How to Inspire Toddler Girls with STEM-Related Toys?
It is undeniable that girls and women are not that interested in STEM fields compared with boys and men for historical reasons and gender stereotypes, as we mentioned in our previous articles. Fortunately, the whole world has noticed that we urgently need more girls and women to join the STEM workforce to work closely with STEM male members in the team, to bring them new concepts and ideas from a female angle.
More importantly, it has become essential to have more young girls in STEM and young STEM women role models to inspire and empower the next generation to carry on this initiative.
After understanding the "WHY" to close the gender gap in STEM education and career development, we are going to talk about the "HOW" in this article.
Set the Right Goals for Your Toddler Girls
In our earlier articles, we mapped the core STEM skills for Toddlers to Middle Childhood to achieve the goals through home education and STEM toys. Let's review the initial goals of our Toddler girls and boys:
- Cognitive abilities and skills
- Physics skills: realization of physical elements
- Random creation and imagination.
- Math skills:
- Number sense and recognition
- Counting and quantifying
- Geometrical shapes and patterns
- Addition and subtraction
- Object sorting
Some might doubt that it's right to encourage our girls to choose STEM curricula when they show no interest or have no talents as in other classes or areas.
This gender gap was not formed by girls' deficiencies in STEM talents but by the unconscious biases that negatively affect girls' and women's subconscious mind and impede their abilities and desire to engage in or tackle STEM careers.
Although we cannot force girls who have no interest in STEM areas, it's our responsibilities to at least encourage them to gain the fundamental for future education and daily adult life in a completely different digital era. Everything is about digital in the near future. It's a new world that even our parents or every one of us needs to learn and grow every day together to adapt to. More importantly, the new world needs each of us to continue to explore and give points of view from a different perspective, especially girls and women in STEM areas.
Of course, it's very important to present a positive image of "gender equality" in front of our girls and boys; nevertheless, the gender barriers have been there for centuries which has been so difficult for us to overcome.
To put this in perspective, it's necessary to influence their unconsciousness and broaden their vision with some STEM girls and women role models in addition to the general education and encouragement given to both boys and girls.
Parenting Tips to Inspire Toddlers Girls with STEM Toys
With this purpose in mind, it is the key to remove gender biases from our subconscious mind. In order to achieve that, our parents or everyone around them should:
1) Really remove this type of stereotype beliefs.
2) Encourage our girls to work with the boys.
3) Be open-minded and willing to communicate with them in the way they would like you to approach them.
4) Allow our girls to ask questions and let them be curious about things around them, especially what makes them really interested.
5) Never let them feel that their questions don't make sense.
It's challenging to really do it all in real-life scenarios, but that's one of the most efficient ways to develop our girls' Lateral Thinking, also known as Horizontal Thinking, involving approaching a problem that isn't immediately apparent in a different perspective.
Apart from that, there are a few additional tips (imaginative plays examples) for parents to really help to nurture their interest and enhance their thinking process with Toddlers' "the best living companions" – the STEM or related toys:
Real-life environment: constructions, buildings, vehicles, cars, planes, and so on
Our Toddler girls can start with this scalable 198 Pcs STEM Construction Building Blocks toys through various imaginative plays to gain fundamental physics and Math skills, random creation, and imagination.
Natural environment: farms, gardens, animals, plants, flowers, fields, and more.
Upgradable and scalable magnetic construction tiles that will grow with our girls in parallel would be the higher level of these imaginative plays, which will help to develop their cognitive abilities and skills.
You may also let our girls explore freely as much as possible.
For example, they might be curious if the magnetic building tiles can also build houses, cars, or planes. That would be a value-added imaginative play
Even though we cannot eliminate the gender inequalities in STEM workplaces overnight, our mutual 17 United Nations SDGs have motivated many of us to join the force to take concrete actions to close this gender gap.
For more information about parenting tips on STEM education for young girls, join our community and share your STEM experience with us!