Thanks to the development and applications of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Big Data, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and 5G, a lot of people have noticed that the fourth industrial revolution has made a great impact on us in all aspects of our life. The term, like IoT (Internet of Things), now is no longer new to us. Actually, IoT is everywhere around us, from small areas like Wearables and Smart Appliance to Smart Hotel and Self-driving Car. Sooner or later, the term 5G + will eventually replace the Internet + to improve our surroundings.
The trend and the whole environment have been pushing us to upgrade our professional skills, interpersonal skills, collaborative capability, as well as creativity. Young professionals intend to work in the Hi-Tech industry, and more and more countries have put more efforts in technology, science, and sustainability education. In China, e-payment works everywhere, from big shopping malls to small restaurants and convenience stores, even street snacks stalls. It is not exaggerating to say that technology has been around in our life.
Given the importance of STEM education for the young generation earlier, we are going to talk about why and how to choose the right scalable toys for school-aged kids.
Why Scale Up Toys for Middle Childhood?
Having defined the 3 major growing stages in sequence to the psychology of our children, it’s convincing to say that every single stage matters, and each step connects with another.
At the Toddlers’ stage, awareness is the process of realization. Toys are Toddler’s best companions through the journey from Toddler to Middle Childhood and Teen to Career years. The purpose of toys is to build the awareness of physics skills and realization of its elements and sparkle up the awareness of creativity and interest for the next stage.
Similarly, preparing Pre-schooler for Middle Childhood years is as important as from Toddler to Pre-schooler years. In fact, Pre-schooler is the bridge from Toddler through School life to build up their interest in STEM education. It is the critical period that all parents should not miss.
Scaling up toys means giving a new life to the toys. In some respects, the new toy would be their brand-new companion that they are also familiar with, which somehow helps to engage with the kids more. The remarkable thing, in terms of kids’ development and education, is that scalable STEM toys play a significant role to create an immersive learning and entertaining environment for kids.
A scalable STEM toy – one of the must-have toys in every family, is their companion that would really grow in parallel and is indeed one of the greatest inventions ever.
How to Build the STEM Desire for Middle Childhood?
In the digital era, kids are all digital natives. Electronics have taken the place of most of the toys. General toys cannot meet their demands and arouse their interest any longer. Those who know how to use toys to draw their kids’ attention back and use the resource to “scale up” the toys for them are indeed the winners.
Same as for Toddler and Pre-schooler, understanding and defining the goals of the Desire Phase is always the first step and would be much more difficult for Middle Childhood as it somehow would be affected by the education at the early 2 phases, especially when it comes to choosing the right toys for different kids.
After the Pre-schooler years, kids should have acquired the necessary essential skills and been ready to pick up new skills of the next level, if parents have put enough attention to their kids’ development with the right scalable STEM toys.
Accordingly, it is time for early school-aged children to pick up the higher level of the core STEM skills through their scalable STEM toys or any similar toys, as follows:
3) Communication & Teamwork
4) Critical analysis
6) Independent thinking
8) Digital Literacy (Online searching for the others’ experience)
Let’s accept the fact that approximately more than 50% of the high school graduates will lose their interest in STEM curricula, even though they are very interested in them at first. Now it’s time to grab back our kids’ attention and desire in STEM before middle school, as the curricula will be more and more difficult for them to understand, and that’s one of the reasons they will start to lose their interest day by day.
In that case, STEM toys now play a more important role than ever to school-aged kids’ middle school life’s preparation, even though the world has made tremendous improvement in STEM education with a lot more efforts and supports by the governments, schools, and teachers.
What’s more remarkable, along with the STEM toys, parents only need to repurpose the toys, like giving them some simple guides, and encourage them more, showing being proud of them, and telling them that they like their work and creation.
Most importantly, curiosity and interest lead to the desire of trying, thinking, and building. Desire and creativity drive innovation and invention.
Besides repurposing STEM toys as we talked about it earlier, there’s one more thing that parents can do, such as story-telling about well-known great people in STEM areas, to strengthen these skills, encouraging them to create random things with imagination and creativity.
Now, having lived these 3 influential stages of kids’ life while utilizing the right toys to grow awareness, interest, and desire to learn and advance their careers up and higher, the kids are well-positioned to enter Teen years with passion and desire to explore more in the area of technology and STEM. They are ready to go the extra mile to innovate while continuing their middle school education and beyond.
Again, every single step matters, and each step connects with another. If you missed the Awareness and Interest Phase, it is high time that you should take some concrete actions before it is too late.
Stay tuned for more parenting tips and toys in STEM education.