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What Makes a Good STEM/STEAM Toy?

According to a new study, “STEM/STEAMFormula for Success,” released today by The Toy Association, great STEM/STEAM toys encourage open-ended play and trial-and-error exploration, teach problem-solving, and allow children to lead the play experience, among other attributes.

The report provides:

  • 14 unifying characteristics of STEM/STEAM toys, based on in-depth interviews with toy experts;
  • Insights from a survey of 2,000 parents who shared their perspectives on STEM/STEAM careers and toys as they relate to their children;
  • Examples of enriching STEM/STEAM toys garnered from input from more than 100 Toy Association member companies; and
  • A worksheet that can be used as a framework when evaluating toys and games.  

“STEM/STEAM Formula for Success” complements The Toy Association’s previous report, “Decoding STEM/STEAM,“ completed in 2018. The first study shed light on the meaning of and history of STEM/STEAM education, highlighted challenges, stigmas, and myths related to STEM/STEAM learning, and defined the role of toys in STEAM/STEAM education.

The full reports are available at ToyAssociation.org/ReadingRoom