All toys are in essence, educational, at least they were intended to be from the start. With the very first toys dating back to as early as 2600 BC, the key role was to introduce children to the world around them, its rules and social norms.
Intellectual toys, also known as smart or IQ toys, are a great alternative to video games and smartphones. All parents have to do is to guide their children away from the technology’s most tempting specimens and smart toys will do the rest. Unlike many modern toys that put entertainment first, intellectual toys give children the sense of achievement that stimulates them to move forward and solve more problems, thus keeping their focus for longer, eventually becoming a perfect reinforcement for their academic success.
Benefits of STEM toys compared to other intellectual toys
Intellectual toys based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), are toys with a scientific twist. STEM toys encourage kids to develop knowledge of these core disciplines through a hands-on learning experience. STEM toys have all the benefits of intellectual toys, such as:
- An ability to help children improve their memory
- Develop problem-solving skills
- See the correlation between cause and effect
- Develop their creative abilities
- Nurture their imagination
At the same time, STEM toys teach students the basic scientific principles that will help them understand these subjects at school and, perhaps, spark their interest in science as their future profession.
STEM toys at school
Teachers, too, are becoming involved in the exciting process of hands-on scientific exploration. Various STEM brands products have been successfully implemented within the school curriculum in various schools across Europe and the United States.
For example, smart wooden 3D puzzles by UGears are eco-friendly mechanical construction kits. Each one demonstrates a key mechanic principle using wooden gears. Some models simply move hands on the table clock, to the more sophisticated transportation devices models that feature miniature copies of steam engines or a V-8 configuration engine with fully-functioning rubber-band motors that get them moving.
The assembly time for the majority of mechanical sets varies from 1-3 hours which makes them a perfect fit for a STEM classroom project, as well as a great way to promote better teamwork and create a friendly and helpful environment in class.
The UGears Mechanical Theater is a smart 3D puzzle set that consists of 70 parts. The set doesn't require any extra tools throughout its assembly and is based on a similar principle to a jigsaw puzzle where every part is joined together with another one by simply being clicked into it.
The UGears theater characters – dragons and witches, castles and treasures, princesses and jesters – are brought to life by rotating gears. It is an exciting set to introduce children to the world of mechanics and a great learning accessory.
Other smart 3D puzzles by UGears for various age groups and subjects, can be found in the official yougears catalog.