Art Crafting, Book Review, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Zoological Society, Great Lakes Science Center, Museums, STEM Resources, STEM toys

S.T.E.A.M. Themed Easter Basket Gifts

DISCLAIMER: I am an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases made from the links in this post at no additional cost to you.

Also, be sure to measure the size of your Easter basket and compare it to the items listed below to ensure proper fit. All items would fit in a large size Easter basket.

With Easter (and probably many birthday parties) quickly approaching, you might be left wondering, what to get for your kids. Here’s a list to help those looking for S.T.E.A.M. themed (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) gifts that could fit inside of an Easter basket.

Memberships to Local Museums, Centers and Parks: My kids love going to the local Zoo, Science Center, History Museum, MetroParks, Aquarium, etc. These would be perfect gifts to explore and appreciate S.T.E.A.M. Membership cards or registration forms fit perfectly inside an Easter basket.

Paid S.T.E.A.M. Classes / Courses / Camps: Check around at your local centers for classes and courses that allow your child to explore and appreciate S.T.E.A.M. You could add a pamphlet or certificate to their basket indicating their enrollment. In Northeast Ohio some great places to look for S.T.E.A.M. activities, events and camps would be Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Lake MetroParks, Geauga Park District, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Fine Arts Association, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning and Art House, Inc.. Also, check out the 2019 Northeast Ohio Summer Camp Guide provided by Northeast Ohio Family Fun or the 2019 Summer Camp Guide provided by Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.

Make a Tinker Basket: Fill a basket with all kinds of items that kids can create with like pipe cleaners, buttons, pom pom’s, glue, tape, card stock, crayons (check out these fun confetti crayons!), colored pencils, markers, popsicle sticks, clay, play-doh, ribbon, ruler, scissors, feathers, stickers, stencils, stamps and stamp pads, yarn, fake flowers, cardboard pieces (from all those deliveries you get at your door), glitter, etc.

Membership to Mail Delivery Activities or Magazines that specialize in STEAM:

We hold two memberships through Kiwi Co. They ship age appropriate hands on science and art projects each month. My girls love them! Click here to get 60% off your first crate!

(Disclaimer: I earn $10 off a future order for every Kiwi Co. crate ordered through my link above.)

Other subscription ideas to check out include: ToucanBox, Highlights for Children Magazine, National Geographic for Kids, National Geographic for Little Kids, Muse Magazine, Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr. and Ask.

(Disclaimer: I have not personally reviewed all of the subscriptions above but I have researched the reviews of others, so please be sure to complete your own research before purchase to ensure they are appropriate for your child. My children have personally enjoyed Highlights and National Geographic.)

My Recommended S.T.E.A.M. Toys: Check out my list below as well as my Complete List of STEM Buy for Kids Under 12 that I posted right before Christmas for additional ideas.

The Original Buddha Board: Relaxing Water Drawing, Painting & Writing Board with Bamboo Brush & StandKids can paint with water to create an image. The image dries and then they can paint again. My kids love this so much, I had to purchase two of them. It’s great for learning how to use a brush, it keeps messes down, it’s great for fine motor skill development and creativity.

Dicfeos Shatterproof 3.5X Magnifying Glass for Reading and Hobbies, 75mm Non-Scratch Glass Lens, Thickened Rubbery Frame, 4.3oz Lightweight, Perfect for Seniors & KidsMagnifying glasses will always be on my top list of favorite gifts for kids. My children bring them outside on warmer days and examine nature – fallen leaves, flowers, grass, tree nuts, bark, insects, etc. They also uses it inside, for example, to examine clothes, books, toys and the floor. They pretend to be a detectives too. We’ve pretended to be underwater divers looking for “treasure” with it also. If you get one of these, watch your child’s imagination take over.

Jiusion 40 to 1000x Magnification Endoscope, 8 LED USB 2.0 Digital Microscope, Mini Camera with OTG Adapter and Metal Stand, Compatible with Mac Window 7 8 10 Android Linux – If you already have a magnifying glass for your child, I recommend this miniature microscope that is easy to transport and hooks up for your phone so your child can view items up-close. It’s fun for adults too. Don’t forget the carrying case for protection too.

Bee-Bot (AA Battery Powered with Batteries Included)Bee-Bot’s are robot’s designed to introduce the concepts of coding and problem solving to young children. Children use the arrows to code the robot to move and turn, then press GO and they watch it move. Children and adults can set up obstacle courses and allow kids to determine how to code the Bee-Bot. We do not have one of these at home, but we’ve played with them at our local science center and love them. A similar toy that we have at home is the Code-a-Pillar.

Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM / STEAM Projects and Why They WorkThis book is filled with many easy to do home science experiments. We received this book as a gift for my daughter’s birthday and we’ve tried out many of the experiments. The experiments are easy to follow, use common household items and give great explanations to the science behind the experiment for kids and adults to understand easily.

