I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.
Play and Learn with these STEM activities and toys for multiple ages! They are the perfect boredom busters and memory makers for your weekend at home (especially as summer boredom busters!) The fact that they are all fun yet also filled with important skill developments make these toys loved by kids of multiple ages and completely mother approved!
Play and Learn: STEM Activities and Toys
One of my challenges as a mother of three is finding activities and toys that are educational AND that meet the wide range of my children’s ages. My eldest is 10 while my youngest is 3. Being the naturally teaching Mama in me, I am always on the lookout for getting the most bang for my buck. In this case, getting the most value out of our activity time together.
When looking for high quality and educational toys that can be used throughout different ages I always turn to my most trusted go to store, Lakeshore Learning. I will either look on Lakeshore Learning’s website or I visit them at my local store. When I saw these three STEM toys I knew they would be a perfect fit for my kids. All the activities integrate STEM and 2 of them add an art factor making them STEAM activities too! These toys and activities are kept at home as kids boredom busters. If I hear one of the kids say, “I’m bored!” on the weekend or during the summer I point them to my special boredom buster cabinet and they can go in and pick an activity to do.
When my 3 year old see’s my8 and 10 old engaged in an activity, she always wants to join in. This can often be challenging due to their age difference and their different developmental stages. These project based and game STEM activities were PERFECT for each one of their skill levels! Throw Mama into the activity and now you have the most wonderful and memorable activity ever!
What is STEM?
Many of you may not know what STEM or STEAM stand for. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEAM adds Art into the mix. Why is STEM important? STEM is all around us in our everyday lives. The world is constantly changing and technology is improving. We need to encourage growth in each of these areas.
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Build a STEAM Boat
I knew my kids would enjoy building a boat but I had no idea about the discussions that would happen during construction time.
They discussed which type of markers we should use because the boats would be going in the water. They chose to use Sharpies instead of our normal washable markers. They then discussed their flag positioning and discussed the weight of the boat in different areas.
I wasn’t sure my 3 year old would be able to keep up but I was pleasantly surprised at her determination. I TRIED to help her but she would have none of that.. she was determined to complete each part of this activity on her own. She would also listen to her siblings talk about why certain flags should be placed in certain areas.
Here are the completed boats. (My 3 year olds boat is missing in the picture because she ran upstairs to show it off to her Daddy.)
The kids then needed to test out their designs. They wanted to see whose boat would go the straightest, if any of their boats would capsize and different ways to make the boats move. We tried a fan and they also tried blowing them.
I love that each kit comes with 10 boats meaning we can revisit this activity a few more times. Each time they will use their experience from the last test to improve their boats.
Play + Learn STEM toys http://bit.ly/2veGswF
Lets build a STEAM Plane
The fact that my children were born in South Africa often comes through their art. It is a part of who they are and this is a wonderful way of expressing themselves and connecting to their history.
Besides art, math and and engineering come into play when determining the best way to built a plane. The positioning of each stick and wing is very important. If your wings are slightly tilted your plane will naturally tilt towards the side. Their construction and placement will also determine how long each plane will fly.
It was amazing to watch the children discuss with each other ways to improve each of their airplanes. They’d fly them and then promptly make a slight adjustment.
The rubber band placement of this one was a little hard for my three year old but this is where sibling relationships are encouraged. I stood back while her big brother and big sister helped her and explained to her what they were doing.
Survive the Earthquake – An engineering activity
If there is one toy that has not seen a moment in my cabinet since the day it arrived… it is this one. Maybe it is because we live in California and Earthquakes naturally occur here or maybe its because the kids are fascinated by the challenge of creating something that can withstand the motion of an earthquake.
If you were watching my Instagram story last week, you would have seen how much fun my kids were having with this activity. As the children built their city structures we would discuss which one they predict will fall first and why they felt it would fall.
Just look at the focus in her eyes.
Trust me, my kids have said this is a MUST have toy. I LOVE seeing the giggles and smiles in anticipation of when their buildings would fall.
I love toys that stimulate the kids minds while also being FUN. I’ve noticed that when my children feel challenged by a toy they will often revisit it over and over.
I love that Lakeshore’s innovative and unique products make learning truly fun and are a part of our children’s daily lives. They attract a wide variety of ages and never disappoint.
Want to grab some of these toys?
Lakeshore Learning has graciously offered the Fun With Mama community a 20% off coupon code for any one single, nonsale item. Click here to redeem that coupon! To learn more about Lakeshore Learning, find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.