This week, Amazon launched a storefront dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) toys and games, because the online retail giant is determined to help raise the math and science test scores of the nation’s kids one drunk purchase at a time. To save you the trouble of sifting through the store’s entire inventory, here are a few choice picks for preschoolers and kids between 5 and 7 years old.
If you thought preschool was too early to get your kid counting and experimenting, you’re apparently not paying attention to the Common Core curriculum. Since they pretty much need to understand physics to pass kindergarten these days, get them started early. Tiggly is a tablet-enabled numbers game that racked up a gang of awards last year and the Lauri Tall-Stacker Number Express combines counting with tactile building play. The Learning Resources Primary Science kit encourages them to get empirical with their barely-there motor skills, and the DuneCraft Terrarium will ensure they won’t get too smart to enjoy playing with dirt. (That your kitchen needs fresh basil is an added bonus.)
5 – 7
At this point, it’s time to start actually learning, building and doing — and this group of toys covers all the bases. The Deluxe Roominate was Time‘s Toy of the Year, because playing with dolls is a lot more interesting when you design, build and wire the dollhouse with working lights and elevators. ThinkFun Math Dice Jr. turns math into a game with a simple dice set, and is much more age-appropriate than a playdate at the craps table. The Thames & Kosmos Little Labs Stepping into Science kit contains 25 experiments to enthrall your young Dr. Frankenstein, and the 4M Trash Robot Kit makes it acceptable for your kid to play with the garbage (having graduated from dirt).