Shortlist: STEM toys

You probably know the term STEM; it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In this shortlist we show you the coolest STEM toys. Focused on children, but of course also great fun for adults!

Canoe PC

price: € 299,99

You may know Kano from the Computer Kit, a Raspberry Pi-based computer. Kano also offers a PC kit, a real tablet with Windows 10 in S-mode, battery and speaker. The manual explains step by step how certain parts work. The software for learning to program is already installed on Kano PC, so you can start right away. Kano PC has a touchscreen of 11.6 inches, a removable battery, an Intel Celeron N4000 Dual Core 1.10 GHz CPU and 4 GB internal memory. Kano has many more great computers and programming kits in its range.

Botley The Coding Robot Activity Set

price: € 99.00

A robot that you can program and that does not require a display, tablet or smartphone? That sounds interesting. Botley The Coding Robot Activity Set supplies you with 40 so-called coding cards: cardboard cards that you put one after the other to make a sequence. You can then program this sequence in the robot using the remote control. Botley is aimed at children from the age of five and runs on 3 AAA batteries, the remote control also requires two AAA batteries.

Thinkfun Code Master

price: € 31.00

If you like to play board games and learn something about programming at the same time, Code Master is a must. The game has won several prizes and is available for a few bucks. No computer is involved; you must help your avatar to crystals through logical commands and assignments. The game is suitable for children from the age of eight, but adults can also rack their brains with the problems and assignments in the game.

Sphero Bolt

price: € 169.00

The name already gives it away, this Sphero robot is actually a ball. The ball contains motors, sensors and a printed circuit board. Use the Sphero app on your smartphone or tablet to program the robot ball wirelessly. Bolt has both a gyroscope and an acceleration sensor, an 8 x 8 matrix of LEDs which you can program. In addition, Bolt has a compass and a light sensor on board. The ball can also roll very quickly, with a maximum speed of no less than 2 meters per second.

Kano The Force Coding Kit

price: € 34.99

Fans of Star Wars pay attention: you must have this kit from Kano! Connect the so-called code block to a tablet, smartphone or laptop, and you can program short Star Wars scenes using blocks of code. For example, operate a lightsaber by moving your hand over the code block or let R2D2 speak through a program you have made. The Force Coding Kit is not only great fun for children; all Star Wars fans can enjoy this.

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

price: € 159.99

Youngsters can build and program with the LEGO Boost toolbox. You build robots and machines with the LEGO bricks found in the set and program movements and functions via the app that you install on your Android or iOS device. There are building instructions for five models in the app, but of course it is all about building your own creations afterwards.

Nintendo Labo Robot Package

price; € 39.95

Nintendo Labo is an add-on system for your Nintendo Switch. Several packs are available to turn your Switch controller into a car, robot, or piano. Each package contains colored cardboard base plates and accessories that you assemble and into which you can insert the Switch or the controllers. With the robot package you make a large backpack where ropes come out for the controllers. Other packages from Nintendo Labo are the vehicle package, the mix package and the vr package.

Solar Robot Insect

price: € 4.99

The Solar Robot is a plastic construction package consisting of 16 parts, including a solar cell. This is located on top of the robot and if you put the Solar Robot in the sun after making it, it will start moving by itself. The robot is suitable for children from the age of eight and many more small toy experiments are available from the same manufacturer. The robot is yellow and turquoise and would not look out of place in the garden. Best of all, the Solar Robot only costs five euros!

MOREbot Starter Kit

price: $ 149.00 plus shipping

With the MOREbot Starter Kit you make your own robot and learn through clear tutorials how programming a robot works, what the basics are of 3D printing and what the function of the various electronic components is. The robot runs on an Arduino Uno, which is included in the kit. With the bluetooth module you can control the robot and the MOREbot also has an ultrasonic sensor on board. You will find many more great kits and projects on the Make website.

Engino Mechanics Levers & Linkages

price: € 39.90

If you are familiar with technical LEGO then this is for you. The parts in this set from Engino are very similar to LEGO Technic, but are slightly different. In the 3d instructions that you can access on your smartphone or tablet, you will find 16 interesting mechanical constructions, from levers to grippers and catapults. By building the structures, you gain a better understanding of how mechanical parts work.

Vertex K8200 3D printer

price: € 449.00

Printing your own parts in 3d is of course great fun, but if you can also assemble that 3d printer yourself, then it is a double party. The Vertex printer has a clear construction manual and is also available online in Dutch. Make sure you have the right tools at home; you need at least a soldering iron. The K8200 can be adapted to your wishes and can even be transformed into a CNC machine.

Elenco AutoScan FM Radio Soldering Kit

price: $ 14.39 plus shipping

If you want to learn how to solder, it is useful to start with a few good and simple soldering projects. This radio is fun and above all useful, as it can automatically search for radio stations on the FM band. The kit is quite simple and you have enough space on the PCB to properly solder all components. The parts are clearly classified and the instructions are clear.

4M KidzLabs Science Magic

price: € 22.49

The KidzLabs voting packages are a lot of fun and educational. This box contains 12 small experiments that you can perform with your children in the form of a magic show. The package is aimed at children between eight and twelve years old and the manual is available in Dutch. Other sets from KidzLabs include the Solar System kit, the KidzRobotix robot package and the Salt-Powered Robot that is powered by salt water.

Thames & Kosmos Physics Pro

price: € 87.95

A huge set with all kinds of different experiments that you can make and run. In the box you will find 212 parts with which you can do 17 experiments. Most of the experiments concern the combination of water and air. You will investigate how air and water behave in different circumstances, and by building the models from the manual, you will discover, for example, why ships float and planes stay in the air.

Buki Human Body

price: € 27.90

Have you always wanted to know how the human body works? This set by Buki is aimed at children from the age of eight and makes clear through small experiments what exactly your kidneys do, what DNA is and what your teeth consist of. A 32-page booklet guides you through all 12 experiments. Buki has more experimental sets about, for example, water, chemistry and light.

Engino STEM Heroes – Greenhouse

price: € 79.99

If you want to teach your children how to grow plants yourself, this greenhouse is a nice option. You must first assemble the greenhouse yourself using the 3d manual that is available for Android and iOS. You will also find pots and a syringe to water your plants in the box, but you will have to get the seeds and soil yourself at the hardware store. Engino also has more fun inventor sets, including a robotics and a space set.

Sphero Specdrums

price: € 119.95

With these two rings you make music with everything you touch. All you need is a smartphone or tablet on which you can install the MIX app. The Specdrums connect to your mobile device via bluetooth. The rings scan the color of the object you tap, and the app then converts it into a sound. The app allows you to create complete compositions in this way. This set consists of two rings, individual rings are also available for half the price.

Electro Dough Story Kit

price: € 24.99

Clays and electronics? That seems like an ideal combination to us. The Electro Dough Story Kit allows children and young adults to create stories using clay. In addition to a lot of clay, the box also contains LED lights and three-dimensional cardboard boxes to unfold. The accompanying batteries are neatly included. More kits from the same series are available on the Tech Will Save Us website, all very reasonably priced.

Korg NTS-1 Digital

price: € 111.00

This is not a toy, but a real synthesizer of the famous Korg brand which you need to assemble. You don’t need a soldering iron, you just click the parts together. Nice is that you can program the chip of the synthesizer; several examples can be found on the Korg website. You can play notes with the built-in keyboard and the synthesizer even has effects on board. The price is very reasonable given the many possibilities the device offers


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