Sam's Toybox: STEM learning toys

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you're scrambling to figure out what to get your kids for the holidays you are in luck. Consumer Reporter Samantha Chatman is opening the toy box she has the hottest toys of 2020.

Toy expert Laurie Schact has spent several months trying out thousands of toys to come up with a list.

Blockaroo Windmill (Blue Marble)



-Blockaroos were developed by teachers and are the easiest construction toy for preschoolers ever developed!
-Blockaroo Blocks are a new way to build. These soft foam magnetic blocks click together like magic, rotate 360-degrees, and always attract each other, creating a multi-sensory experience.
-They also float, which means that this unique construction toy doubles as the ultimate bath toy.
-Because they're water-safe, adults can easily sanitize these blocks in the dishwasher.
-Blockaroo Builders give toddlers the chance to explore shapes, colors, and frustration-free stacking with soft foam blocks that are safe, easy to handle, and connect like magic.
-Ages: 18 MO+
-MSRP: $49.99
-Available: Amazon

3Doodler Build & Play (3Doodler)



-Kids design their own character-driven worlds as they build confidence in STEM and engage in creative storytelling.
-Simply turn it on, insert a colorful strand of material, and crank the handle to bring animal characters to life.
-A themed storybook and playful backdrops extend the fun.
-Builds fine-motor skills and is completely safe for kids with low heat settings and BPA-free, non-toxic material that is biodegradable.
-Ages: 4+

-MSRP: $29.99
-Available: Amazon

Apollo - A Game Inspired by the NASA Moon Missions (Buffalo Games)



-Families work together in this cooperative strategy game to get to the moon and back.
-One player acts as the Mission Control and informs the other players, who play as astronauts, to aid decision-making and resolve crises on the ground.
-Astronauts roll dice in order to resolve flight stages, repair systems, and complete experiments in order.
Information in the game is based on real mission data from NASA's Apollo and Gemini missions.
-2-5 players
-60 minutes play time
-Ages: 12+
-MSRP: $29.99
-Available: Target (exclusive)

DIY Music Maker (Hand2Mind)



-Kids learn about the science of pitch, vibration, and acoustics while building their own box guitar, pan flute, and ocean drum in this awardwinning STEM kit.

-Includes a 36-page, illustrated storybook and activity guide that includes 10 STEM-based, fun-filled activities.
-Musical instruments are lightweight and sized right for small hands. All objects are reusable for a continuous play!
-Ages: 5+
-MSRP: $34.99
-Available: Amazon

K'Nex Architecture (Basic Fun)



-Kids can discover their inner architect by snapping together rods and connectors to build designs including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the London Eye.
-Each set comes with historical information about the landmark and detailed easy-to-follow, step-by-step building instructions.
-Develop STEAM, spatial awareness, fine motor, and dexterity skills.
-Ages: 9+
-MSRP: Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower: $49.99;
-London Eye: $59.99
-Available: Amazon (exclusive)

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