Some kids are mini engineers from the get-go. Always building or exploring, they love figuring stuff out for themselves. Nurture those important skills using the concepts of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to help them understand the world around them (while having fun of course!), with these, our 12 Best STEM Toys For Kids.

Through STEM play, kids develop key skills, including: problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative, communication & digital literacy.

1. Janod: Tangram

Janod: Tangram

They'll need patience and persistence to copy the pattern on each card, but that's what makes this a game they'll come back to again and again.

2. Djeco: Animal Shape Balancing Game

Djeco Animal Shape Balancing Game

This simple and charming-looking little game helps kids develop physical, mental and social skills.

3. Roboflex Plus

Roboflex Plus

Kids will love getting creative and make their own colourful, crazy robots with this brilliant set, from the makers of the equally-ace Smartmax.

4. Djeco: Super Wooden Tools set

Djeco Super Wooden Tools set

Inside the wooden toolbox is a phone, hammer, saw, screwdriver, drill, pair of pliers and eight instruction cards that show kids which tool suits which job around the house.

5. Hape: Castle Escape

Hape Castle Escape

For kids who love to work out how the world works, this amazing award-winning ball run set is a brilliant learning toy with endless possibilities.

6. Happy Little Doers: Learn Numbers Flashcards

Happy Little Doers: Learn Numbers Flashcards

Each pack has 24 double-sided flashcards, so they can use them side-by-side to count all the way to 110 (phew!), and to do simple sums.

The various skills kids develop through STEM play provide them with the foundation to succeed at school & beyond.

7. Janod Space Building Set

Janod Space Building Set

Great to play solo or with a friend or sibling, the 36 space-themed pieces can be stacked to create the tallest possible structure without knocking it over.

8. Vilac: Under The Canopy Early Learning Counting Game

Vilac: Under The Canopy Early Learning Counting Game

Includes figures from 1-10 and 55 stackable elements, , so that's enough to keep them entertained for a while.

9. Little Dutch Children's Workbench

Children's Workbench

Comes with so many wooden tools, whatever job needs doing round the house, you'll never need to call someone in again. (Think of the savings!)

10. Janod: 100 Piece Construction Set

Janod: 100 Piece Construction Set

100 cleverly engineered wooden pieces in a variety of colours that they can use to make crazy structures limited solely by their imagination.

11. Hape Monster Math Scale

Hape  Monster Math Scale

Includes 9 larger weights and 11 small soft weights and is great for learning about simple addition and subtraction, weight measurements and balance.

12. Hape Sonic Playground

Hape Sonic Playground

A xylophone rail that plays a musical scale as marbles race over it, this toy helps to develop their spatial thinking and understanding of materials and sound.

We hope this has given you some inspo for buying for your small Einstein, Bill Gates or Zaha Hadid. Still not sure what to get them? Pop us a message on Live Chat: we're here every day from 8am - 10pm and we’ll happily help you suss out the right thing. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.

FURTHER READING 25 STEM Activities Easy Enough for Preschoolers 34 of the Best STEM Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers