Do STEM toys really affect children's behavior?

By Andy Rosen for the Boston Globe

Toys aren’t just toys anymore. There’s a growing market for so-called STEM toys, which promise to imbue young minds with science, technology, engineering, and math skills. But for every product that helps kids learn, there are plenty of others that simply cash in on parents’ desire to prepare their kids for a changing economy.

“The type of toy that you give your kid matters far less than how they interact with it, or with the world, or with you,” said Joe Morgan, a JavaScript developer in Kansas who is skeptical of the value of teaching kids to code. “You cannot boil down things like creativity into a single item. It’s a lifelong process that they have to explore, and no one toy can do that.”

Morgan said he believes that open-ended play and exploration — especially the experience of taking things apart and putting them back together — are more important for early development of the skills that might help them become creative, nimble-minded technologists.

To learn more, read "STEM toys promise to turn kids into tech geniuses. Grown-up coders are skeptical" from the Boston Globe.