need to build 6 different types of remote control machines and learn about the basic concepts of how they work. You can build everything from a car to a helicopter (that even flies) to a boat that actually floats on water!
Age: 8+ (Must be able to follow directions to build)
7. Crayola Color Chemistry Set
About: Imagine being able to turn a plain glass of water into a show stopping display of color. With this kit you can do just that. You can mix different colors of water to make new ones and even create your own custom colors. This is sure to keep kids entertained for hours on end.
Age: 8+ (Do not eat anything that comes out of this kit)
8. 4M Solar System Model Maker
About: If your child is really interested in space, they can create their own model of our solar system. All the pieces snap together easily and form both the sun and all the planets. After it’s built, it looks beautiful sitting on a desk and is definitely something that any teacher or parent will appreciate.
9. Green Toys Speed Boat
About: This is a great way to get your kids into boating. It’s made out of 100% recycled plastic so it will be able to stand up to some serious abuse from your child. It even comes with little life preservers that clip onto your child as they play.
Age: 18 Month+
10. 4M Kidz Labs Chemistry Set
About: This chemistry set is a great way to get your child interested in science. They can mix all the included chemicals to create real working potions, goo, bubbles, and more.
Age: 8+ (Use under adult supervision)
11. National Geographic Freshwater Aquarium
About: If your child loves animals, they are going to love watching the creatures that live inside this tank. This kit comes with everything you will need to set up your own little ecosystem. Everything is very realistic looking and is sure to keep your child occupied for hours.
Age: 8+ (Requires adult assembly)
12. 4M Tin Can Robot
About: This robot kit transforms an ordinary tin can into a robot that actually works! Your child can follow the directions or create their own design like a spider or even a monster. This toy will keep their creative juices flowing for hours.
Age: 8+ (Requires adult supervision)
13. Hydrospace Sub Aquatic Rover
About: If your child loves to explore the deep depths of the ocean, they will adore this remote control rover. It can be driven both underwater and on land. It dives extremely well and even has an adjustable camera at the bottom so your child can get the perfect view of what is going on underwater.
Age: 7+ (Requires 1 AA Battery)
Educational Toys & Gifts Index
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Sources & references used in this article:
Engineering the entrepreneurial infant: Brain science, infant development toys, and governmentality by MH Nadesan – Cultural studies, 2002 – Taylor & Francis
Science interest and confidence among preservice elementary teachers by OS Jarrett – Journal of Elementary Science Education, 1999 – Springer
Brains in a box: Do new age toys deliver on the promise by K Hirsh-Pasek, RM Golinkoff – Child Development in a Changing Society …, 2008 – Citeseer