The Best Cheap STEM Toys (Under $25) For Sale on Amazon in 2018

People learn best when:

a.) they want to learn something, or,

b.) they're learning without realizing it. 

That's the spirit of STEM toys. Give a kid something fun to play with and let the toy subtly teach science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics skills. But, hang on a second.

Adults who buy kids educational toys instead of spending time with children are missing the point. The toy itself rarely does the teaching. You do the teaching and the toy is the ice breaker that makes a kid more receptive to learning.

Sure, kids can figure things out by themselves (and that's important!), but learning with others is important, too. The point is: Even the best STEM toy isn't a replacement for quality time with a parent or relative. Having said that...

Here are the best-reviewed STEM toys selling on Amazon for less than $25:

LEGO Creator Robo Explorer 31062 Robot Toy

Avg. Price: $18 | Bargain Price: $14

More than 95% of Amazon customers like or love this robot. Parents were happy that their 5-10 year old children built this robot independently and used the pieces for other Lego builds.

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

Avg. Price: $17 | Bargain Price: $8

Many Amazon customers with children aged 4-6 had a blast doing these science experiments with their kids. Some parents wished that the included ingredients came in resealable bags.

4M Crystal Growing Experiment

Avg. Price: $14 | Bargain Price: $8

The majority of Amazon customers (and their kids) had fun making these colored crystals, but there are two common complaints with this set: First, the crystals take several days to grow. Second, the dyes used to color the crystals stain hands, materials, etc.

Be Amazing Insta-Snow Jar, Makes 2 Gallons

Avg. Price: $11 | Bargain Price: $8

Insta-Snow is easy to make and fun to play with, according to several Amazon reviewers, but some parents wished that clean up was easier. Many of this product's negative reviews involve a problem with the packaging (e.g. the powder arrived in a generic, unmarked container).

Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow, 4 Rockets [Packaging May Vary]

Avg. Price: $14 | Bargain Price: $7

Kids love this toy, but lots of Amazon customers had to secure the rocket base with zip ties to prevent it from falling apart. This appears to be a cheaply made product.


Avg. Price: $25 | Bargain Price: $21

The rocks in this kit look plain on the outside, but are full of crystals on the inside. Some Amazon customers were disappointed that the geodes had similar looking crystals, but rock formations are luck-of-the-draw.

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

This microscope doesn't take slides; it's better to think of it as a lighted magnifying-glass that's shaped like a microscope. Many Amazon reviewers said their kids went running around the house and the yard looking for things to examine under the lens.

Avg. Price: $21 | Bargain Price: $11

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set, 22 pieces

Avg. Price: $24 | Bargain Price: $2 (not a typo, this was a Prime Day sale)

More than 93% of Amazon reviewers like or love this miniature science lab. The kit is full of tools and experiment guides, but it doesn’t include ingredients like vinegar, salt, baking soda, food coloring, etc.

SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body

Avg. Price: $25 | Bargain Price: $16

This model is a kid-friendly way to learn human anatomy, but some reviewers complained that the organs fell out of place or lost their stickiness over time.

4M Table Top Robot

Avg. Price: $12 | Bargain Price: $8

This robotic crab is fun to assemble and play with, according to several Amazon customers, but it's a fragile toy. The crab is built to change direction when it encounters an obstacle, but some reviewers said that their crab walked right off the edge of a table.

John DeFeo