The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are paramount for children and teens of all ages to explore and learn from. However, some children may not be as eager to learn from these concepts outside of school.
Rather than teach these four areas of study as separate and individual subjects, STEM consolidates them into an interconnected learning standard based on real-world applications. Thus, kids can learn by playing, and enjoy the process too!
In today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to get children familiar with concepts of sustainability so that they grow up to become eco-conscious teens and adults.
With the rise of renewable energy sources at home, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, kids should begin to understand these ideas, and one way they can do so is through toys and play.
There is no better way to motivate children to explore green energy concepts than gifting them cool toys to learn and have fun with! These are some of the best, most creative, and educational solar powered toys for your home.
What are the best solar powered toys to consider?
With countless STEM-focused toys on the market, there are so many options to choose from for the little one in your life. Solar-powered toys, however, can offer children a unique combination of building skills, creativity, and green energy concepts.
Let’s take a look at some of the best solar-powered toys for kids on the market today.
One of the best solar powered toys for inquisitive minds – your kids will learn the basics of solar energy and get curious about other renewable energy sources while having fun with this solar panel toy.
This kit includes all the parts needed to assemble a robot that will run on solar power – no batteries required! A solar panel is included that transforms solar energy into electricity, which drives the wheel and makes the robot run.
With 190 pieces, kids can let their creativity shine with the potential to craft 14 different robot designs, or craft their own unique setup. This kit can easily take the form of a wagging-tail dog, running beetle, walking crab, zombie chaser, and more.
With the moving and connecting parts like gears, plates, wheels, and shafts to build robots that can walk, float or roll, this is one of the best solar powered toys for kids interested in STEM topics, or who just like to build and create.
With the simple-to-follow blueprints included, it is easy for 10+ years old children to craft various robots by following the step-by-step instructions.
Trying to avoid single-use plastic? This wooden solar-powered toy allows young (8+ year-old) inventors to build and paint their own robot racing car and is made out of real wood and lab-tested safe materials.
Kids will learn problem-solving skills and attention to detail while following the manual instructions included. The result is one of the best solar-powered toys, a wooden race car that kids can paint to play with or to display on your desk or bookshelf.
Of course, no batteries are included! This kit includes a solar power panel that collects the sun’s rays and converts them into electricity to drive the motor of the car, driving the gears to make the car run smoothly.
This unique kit will allow kids to lean into their creativity and artistic skills, while also teaching them the fundamental knowledge of environmentally-friendly solar energy rather than electric energy.
This solar-powered toy has not only won multiple awards, but also teaches kids the value of recycling and waste.
How does it work?
The Super Solar Recycler allows users to repurpose old scratched CDs, used cans, and even old water bottles to build a robot that is powered completely by solar energy. There’s more than one design option, as well: kids can create a street roller, a walking robot, a bottle yacht, a flying bird, or a drummer robot!
Each of these designs are built with those discarded CDs, single-use plastic bottles, and aluminum cans. In addition to these repurposed treasures, all you need to get started is included in the kit: the solar panel motor and instruction, no batteries included.
This is one of the most eco-friendly solar-powered toys, as the educational kit will stretch children’s imaginations while allowing them to take part in the joy of recycling.
Let’s allow our children to play in an eco-friendly way, learn to harness a new green solar energy source, and practice using recycled materials!
If you have a curious kid in your life that is interested in renewables and mechanics, this solar-powered toy may be the right gift for them. This award-winning green science toy introduces kids to green concepts such as upcycling and alternative energy.
This green science solar rover is both eco-friendly, and a nice way to reinforce science topics for kids. So what’s in the kid? This toy kit contains a solar panel that turns sunlight into electricity to run the motor.
The rover is built with a recycled soda can and is powered by the sun’s energy via the solar panel. Beyond exploring ideas of repurposing discarded items, this kid teaches children how to harness the sun’s light to power everyday objects.
Great for developing their creativity and problem-solving skills, this green science rover will delight any child eight years old and up. The kid can be taken outdoors on a sunny day, or used indoors as long as there is some light source to work with.
This solar-powered windmill is a great demonstration of solar energy. The perfect size for a nightstand, desk, or kitchen table, this windmill has a range of applications but will delight kids who are interested in STEM topics.
