HomeGreat GiftsGolden Apple Awards

Best STEM toys ages 3 to 5

Created for young learners, 2011 Golden Apple Awards winners masterfully lay a (fun) foundation for science, math, and technology.

By GreatSchools Staff

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My First Lego Set

Appeals to ages 3-7

What it teaches: building, constructing, following instructions, small-motor skills

Legos are timeless and you'd be hard-pressed to find a kid who’s not interested in playing with them. This particular set is a perfect gateway set for younger children who might be overwhelmed by a larger, more complex one (with even more than the 200+ parts in this one).

Our youngest tester needed pretty constant adult guidance as she strove to build a village, but luckily this toy comes with instructions for quick-gratification constructions like two-pieces flowers and a five-piece cat. When they feel ready, pint-sized builders can progress to more complex construction projects, such as the house and windmill. Finally, when they really get the hang of it, free-form building ensues — and this wondrous motor-skill-and-imagination combo can captivate even wee ones for up to 30 minutes.

Bottom line: The Danish toy company’s name says it all: “Lego” is based on the Danish phrase meaning “play well.”

Where to buy it: My First Lego Set