STEM toys overtake the classics

Barbie was once a classic beauty glorified in the eyes of little girls worldwide. However, the 21st century has introduced the latest of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the form of play toys that blow Barbie out of the water and into antique shops everywhere.

The Thames and Kosmos Gyrobot gets kids to build their very own gyroscope with robots. Kids begin learning the principles of gravity through this toy as they watch the robot balance on the gyroscope. The only things cooler than that is a Transformer, but only the life-size ones are actually cool these days.

The Lottie Doll is slightly more feminine version of the Gyrobot. Barbie’s figure reflects unrealistic proportions no girl could possibly match, but the Lottie Doll is designed to stay true to the size of a healthy nine-year-old. Not only is the Lottie Doll a female build-your-own robot; she is a well-nourished representative of little girls in search of a role model.

Creative minds manifest themselves in children, and GoldieBlox encourages this imagination in the form of engineering. This collection of toys teaches manufacturing, construction and engineering 101.

Code seems like the most complicated part of technology, but now, children are learning the basics at age three. Robot Turtle teaches children to direct the adult via a deck of cards to retrieve a turtle that matches its corresponding jewel on a game board. The sequence in which the cards are placed represents code.

littleBits Circuits captivates children through the use of magnets, which is practically the initial thing anyone learns about science (besides gravity when you fall and skin your knee for the first time). The ‘bit’s have functions that include light, sound, sensors and motors and can power nearly anything through the given speakers.

Thames and Kosmos are on a role with two products on this list. They created a smart car robot that can be steered with a smartphone or tablet. The given QR code allows the car to drive through a virtual reality landscape on the screen. Who needs Hot Wheels when you’ve got a virtual reality robot car?

Barbie’s Dreamhouse is officially the nursing home of dollhouses. Roominate Dreamhouse allows girls to construct their own designs to build personalized homes for their toys. The phrase ‘out with the old and in with the new’ certainly takes precedent with these innovative gadgets.

For a complete list of these toys, click here.