When under direct sunlight, both inside and out, the blades of this solar windmill will rotate quickly. This classic solar-powered toy can help relieve stress while teaching kids about important alternative energy and physics concepts. It could even serve as a great science project or demonstration.
This toy is mostly made out of silver stainless steel, won’t rust or fade, and is water-resistant, making it a durable option for the children in your life. In addition, manufacturer Sunnytech’s U.S. based operations follow a 100% no landfill policy, meaning that all leftover materials are recycled, including electronics.
This high-quality, fun toy is also an eco-friendly option for any child in your life.
Out of the various STEM-focused solar-powered toys available, this eco-engineering car kit is one of the best for kids. It includes 55 pieces of accessories for kids to build their own car that races on its own.
The sleek design of this car will delight kids who love race cars and other vehicles, while encouraging them to explore their imagination, creativity, and hands-on building skills. The accurate, detailed parts of this kit are perfect for car lovers, from the brakes, steering wheel, and even the car seat headrest.
In addition, the solar-powered battery will teach kids about the power of the sun and how a solar panel can convert the sun’s rays into energy! This car is a fun way to introduce topics of green, alternative energy.
This solar car experiment kit provides an excellent learning experience to transition from beginners to advanced level students. It’s engaging, hands-on, and even supports the development of vital STEM skills.
If you’re hoping to encourage critical thinking, engineering, and science skills for your children, this solar-powered car is a great fit.
Perfect for 6-12 year-old children, this climbing vehicle is one of the most creative solar-powered toys.
Children will build a real, working solar-powered motor that will serve as the motorized foundation for their climbing vehicle. The kit includes a solar panel that powers the positive and negative cables to create a four wheel drive climbing vehicle.
The building process includes simple fastening, screwing assembly, and wiring to complete the finished product. The instructions can allow children to learn about the mechanical transmission structure of a vehicle, think independently, and problem-solve.
Not to mention the car will provide hours of entertainment both inside and outside, as the car can change the car’s height and climb over obstacles up to 50 mm high with ease.
All in all, this product will teach kids about an important environmental topic, while having fun with a toy that is powered by the sun.
Do you have a kid in your life who dreams of going to space? Your space explorer will be delighted with this wooden solar-powered kit offered by National Geographic.
This Mars Rover assembly kit is one of the most creative solar-powered toys available. The kit contains all the necessary fun and information for kids to build their rover and play with it for hours. It also includes a highly detailed learning guide with fun facts about space exploration.
To bring together this moon rover, simply assemble the parts included in the box: laser-cut wooden components, a solar panel, gear components, and sandpaper. No special tools are required to assemble this 3D puzzle.
The solar panel included in the construction kit powers the moon buggy and propels it forward when in contact with direct sunlight, teaching children fundamental green energy concepts while having fun.
To spark your kids’ interest in engineering, building, space exploration, and renewable energy, consider gifting them this STEM toy.
This 6-in-1 kit is another great option out of all the solar-powered toys related to space exploration. Great for kids 8 years old and up, this robot kit can be configured into 6 different innovative building models including space station, space explorer, space rover, space shuttle, an astronaut, and a space dog.
With 6 different options to create, this robot will provide hours of entertainment and fun while nurturing children’s creativity. In addition, the kit will reinforce important STEM-related ideas as well, such as engineering a unique item and how solar energy works.
Kids can watch and understand how the solar panel collects the sun’s rays and powers the vehicle both inside and outside in direct sunlight.
Combine children’s love for dinosaurs and robots with this 3-in-1 solar kit! One of the most fun solar-powered toys available, this colorful dinosaur will be loved by the 8-12 year old little ones in your life.
This solar-powered robot can crawl, roll, and float under direct sunlight, allowing children to understand the environmental concept of renewable energy and resources.
The three different types of robots will help children build a solid foundation in STEM concepts at an early age, and the parts can be easily disassembled after the completion of one robot kit.
This stem toy is perfect for kids to assemble on their own, or with the adult in their life. The kit comes with all the parts you need to build a real robot from scratch, from pistons and shafts to gears, tires, and more. Your little engineer can use their imagination to make their own original solar-powered robot.
This wooden solar-powered car kit fuses STEM concepts with the fun of a remote-controlled vehicle that any child will love playing with.