Learning Resources LER2779 Jumbo Eyedroppers, Set of 6 with StandThese eyedroppers are fun for use in the bath tub. We’ve also used them for our home science experiments. They are great for fine motor skill development and when pretending to be a scientist!

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes, Arts & Crafts, Wooden Stylus, 125 Count, 3.75” H x 3.75” W x 1.75” L – These scratch pads are fun for children, help with motor skills and are fun for adults too.

Play-Doh Party Bag Dough, 15 Count (Assorted Colors) – Play-Doh is a great tactile toy that allows for endless hours of exploration, design and creativity. I picked this party pack because the size of the play-doh containers are definitely small enough to fit into an Easter basket.

Bug Viewer Box – Bug Jar for Children – Plastic Transparent Insect Catcher Kit with 3X Magnifying Lens, 2.5 x 3.1 x 2.5 Inches, Red and GreenIf you children enjoy being outside and exploring, a bug viewer magnifying jar may be perfect for them to explore nature more closely. This jar is transparent and the lid has a magnifying lens for closer viewing.

Summer Gardening Tools – What is better in Spring time than getting outside and working in the garden. My children LOVE working in our garden. They love digging for worms and planting seeds and plants. Gardening is an excellent way to teach your children and immerse them in nature.

Book Review, Math and Numbers, STEM Resources

Reading ‘STEMs’ Learning – Danica McKellar Book Review

DISCLAIMER: I am an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases made from the links in this post at no additional cost to you.

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Photo courtesy The Wall Street Journal

Who remembers Winnie Cooper from the show ‘The Wonder Years’? The actress, known as Danica McKellar, is now (among other roles) an acclaimed mathematics author. She received her bachelors degree in mathematics at UCLA and is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) advocate.

In an interview with USA Today, Ms. McKellar stated that, “I was a total STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kid from the time I was born. I can’t ever remember a time that I didn’t want to not only learn, but be challenged. I think that’s why I love math; it challenges my brain.”

In many of her books it seems that she specifically targets young girls as her audience. In interviews I’ve read, she said she didn’t feel she ‘looked the part’ of a typical math student and wants to change that perception for the future generations.

We personally own three of her math picture books in our home – all I will review below. Again, I’ll suggest either to BUY IT, BORROW IT or SKIP IT.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS – BUY IT!

This book is a New York Times Best Seller and it is probably my favorite of the three that we have. Most of the reading in our house happens at bedtime, so this book naturally fits in with the bedtime theme. This book is intended for toddlers and preschoolers.

The rhymes in this book are appealing and unique. The story follows a toddler and adult through various areas of the home counting and getting ready for bed. There a multiple examples in the illustrations on each page of the represented number and the lessons are also relatable to everyday situations like, there are 7 days in a whole week.

At the end of the book, there is a letter from the author to parents. She provides other great ideas and examples of easy ways to introduce counting and numbers to young children and suggestions on how to read the book to your child. We read this book so often, that I would recommend buying it for your preschooler or soon to be preschooler. You won’t be disappointed.

TEN MAGIC BUTTERFLIES BUY IT!

If you have a child that loves fairies and enchanted stories, this picture book is perfect. First off, the illustrations in this book are beautiful. Again, McKellar sneaks in counting, addition and subtraction in an innovative and fun way to keep your child’s attention with rhymes and images. This is also a great bedtime book, as it ends with ‘sleep tight’!

This book is a wonderful introduction to math because it starts with low numbers (only up to ten). My daughter learned all the various combinations of numbers that add up to 10 and she’s pretty good for her age at completing simple math problems. She also views math as fun! I credit books like this for that! This book is a definite buy in my opinion, especially for young girls.

BATHTIME MATHTIMEBUY IT OR BORROW IT!

I struggled with my suggestion to buy or borrow this book. While I like the innovative spirit of this book, I personally enjoyed the first two stories above more than this one. BUT, if you have a child with a short attention span, I do think that this book would be better choice than the first two above. It is a very short book.

This book is based on a young boy in the bath tub and all the ways in which the family counts during his bath time ritual. It’s illustrations include actual math calculations which help your child get familiar with them. My suggestion would be to borrow this book first, then make a decision on if it is worth the purchase for your child.

Have you read or own any of these books? What are you thoughts and opinions of these stories?

Did you know that Danica McKellar was a math author? What other Danica McKellar math books do you own? Would you recommend them?

Do you have any other books you’d like me to review? Let me know at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com.

As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Check out my other STEM book reviews here!

Book Review, Germs, STEM Resources

Reading ‘STEMs’ Learning – “Do not lick this book!” Book Review

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Click to purchase this book on Amazon!

Several weeks ago, I was browsing through a parenting magazine and I saw a book listed as one of the best picture books of the year. Since it seemed to be STEM based, of course, I had to check it out!

