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.

Animals, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Zoological Society, Nature

Check out the Veterinary Procedures at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

On November 5, 2018, we visited the Cleveland Metro parks Zoo and we spent some time in the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.

 

I would consider this somewhat a ‘hidden gem’ inside the Cleveland Zoo.  It is nestled back behind the Rising Waters Safari Camp, just past the Rhino exhibit and building.  On most of our visits to the zoo, we either spend very minimal time in this building or we’ve skipped it.  Since it was a little chillier outside, we decided to spend a bit more time exploring this building and it was well worth it!

According to the Cleveland Zoological Society, the center is “dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and surgical procedures, has a radiology lab, clinical labs an endocrinology lab and a pharmacy.”  And actually, the site map inside the facility shows that their is much more to this facility than the typical visitor actually gets to see.

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This center walks through the care of animals from birth to end of life.  Along the way, there are interactive activities for kids, for example, filling crates with the appropriate meal items for various animals and a diagnostic challenge.  The diagnostic challenge steps you through the process of determining what is wrong with an animal and the diagnostic tools that a veterinarian might use to determine it.  My 3 year old especially loved these areas.  She loved pretending to care for the animals and prepare their food for the day and she also loved pretending she was a veterinarian problem solving why the animal was sick.

The absolute best part of this center for visitors is being able to see scientists provide veterinary services to the animals.  There are 4 rooms visible to guests – 3 surgical / procedural rooms and 1 imaging room (i.e. for x-rays).

We were lucky and a procedure was schedule that day at 11:30am.  We were able to observe the veterinary staff provide health services to a scarlet macaw.  This was extremely fun.  We saw the animal put under anesthesia and the veterinary staff check it’s heart, feathers, skin, talons, and beak.  They also took some x-rays of the bird.  The veterinary staff briefly brought the animal up to the window for everyone to see it up close also.

My understanding is that a veterinary procedure could be happening at any point depending on the needs of the zoo, however I did speak to another zoo member that day and she has observed many procedures there.  She mentioned that the procedures typically occur around 11:30 am or 2pm each day.  This particular one was at 11:30am.

So, if you are there, you might want to check out the center around those times of day!  This was such a great experience for children.  My daughters were able to compare their doctors appointments to what was happening to the animal.  My daughter had questions about why the scarlet macaw had to go under anesthesia for a simple procedure, while she did not for her doctor appointments.  She was also able to make the connection to some of the interactive exhibits in the center.

I am a member of the Cleveland Metro parks Zoo but I have no other affiliation with them.  I was not asked to provide this review and I did not talk directly with any member of the zoo about this blog post.  All opinions and viewpoints in this post are 100% my own.

Have you seen this type of procedure at the zoo near you?  Which zoo?  What other uniques experiences have your children had at the zoo you’ve attended to help introduce various STEM fields to them?  Let me know in the comments or at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com.

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