Do STEM toys really affect children's behavior?

Feb. 28, 2019

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.

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.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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