“Do not lick this book!” is an extremely FUN, interactive and informative book to read!! It introduces germs and viruses in a fun interactive way by following a germ called ‘Min’ on an adventure. Min meets lots of new germ friends along the way. Children interact with the book by pretending to physically place Min and Min’s friends in various places, then exploring those places and meeting new germ friends.

The author, Idan Ben-Barak, holds several degrees including microbiology, the history and philosophy of science and library studies. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. The illustrator, Julian Frost, is world known.

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There are several pages in this book that have very impressive high resolution microscopic images – specifically using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). So kids can see things, like a shirt, in very very high resolution. Some of the things that the germs say in the book that Min meets along the way are very witty and funny. My three year thought this book was absolutely hilarious and we read this book quite often. She ends up roaring in laughter through each page!
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If your child is between the ages of 3-8, I would recommend this book as one to check out. As an adult, I LOVED reading this book to my child. It was a lot of fun to pretend and learn together. I am also personally glad that I purchased it because we have been reading it over and over again.

Have you read this book before? What did you and your child think? Is this a book you want to check out? Let me know in the comments or at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com.

DISCLAIMER: As an Amazon Associate and I may earn from qualifying purchases made from the links above. I was not requested to review this book and I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Book Review

Reading ‘STEMs’ Learning – Andrea Beaty Book Review

This week, I’m reviewing three (3) books.  The books are: “Rosie Revere, Engineer”, “Iggy Peck, Architect” and “Ada Twist, Scientist”.

I’ll tell you if I think you should BUY IT, BORROW IT, or SKIP IT.

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About the Author / Illustrator:

The author is Andrea Beaty.  She actually has a very similar background to mine – she majored in technical fields in college (in her case, biology and computer science) and also loved to write.  She eventually began writing children’s books and now many of her books are best sellers.  The illustrator, David Roberts, makes fantastic illustrations that are very visually appealing to children.  They are wonderful picture books!  The first book in the series that we read was “Rosie Revere, Engineer” and we loved it!

About the Books:

Each of the children in these books are second grade classmates in Miss Lila Greer’s classroom and each has some type of passion (inventing, testing or building) that relates to three different STEM careers – an engineer, a scientist and an architect.  Each book outlines the creative and inquisitive spirits of each of the children, the catastrophes they face and then a resolution at the end.

20181016_144511Rosie Revere, Engineer:  BUY IT

This book is extremely creative and the rhymes are fluid.  The words rolled right off my tongue when reading them and the lessons in the book are life lessons.  One of my favorite quotes from the book, “The only true failure can come if you quit.”  There is also a prelude for some history you can teach your child, as the ‘real’ Rosie the Riveter (from WWII) makes an appearance as Rosie’s Great-Great-Aunt Rose.  From an engineers perspective, I felt it gave a very good introduction into an engineers best qualities.  And I felt this book was especially empowering to young girls.

20181016_144559Iggy Peck, Architect:  SKIP IT OR BORROW IT

The storyline in this book and the overall moral were just okay, especially since Rosie Revere was our first book to read in the series and left such a wonderful feel.  My daughter didn’t ask as many questions and I didn’t find that the words were as fluid as Rosie Revere.  Generally though, I do think it touched on some of the passions of a great architect but fell short of my expectations.  I think if we had skipped this book, we wouldn’t be missing out and I would not have purchased this book had I read it in advance.  I didn’t think it was awful, so I’d say if architecture is your child’s thing, then borrow it.

20181016_144628Ada Twist, Scientist: BORROW IT

We enjoyed the fluidity of this story and its moral.  The moral of the story is that a great scientist makes hypotheses, tests them and then draws conclusions by continuously asking ‘why’.  I think this book is worth the read, but review it ahead  of purchasing and possibly before reading it to your child (some readers felt that there might be some unintentional, negative cultural bias in the book that I did not notice until after I read some reviews).  My favorite quote in this book was, “She asks lots of questions.  How could she resist?  It’s all in the heart of a great scientist.” 

Additional Resources Available:

Did you know that astronauts read books to children from space? “Rosie Revere, Engineer” is one of the books that is read by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).  It is supported by the Global Space Education Foundation called Storytime from Space.  The astronauts also perform educational demonstrations to compliment the science concepts found in the books they read to children in the videos.  Check it out in the link above!

Experiment
Experiment from Andrea Beaty’s website that could accompany “Ada Twist, Scientist”.

Also, Andrea Beaty’s website contains a plethora of educational resources that accompany the books – from posters to bookmarks to teacher curriculums and child activities.  One link that I found on the website lead to a really neat idea – setting up a “tinkering station” for your child.

Have you read any of these books to your children?  Which of the three are your favorite / least favorite? 

Do you want me to do more reviews like this? 

Let me know in the comments or at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com.

All opinions and reviews of these books in this blog post are my own.  I was not asked to make a review and I was not compensated for my review.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am an Amazon Associate.  As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases made using the links above at no additional cost to you.

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