Best STEM toys ages 3 to 5
My First Lego Set
by GreatSchools staff
Created for young learners, 2011 Golden Apple Awards winners masterfully lay a (fun) foundation for science, math, and technology.
Appeals to ages 3-7
What it teaches: building, constructing, following instructions, small-motor skills
Legos are timeless and you'd be hard-pressed to find a kid who’s not interested in playing with them. This particular set is a perfect gateway set for younger children who might be overwhelmed by a larger, more complex one (with even more than the 200+ parts in this one).
Our youngest tester needed pretty constant adult guidance as she strove to build a village, but luckily this toy comes with instructions for quick-gratification constructions like two-pieces flowers and a five-piece cat. When they feel ready, pint-sized builders can progress to more complex construction projects, such as the house and windmill. Finally, when they really get the hang of it, free-form building ensues — and this wondrous motor-skill-and-imagination combo can captivate even wee ones for up to 30 minutes.
Bottom line: The Danish toy company’s name says it all: “Lego” is based on the Danish phrase meaning “play well.”