STEAM and STEM Gift Ideas for 2 Year Olds
STEM gift ideas are perfect for toddlers, because each of these gifts and toys encourages them to use their imaginative, creativity and problem solving!
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What is STEAM & STEM?
In case you’re unfamiliar with the education world, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Basically, they’re inclusive of an educational approach that fosters activities to make kids think, use problem solving and learn science and math skills.
STEAM is important because it encourages kids to question this vast, interactive world. Instead of saying ‘the sky is blue,’ a child is encouraged to wonder why the sky is blue.
For toddlers, STEAM is especially important. As they are learning and discovering the world, we have two options: we can tell them the answers or we can let them explore and figure out the answers themselves. I don’t think I need to tell you which one is better for helping kids develop a good learning foundation.
That’s why toys that require imagination, innovation and problem solving are often better choices than toys that light up, talk, and do the activity for the child. That’s not to say that those toys don’t have their place – Camden plays with plenty of those. In fact, VTech Smart Wheels cars are some of his favorite toys. But I do try to fill his toy room – and his play time – with a majority of toys that he can use his creativity and imagination to build, wonder, construct and problem solve.
If you’re looking for some great STEAM and STEM-focused gift ideas for a 2 year old, here are some fabulous options to grow your collection! I’ve even included my favorite way to store all of the STEAM materials.
Our ABSOLUTE Favorite STEM Toy for 2 Year Olds and Toddlers
This wooden rocker was originally used in Waldorf classroom, and the point of it is to encourage children’s imagination and creativity. The rocker has seats on one side and slats on the other, and it can be flipped back and forth.
Camden loves his Waldorf rocker. When we first got it out, he enjoyed helping daddy put it together, and then he went to work playing with it. He tried climbing on it and sitting on it first. Next thing I know, he’s got his stuffed puppy and llama and he’s rocking them on the rocker. He ate his fruit snacks on it. And the more comfortable he gets with it, the more creative he gets. It’s light enough that Cam can haul it around the house and play with it wherever he wants to take it.
It’s also sturdy enough that two toddlers can play on it at one time, so they can use it like a seesaw! We haven’t had his friends over to play yet, but I’m excited for this to join our slide, tent and foam climbers in the basement! This is seriously my favorite toy that Camden has now, and he’ll be able to use it for so many years!
We got the natural wood color, but there’s also a pastel colored one and a primary colored one. And Cassaro makes other fun Waldorf rocking toys as well! If this is the main toy you get your two year old this year, you will not be disappointed!
Disclaimer: Cassaro provided me with a rocker for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own; I’d never recommend something we didn’t love and use in our house!
My son is obsessed with his PiccasoTiles! And I love that there are so many different sets and additions (meaning you can have gift ideas for years). Plus, we use them in so many different ways to encourage STEM learning!
I got a set of these classic blocks from ToysRUs when they went out of business, and Camden is old enough now that they’re a great building toy for him! They even just released a cute little ride on monster that eats the blocks!
I knew they had these in a smaller version for older kids, but I didn’t even know they existed for the littles! I’m so excited to get some now – they’re a large enough size for little hands to manipulate and they encourage such great building and creative skills!
Foam blocks are some of the most affordable blocks, and they’re great because, unlike many of the other types of blocks, nothing holds them together! That makes them good for learning advanced building skills and for learning to knock towers down, too!
We haven’t taken the plunge and bought these yet, but I’m getting close! Actually, we’ve saved a bunch of Amazon prime boxes and taped them closed, and Camden stacks those and knocks them down. But I’d like a nice coordinated set when we finish our basement and these are super sturdy too!
We played with these when we stayed with some friends last year on vacation. They are so much fun! And these are the new version which also have curved pieces to make the suction cup building even more fun!
Camden got these last year for Christmas, and they’ve been a playtime favorite since then! He loves to smack two blocks together so they stick, and then make us pull them all apart. These are great for young toddlers who are just developing their motor coordination skills.
I love the unique shape of these, and how much imagination your toddler can use! They can be stacked in a rainbow shape – great for storage, too – but there are so many more ways to stack, build and play with these bright blocks.
This is so cute and fun! If your toddler loves trains like mine does, they’re going to go crazy over this block train!
These are the perfect toy to keep your little one entertained during bath time! My son loves to build, knock down, and play with water, so this is the perfect combo of all three.
We have these pipes, and Camden loves them! He got them last year for Christmas, and he’s never gotten tired of them. He pours water into them, and we set them up to flow into each other. He uses them to scoop and pour water too!
What are your favorite STEM-based learning toys for toddlers?