Once assembled, the car is powered with sunlight, and controlled by a remote control. All necessary parts come in the box, from the parts, accessories, and an understandable manual to bring it all together and make the car run. Plus, all parts are made out of safe, eco-friendly materials. Blocs are made out of chemical-free, organic wood.
The car can be powered three ways: by batteries, the solar panel, or a combination of both, meaning kids can play with it everywhere, anytime.
Develop your kids’ intellectual skills, know-how, hands-on building skills, problem-solving, and interactive skills with this fun engineering car set.
Have a kid in your life that loves animals and creepy crawlers? This is one of the most creative solar-powered toys on the market.
This solar-powered mini spider is made of eco-friendly ABS material, which is soft to the touch. In addition, the spider is able to move around under sunlight without any batteries. When exposed to sunlight, the spider will start its mini engine and shake itself.
The solar panel on the back of the spider will help children of all ages understand the concept of solar-powered energy and provide a great demonstration of how it works.
This science kit will give any child another way to learn and play with solar energy. For 8+ year-old kids that love Legos or building their own toys, this physics solar workshop kit will take their playtime a step further.
Build up to five different models that perform different tasks all powered by solar energy. Start with a simple helicopter that rotates its blades, and continue with a solar bot, a moon rover, a stag beetle, and finish with a cool praying mantis that truly moves like an insect.
Electrify your models with the powerful solar panel included in the kit. As soon as enough light energy strikes the solar panel, the motor will turn, and your model will start moving. The solar panel acts as a photovoltaic system, converting light energy into electric current.
The solar panel included will function off of direct sunlight or light from a high wattage light bulb, similar to one you’d find in a desk lamp or flashlight. This workshop kit allows kids to explore the topic of solar energy, focusing on photovoltaic cells.
However, these models can also be battery-powered, in case of poor lighting conditions.
This solar-powered pet is a perfect gift for animal-loving children in your life.
In either a snail or orangutan mode, this kit allows kids to build their own pet that can actually move around. The included solar panel will convert direct light into electrical energy so that the animals can move on flat surfaces.
This toy will cultivate children’s hands-on building and critical thinking skills and teach them about crucial solar energy concepts. The kit does not require battery control and is suitable for children to make a science exhibition toy, a school project, or just for fun!
Why should you consider buying solar-powered toys?
In one way or another, almost every form of energy we use originates from the sun. Solar energy directly powers photovoltaic cells and thermal collectors that are used to power thousands of homes and businesses around the world.
Indirectly, we get power from plants grown by the sun, our oceans are heated by the sun, and Earth’s weather systems are sustained by the sun. Even the energy stored in fossil fuels originated as energy from the sun, captured by plants and animals millions of years ago.
When children grasp the way solar energy works, they are learning essential knowledge about the Earth, our climate, and the sun as a vital life force (as well as a more sustainable energy option).
Whether you already have a little genius at home, or you want your kids to develop advanced skills for their future, these solar-powered toys are a good way to go.
Solar cells now make moving solar-powered toys possible, and are the perfect system to integrate it into toys. With these gifts, the whole family can get motivated to learn and support this technology.
At the same time, the inclusion of solar cells into toys eliminates the need to plug them into an outlet or recharge to make them work. Though the energy consumption of toys might not represent a large figure, it is more about bringing kids to familiarize themselves with this source of essential energy.
Why manufacturers are moving toward solar-powered STEM toys
The value of STEM frameworks can not be understated, as they teach children the 21st-century skills they need. More and more toy manufacturers have begun to include solar cells into toys, resulting in these cool solar-powered toys that move, climb, and are customizable.
To help children develop analytical and problem-solving skills, manufacturers are producing STEM-based toys that allow kids to assemble their toys. Aside from being exposed to important science, math, engineering, and technology concepts, children can feel a sense of accomplishment by crafting their own items.
Final thoughts on solar powered toys
These are some of the most creative, fun, and educational solar panel toys for kids and their parents to learn about solar energy, mechanics, robotics, and science.
Some of them are more eco-friendly than others, but they are all solar panel toys and will lead your kids to develop outstanding capabilities. Most importantly, children will get familiar with STEM-focused toys and be introduced to renewable energy concepts.
Looking for more eco-friendly gadget ideas? Check out our roundup of the best solar products for home.