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What’s all the fuss about physical toys, STEM toys in particular?
They inspire creativity
We, as parents, may not necessarily have all the tools to foster our kids’ creativity. But STEM toys do. Physical toys that encourage STEM learning positively influence children to think about how to solve problems thoughtfully. They also pique children’s curiosity and help foster critical thinking, inspiring creativity in the process. (STEAM).
They improve numerical and mathematical skills
STEM toys not only let kids have fun and unleash their curiosity, they also help kids gain a better sense of how numbers fit together. When they play with blocks, they are learning concepts about length, comparison, symmetry, measurement, number estimation and balance, all of which help improve their mathematical skills.
They promote hands-on learning and exploration
When kids play with bricks, Unit Rocks for example, they develop fine, small and gross motor skills. They experience every bit of it and learn by doing it themselves. And you know what they say, ‘the best way to learn is by doing it yourself.’ Not to mention the castles and forts also resemble real structures, so kids have a blast as they see their buildings take shape to look just like real buildings.
They promote cognitive development
To an adult watching children play, it may seem like they are just having fun. But the importance of truly educational, engaging STEM toys is more than just fulfilment. Blocks allow children to learn construction creations which enhance their STEM skills and literacy abilities in the process. Bricks also encourage kids to think about design and planning, which further promotes cognitive development.
They promote problem-solving
This may sound lame, but the problem-solving aspect of our bricks is actually what makes them so intriguing. Sometimes it is intentional when kids are building something and have to figure out how to do that. Other times it is in the moment when they are just wondering what they need to add on top of one brick to build something. Either way, our bricks present children with a problem that needs to be solved. Playing with actual physical toys is an excellent way to engage a child's senses and spark their imaginations. Even humble toys like a set of unit blocks create a solid connection between the skills being learnt and the real world we live in, and allow children to develop some STEM skills which will benefit them no matter where they go in life.