School might be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. With tons of new STEAM toys on the market your little engineers, artists and scientists can explore and grow outside the classroom. These toys and kits are so awesome, kids won’t even realize they’re learning because they’ll be so busy having fun. Scroll down to see them all.

Botley the Coding Robot

Coding doesn’t have to feel complex with this adorable little robot as your guide. Botley introduces kids as young as five to the basics of programming without any need for screens. Using a simple remote, Botley can be coded for up to 120 steps, following a path along tiles, or grabbing small objects with removable arms. The best part is, Botley is ready to go right out of the box so you won’t lose your kids' interest as they wait around for you to set things up.

Ages: 5 & up.

Available on amazon.com, $59.61.

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GraviTrax

This awesome kit takes the traditional marble run to a whole new level. Using 122 pieces, young innovators can design and construct a futuristic-looking race track. They’ll learn about gravity and spatial reasoning as they figure out how to build the best track for the speediest race. Although the finished look is high-tech, the pieces are easy to manipulate, and kids will have no problem getting a track up and running quickly. With endless constructing possibilities, the kit will remain challenging and fun for years to come.

Ages: 8 & up.

Available at amazon.com, $ 59.99.

1-2-3 Build It Rocket Train Helicopter

Engineering in its most basic terms is about designing and building. That’s exactly what your tiny tinkerers will be doing with this set of large plastic pieces that can be combined in various ways to build three different vehicles. It even comes with a play wrench to help kids put the pieces together.

Ages: 2 & up.

Available on amazon.com, $19.99.

photo: 3Doodler

3Doodler Create+

The 3D printing device that took the STEAM world by storm has just released a new generation of its printing pens. The new 3Doodler Create+ features the first dual-drive system of its kind making the pen easier to use with a wider range of plastics and less jamming. Besides the ease of use, the new pen also comes with a much more wallet-friendly price, at $20 less than the previous model.

Ages: 14 & up.

Available on amazon.com, $79.99.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Star Wars Science Metal Detector Jakku Scavenger Metal Detector

Get your Jedi training in right alongside a science lesson in magnetism with this real working metal detector. Designed to resemble a tool Rey might use while scavenging for metal on Jakku, this metal detector lights up and makes authentic Star Wars sound effects when it discovers something metal. It also comes with scavenger targets that can be filled with coins or small metal objects in case your backyard doesn’t contain any actual buried treasure.

Ages: 8 & up

Available on amazon.com, $28.48.

littleBits Hall of Fame Kits

These new STEAM inventor sets from the makers of the popular Droid Inventor Kit help curious young minds grow as they use the bits, mounting boards, batteries and cables to create two different inventions, like a nightlight or an arcade game. Step-by-step, clear to follow instructions make these kits easy to use, but they are also customizable and can even be used all together to create a bigger project ensuring that they are challenging even for more advanced engineers.

Ages: 8 & up.

Available at littlebits.com, $39.99.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Helix Hyper Balls

Getting kids to slow down for a STEAM lesson can sometimes be challenging, but not all science experiments have to be conducted at a table. For something a little more outside-the-box that keeps kids moving while they learn, check out the new Helix Hyper Ball. Kids will get a physics primer in velocity as they learn how to maneuver this toy. Just make sure you have plenty of space because this ball can really fly.

Ages: 4 & up.

Available at toyologytoys.com, $9.99.

Plus-Plus BIG

The Innovating and play are endless with Plus-Plus building sets. Now the Danish toymaker is inviting kids as young as 18 months to get hooked on its addictive, open-ended 3D building sets. The new Plus-Plus BIG collection features larger versions of its iconic plus-shaped pieces allowing smaller hands to manipulate and build more easily. The pieces are also large enough not to be a choking hazard, but they are made BPA-and phthalate-free in case they still end up in mouths.

Ages: 18 months & up.

Available at plus-plus.com, $19.99.

photo: Trix Trux

Trix Trux Obstacle Course

Vehicle lovers won’t be able to get enough of this kit that lets kids design and build an obstacle course for monster trucks. Using 17 feet of flexible snap and fit tracks, ramps and even a zip line, kids will learn about gravity and engineering as they work to create a unique obstacle course for the four-wheel truck included with the set.

