STEM toys gift guide for the children in your life

Toy companies are finding new and creative ways to offer items with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Learning about math, tech or engineering in a classroom can be tough and scary subjects for many children,” said Laurie Schacht, chief toy officer at The Toy Insider. “When kids have toys that introduce these concepts in a fun and playful way, classroom learning simply reinforces what they’ve already learned and makes these subjects much more approachable.”

Here are some of the more popular STEM toys available this holiday season:

K’NEX Thrill Ride: Bionic Blast Roller Coaster Building Set

Young engineers can design and build their own roller coaster with this 800-piece kit. Related app allows kids to virtually ride their coaster. ($74.99, K’NEX, KNEX.com)

Tonka Mighty Builders Deluxe Construction Tire Case Set

This 50-piece set allows kids to create their own construction zone and works with other Mighty Builder playsets so they can design their own vehicles and tracks. ($29.99; Amloid, Target.com)

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Budding genius/superheroes can create and customize their own high-tech gauntlet. Use your light powers, speed tracker or go into stealth mode. ($79.99; littleBits, Amazon.com)

Crayola Color Chemistry Lab

An erupting volcano, bouncing color bubbles and glow worms are just some of the science activities your kid can discover with the Crayola Color Chemistry Lab Set. It boasts 50 ideas and enough materials to conduct 15 of the experiments. ($24.99; Crayola, crayola.com)

Scientific Explorer Veterinary Science

Animal lovers can explore a career as a veterinarian by creating a cat anatomy chart, building casts for broken bones and even learn about ticks by making one out of gel. ($14.99, Alex Brands, amazon.com)