How Robotic Toys teach Kids STEM Skills?
As most parents know, STEM skills play important role in child development, in particular, help kids establish critical thinking, develop logical thinking and skills of problem-solving. In order to cover as many STEM elements as they could in their products, most educational toy companies invest a lot and put most of their effort into product development.
To inspire kids to learn fast and effective, some parents would like to spend on buying STEM robotic toys because they expect that their little kids can learn basic coding, engineering, and programming skills by return. And it helps kids to learn smart in the long run.
Although STEM skills teaching is the universal trend and toy robotics is widely adopted to foster little engineers, do you really understand what STEM exactly for? Here we would like to share more with you how to teach kids STEM skills by robotic toys.
If you are interested in reading more about the development of Robot Toys, please read here.
What is STEM Skills?
There is a general definition of STEM. It means “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”. STEM, with no doubt, is one of the important focuses that schools are now covering in the current curriculum. Apart from science theories learning, it also encourages kids to do experiments themselves for real-life applications. The experiment process allows kids to plan, implement and seek a better solution in order to get the missions accomplished. The said process is generally called the STEM Engineering Process.
About STEM Engineering Process
The Process is critical in STEM learning. It allows kids to
- find out the truth
- look for solutions
- solve daily problems and…
- eventually, help kids develop critical thinking
In short, here is the core and simple process of how the STEM Engineering process works. Kids will be inspired to learn STEM during the time of playing robotic toys.
- ASK – Define the problem
- IMAGINE – Brainstorm solutions
- PLAN – Consider how to solve the problem
- CREATE – Construct your solution
- TEST – Try and work out what you thought
- IMPROVE – Make your solution better
STEM skills offer kids the ability to problem-solving. Kids will be able to use knowledge of science and engineering to achieve goals or solve problems in a cost-effective way. Furthermore, little engineers can even design and invent something that can make the world better. Therefore, don’t underestimate the power of STEM skills. Now, it’s about time to show you how the STEM skills that kids can learn through playing robotic toys.
STEM Skills to Learn from Robotic Toys
First of all, problem-solving skill is highly practical to solve daily problems with no doubt. It is one of the major skills that kids should acquire. Playing robotic toys could offer kids give some challenges to overcome. In general, robotic toys could provide missions to clear or tasks to complete. What’s kids need to do is understanding the rules, following the guidance and reasonably get the problems solved.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Twist sets a very good example from this perspective. The toy includes 1 motorized head and 5 permanently attached segments. Every segment performs various commands such as turn left / right, go straight, etc. Kids need to use preset commands to lead Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Twist to the destination. As a matter of fact, It is not an easy task for the toddlers. However, it is a very interesting activity for preschoolers to experience what ‘problem-solving’ is.
Robot Toys also encourage kids to think “out-of-the-box” to solve problems and even invents something totally new. For example, Robo Wunderkind Robotic Kit, one of the popular robot toys which are widely adopted by more than 200 schools and thousands of homes for STEM learning. The kit provides different functional cubes. They allow players to design, build and even create some interesting objects which are not introduced in the user manual.
For STEM robot beginners, kids can follow the instruction, use the cubes to create flashlight, lighthouse, robot car, and even mace explorer, etc. For advanced robot toy builders, they can even use compatible LEGO bricks to build animals, robot shooter and even more you can or you cannot imagine. Therefore, kids can unleash their creativity and have fun with robot toys.
Read our detailed review of Robo Wunderkind Robotic Kit
It means teamwork. Sometimes, kids might find trouble to complete tasks alone and it also happens while building robot toys. STEM robots offer opportunities for kids to face big challenges and overcome obstacles with fellow kids and parents.
Just like playing Happkid Cybotronix Take-A-Part Robot, it is not easy for kids to transform the truck into a giant robot. Nevertheless, it is a good training process for kids to learn how to work with others as a team and accomplish missions together.
Math & Science Skills
Mathematics and science skills are also the basis of STEM that kids should learn. It helps kids know most problems could be solved and explained by science knowledge. Additionally, they are closely related to the real world. 4M, one of the best science STEM toy manufacturers, is presenting diverse toys for learning science in an interesting mean. It inspires kids to take preliminary science courses in funny learning environment.
- how recycled tin can could be used to make cable cars
- how to use solar power to operate a robo car
4M makes lots of great products to show how learning science could be interesting.
When it comes to solving STEM problems, engineering skill is crucial. Little engineers need to observe the situation, brainstorm the ideas, undergo a lot of tests, learn from errors, eventually find out the best solution. Kids can learn logical thinking through the whole “STEM engineering Process” by playing robotic toys. Some of the robot toys offer ‘platforms’ for users to test and learn. For example, UBTECH Iron Man MK50 Robot, Wonder Workshop Dash Interactive Robot as well as LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit also provide a collaborative environment for kids to learn block-based coding. Kids just need to download the app provided and hen they can play around and instruct their own robot toys to perform a series of new moves by using the mobile device. It is amazing and makes code learning fun and easy.
Last but not least, STEM Skills can help develop critical thinking. Kids need to process data and analyze information and apply what they think to prove their ideas are practical to implement. For sure, it is a good practice to train up the kids and let them become independent and able to solve problems themselves with limited assistance.
If you are interested in knowing some great robot toys for STEM, please read our recent article: 5 Best STEM Robotic Toys For Toddlers 2019. If your kids are advanced in robotic toys, you might be interested in reading our reviews on specific products.
How can you find STEM Robotic Toys?
Undoubtedly, the easiest way is making your purchase in the STEM toy shops close to you. Apart from this, you also can conduct research online and place your order in Amazon. You will see the STEM products are sorted in age, popularity, features and even product nature. Consumers can easily compare the product features offered by different brands and select the most appropriate robot pals for the kids.
What more, you could also do it yourself (DIY) as a kind of parenting education. It would be fun to get STEM robot materials ready with kids and DIY the robot toys together. Need some advice or interested in getting some fresh ideas? You would be happy to get inspired and get some free resources on our Pinterest page.
Learning STEM skills by playing robot toys is very interesting. You will be happy to see your little kids acquire new skills through the game playing activities. If you would like to share any feedback with us, feel free to leave a message to us.