The Mom Edit’s 2017 STEAM Guide Is Here!


Hey there, builders and puzzlers and tinkers and creators, innovators and experimenters and thinkers – this is for you.  Below is our 2017 STEAM guide – all of our very favorite toys, books and games that promote critical thinking skills, creativity, and the celebration of curiosity.  Many of these toys have been very well-tested over the years, others just passionately researched.   We love this stuff.





    • OMGGGGGG thank you!!!!! This was a total labor of love, years in the making. This comment made me (and Sydney) so freaking happy. xoxo

  1. Shana, do you have any suggestions for good art supplies for preschoolers, beyond the Crayola aisle at Target? We’ve been underwhelmed by various wholesale tempera paints from Amazon.

  2. This is amazing, thank you!! My oldest is 2 almost 3, and I’ve wanted to get her started on stuff like this, but trying to figure out the best stuff is overwhelming. Plus so much STEAM stuff out there that I’ve found is for older kids. So much in here is perfect to start with now, and there’s so many ideas for years to come. We have magnatiles already and they are her favorite toy! I want both my kids to grow up loving life and learning, and to be equipped to become whatever they are here to be. So, thank you!

  3. You guys put out hands-down THE BEST kids gift guide every year. Just figured out my 5 year old’s wish list and cousin’s presents all in one place. You put So much careful thought and real world experience behind this list – thank you!

  4. Shana- this is the most amazing gift guide I’ve ever seen! I have 2 girls and kind of hate when people ask for gift ideas because I don’t actually like most of the toy options that are popular… plus my girls don’t play with them! They do, however, love to do puzzles, create things, and play family games. I will be buying our gifts from your guide and also recommending some of these things to our family who wants to get them things. THANK YOU!

  5. Amazing was the word that came to mind for me too! I am a teacher who encourages my kids at home and at school to “make mistakes!” Your book choices are spot-on and the open-ended activities you highlight are perfect. I’m right with you in your philosophy of carefully chosen toys that kids can use in a variety of ways. I’ll be referring to this all year.

  6. I echo the others. This is your best gift guide yet. I’m not crazy about the new format for mobile viewing but it probably looks great on a full screen. I just wish this had come out before cyber Monday, when I did nearly all my gift buying.
    We already have many of these recommendations and I agree the magna tiles are great. I’d also add something to this list. These (Giant Legos) 96pc Jumbo Blocks – Standard Set (Made in the USA) are THE most popular toy in our house for years. We have over 300 of them, including the wheeled bases. We even haul them to our school fair each year, they are one of the most popular stations for kids of all ages.

  7. This is the BEST!!! I wish it would show up in my mail box and my kids could tear thru it pen in hand like they do all the other commercial stuff.

  8. I was feeling overwhelmed by Christmas shopping for my kids and this list has made me feel much more calm! So many really cool options here – at all price points and for a wide range of age ranges. I so appreciate all the work you put into this!

  9. Yes yes yes! Another enthusiastic fan here – this guide rocks!!! I’ve worked in STEAM with ages pre-k through 25, including with the Media Lab’s lifelong Kinfergarten group, and you mamas really know your stuff! If you ever are interested in reviewing “girl-targeted” STEAM-stuff, I’d totally be game. As a legomaniac mom of a v girly 7 year old who does not seek out STEM-looking toys, I’m always trying to find creative way to get her interested. I’m planning to try Roominate this Christmas – it has mixed reviews so I’m curious to try it out for ourselves.

  10. LOVE this gift guide! My daughter is only 2 but I love seeing things that she can start to engage with now that will last us many years (I hate stuff that gets used for 20 min and then just takes up space because she’s quickly outgrown it!)….great ideas for us and the grandparents!

  11. Once again, you ladies at the Mom Edit rock! Thanks for all the time and effort you put into these guides, so much appreciated. My two little guys are just a bit younger than your two, so I love that yours have given a stamp of approval to many of these items! I’m in Canada, but I was able to snag a few of your ideas that do ship to Canada. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!

  12. Thank you times a million!!! This is all sorts of amazing. Everything about this gift guide is well thought out and spot on. I will most certainly be purchasing multiple items from it for my boys (ages 2 and 5).

  13. I can’t tell you how wonderful I think this gift guide is-I have middle elementary-aged kids, and I got ideas from the guide for them. I thought I had heard or everything or thought of everything, but your guide provided much-needed inspiration. Thank you, thank you for putting this together. It was so helpful!!

  14. Every year I look forward to your gift guide and this one did not disappoint! Not only did I find the perfect gift for my architecture loving 9 year old, the Roman arch building blocks, but I referred to this guide when we were writing our Donors Choose project for more STEM items in our K/1 classrooms. Two thumbs up from this math educator.

  15. This is great! Any chance you can add some ideas for kids a little older, like ages 12-15?? My daughter is 12 and I am finding it harder to find recommendations for her age even though she still loves to read, play games, do art, etc.

  16. This is amazing! I’m a first grade teacher, and my student’s play with stem type toys when they get to school in the morning. Their favorites are Brain Flakes, Snap Circuits, Lego (of course), Zoob Builderz, Keva Contraptions (I added some hexbugs to send through the mazes they like to create), and, my personal favorite, building with solo cups! I use donors choose to get a lot of these and I’m definitely adding a bunch of your suggestions to my next donors choose project. My students will love the book about infinity. Thank you!!

  17. Thanks for putting the toy guide together. I had dug out the post you did years ago and kept referring to it for ideas. It’s great seeing it being updated as your boys grow. It helps me with planning for birthday and Christmas.

  18. Hi! thank you so much for the beautiful guide. I only came across it today and last night was up super late trying to figure out gift ideas for my two boys! One question, any suggestions on a light table?? Magnatiles are our favorite toy!

  19. This is amazing, beautiful, useful, insightful! How did I only see it today?? I literally just did 98% of my son’s Christmas shopping directly from this guide! I then shared it with a dozen of my mom friends! THANK YOU!!!!

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