What is a STEM Toy? What is a STEM Bin? You may have seen me post about these on my Instagram page, or you may have seen them on Pinterest. You may be wondering, what is the hype about STEM? Read below to find out why STEM activities are awesome, not only in the classroom, but also at home!
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
What is a STEM Toy or a STEM Bin?
You may be wondering, what is the difference between a STEM toy and a STEM bin. The answer is, not much.
Teachers generally call plastic containers filled with STEM manipulatives/toys, STEM Bins. These classroom bins often include task cards and building challenges for students.
STEM toys are basically the same exact thing. You probably already have some amazing STEM toys at home. The main difference is your STEM toys are probably not in plastic containers with directed task cards for your child.
What are the benefits of STEM Toys/Bins?
- Enhance creativity
- Develop hand-eye coordination
- Require fine motor skills
- Promote spatial skills
- Encourage exploration
- Require problem solving
- Encourage designing and building
- Develop life skills such as: perseverance, discipline, and resourcefulness
- Promote social skills including: collaboration and communication
Ways to use STEM Toys/Bins in the classroom
- Morning Work
- Early Finishers
Ways to use STEM Toys/Bins at home
- Free Time
- Brain Breaks (except they’re actually still learning)
My Top Choices for Elementary STEM Toys/Bins
STEM toys are FUN but also have so many educational benefits! STEM toys are a great alternative to screen time. Which STEM toy pictured above would your children enjoy the most?