This cool 3D build toy sparks creativity and key tech learning for youngsters

If you've ever seen a 3D printer in action, you know it's a pretty wondrous process. Even if you're crafting nothing more than a plastic bauble or a geometric shape, just watching that filament settle and build into something recognizable and useful is fairly awe-inspiring. And man, to a kid…it's like a miracle. And they really, really want to touch it. Like, right now.

Moms and dads absolutely want to spark their kids' creativity in new and inspiring ways. But they'd rather not do that by letting Junior potentially wreck a $1,000 3D printer by making a childish mistake. Instead, parents can introduce their child to the miracles of 3D creation with a device built just for them, the 3Doodler 3D Build and Play STEM Toy.

Designed for kids ages 4 and over, the 3D Build and Play is the latest brainchild from 3Doodler, who created the Toy of the Year honoree and Good Housekeeping Best Toy award-winning Start and Create+. Now, the 3D Build and Play combines art with creative play so kids can design all their own 3D character-driven worlds as they engage in creative storytelling.

All the child has to do is insert the plastic strand into the toy, turn the handle, then let the material fill the mold, bringing fun characters to life. It's really like drawing in 3D.

Kids will create Jim the Giraffe and his entire crew of animal friends, then read along with the specially written story with pop-up backgrounds, creating an entire world's worth of environments to serve as playsets for the 3D-created characters to explore. And once kids finish the story, they've still got Jim and the rest of the menagerie to start creating all-new adventures on their own.

The toy is 100 percent kid-safe, using low-heat, BPA-free, and non-toxic plastic. As children play, they develop their fine motor skills, experience hands-on learning, and hone their three-dimensional thinking, while letting their artistic and creative sides run wild at the same time.

You can prepare your kid for a 3D printing future (and probably a whole lot more) with the 3Doodler 3D Build and Play STEM Toy, regularly $29 but now almost $10 off as part of this offer, just $19.99.

Prices subject to change.