What's the latest craze in kid products? Toys that teach (yep, that's right! Cue the Hallelujahs!). Even better? They're all centered on science, technology, engineering, and math, also known as STEM. Here are five of my favorites.
Snap Circuits, introduced in 2000, are classics. Since they were in elementary school, my boys have loved putting the pieces together to make all sorts of gadgets, including buzzers and fans. (Starts at $19.95, snapcircuits.net)
I absolutely adore the picture book Mesmerized. Author Mara Rockliff weaves a rollicking true tale of how Benjamin Franklin schooled the French in the scientific method. It's the perfect way to teach the concept to kids (and, um, some adults we know). ($17.99, amazon.com)
Do your kids want to make their own video games? Download the free iOS app Hopscotch. They can drag and drop blocks of code to make mini-games to share with their friends.
Teach little kids about the elements with the free iOS app Marco Polo Weather. Tester favorite features include adjusting the wind speed to high! (And yes, the tester was me!)
Ellen Harter Wall is the product editor of FamilyFun and the always-up-for-an-experiment mom of three boys. She loved mixing chemicals in her high school chemistry class—especially if the result was a large BOOM!—and sometimes wishes she had become a volcanologist.