Sam Giltrow puts the STEM and Educational toys category under the microscope to examine why it has become so successful.
You only have to look at the incredible first images recently captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope showing hundreds of billions of stars, to realise there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Children can be helped to embark on their scientific discoveries from an early age with a huge variety of STEM-based toys that allow them to explore the whats, the wheres and the whys of our universe.
‘Learning by stealth’ is how Paul Fogarty at Clementoni describes STEM toys, which are seeing a huge surge in popularity, particularly since the pandemic. Clementoni has grown its STEM category significantly and is about to launch a NASA Floating Shuttle in its popular Science & Play Build range.
Debra Tiffany from Brainstorm, believes consumers are reappraising STEM products, once seen as a bit worthy. “They now see the real play value in these products and how much benefit children get from them,” she explains. “We want kids to be entertained and learn at the same time.”
At Bandai UK, tried and tested brands continue to drive the STEM category, such as Sea Monkeys, first launched in 1957. The brand has additional kidult and retro appeal, while the National Geographic Range, which has been in existence since 1888, also remains popular. Nic Aldridge adds: “There is definitely a continued upswing in STEM and educational toys; since the pandemic, parents have come to appreciate products that often extensive play value, with the added benefit of learning through the play activities.”
Kids can also learn about the planet and the rest of the universe with the award-winning Science Mad! range from Trends UK, which has working features including telescopes, microscopes, digital metal detector, walkie talkies and more, all designed to inspire future generations to develop their knowledge of, and interest in, science further.
These are just a few of the vast array of lines offered by these and other manufacturers prominent in the STEM category. To find out more, read the full feature, which appeared in our August edition here.