Ages: 3 & up.

Available on trixtrux.com, $19.99.

photo: Crayola

Crayola Building Blocks Daniel Tiger’s Trolley Construction Set

This building block set encourages young builders to think and play creatively. Daniel Tiger fans will love piecing together the large plastic blocks to build a trolley and decorate it with stickers and a color sheet wrap. Once they’ve built the trolley, the set lends itself to more open-ended creative play that also hones fine motor skills thanks to the characters included.

Ages: 3 & up.

Available at walmart.com, $19.97.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Stik-bot DINO

Future filmmakers can hone their movie-making skills while exploring digital stop-motion animation with Stik-bots. These simple kits come with poseable figures that can be manipulated against a backdrop. Download the free Stik-bot app that makes it easy for kids to create a short movie by snapping a series of pics for each pose. The latest series, Stik-bot DINO features a collection of colorful dinosaurs so your dino-lovers can make their own movie after they get inspired by this summer’s Jurassic Park installment.

Ages: 4 & up.

Available on amazon.com, starting at $8.

photo: Insect Lore

World of Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar Butterfly Kit

Raising your own butterflies is a great way to give kids of all ages a hands-on lesson in life sciences. The caterpillars eat and grow, and the butterflies hatch from their chrysalis—every moment is exciting to watch and discover. This collab kit between the World of Eric Carle and Insect Lore is so perfect, we can’t believe they didn’t think of it until now. For ladybug lovers, there is also The Grouchy Ladybug Growing Kit.

Ages: 4 & up.

Available at insectlore.com, $32.99.

photo: Learning Resources

Beaker Creatures

The Beaker Creatures mix science with the user-popular collectible mystery toy. There are 35 collectibles (from five different families) that arrive from outer space via Reactor Pods. Kids get a super-special Liquid Reactor which will reveal exactly which character has landed: an Astrolyte, Frostonian, Oceanite, Buglette or Minisaur. Your little scientist will identify their new creature with classification cards, facts and amazing experiments, all of which are included. And for the oh-so-rare factor, there’s a limited-edition mystery figure in each series, which encourages kids to experiment and collect more!

Ages: 5 & up.

Available at learningresources.com, starting at $4.99.

Nintendo Labo

Screen time can turn into engineering time with Nintendo Labo. The new add-ons for Nintendo Switch will get kids to think and play creatively with their video games. Using cardboard pieces and basic software, gamers can transform their Switch into gadgets like a robot exoskeleton and motorcycle handlebars. You can then play with the Switch as if it is that cardboard object that has come to life.

Ages: 6 & up.

Available on amazon.com, starting at $69.99.

Smart Sketcher Projector

Encourage young artists to develop their hand-eye coordination and drawing skills with this image projector that lets kids trace projected pictures and will have you feeling nostalgic for those overhead projectors from your own school days. This new smarter version swaps out overhead slides for digital projections. You can even use a free downloadable app to snap pics and then project those images to trace, so kids can learn to draw pretty much anything they see.

Ages: 5 & up.

Available at barnesandnoble.com, $59.99.

Count and Color Choo Choo

Even the greatest mathematicians had to start with learning basic numbers and counting. What better way to start than with a colorful locomotive that not only teaches numbers but also functions as a building toy that explores shapes and spatial recognition. Plastic pieces make for easy cleaning and durability as this train will remain entertaining for your growing toddler.

Ages: 2 & up.

Available at learningresources.com, $24.99.

Smart Lab Shimmering Lip Balm

Mixing science with art results in a fun way to occupy a summer afternoon and end up with cool lip balm to boot. The latest in Smart LAB’s line of STEAM activity kits is as exciting and fun to use as the others, especially for those that love getting creative. The best part is everything you need for the project is inside the box, no extras to run to the store for.

Ages: 8 & up.

Available at amazon.com, $17.14.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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Feature photo courtesy Learning Resources

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase. 

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