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Last month the preschool hosted a science night and I took my oldest son to the library for the first annual New Jersey Maker’s Day. I’ve always been a DIY girl at heart and I can hardly contain my excitement for the “maker movement.” Have you heard of it? It’s basically DIY with a technology twist. Our town is even getting a maker space, where you’ll be able to pay a membership fee to use the 3D printers, woodworking machines, and more! There’s even a digital recording studio. To say I’m pumped about the possibilities for my kids here is definitely an understatement.
Maker Day made a huge impression on my son. His eyes lit up and his mouth dropped open when we turned some common materials into a lightbulb and he watched in awe as the 3D printer whirred. I could see the wheels in his head turning and he’s been talking about inventing Robot CareBears and building his own Tinker Box ever since. They even let him “sew” by pushing the pedal to put together his own bag and gave him an arrowhead in the museum area of our library.
At preschool science night he cried because we didn’t have time to explore all of the different stations they had set up.
Since the kids were born, I’ve been thinking about ways to spark their interest in science and engineering, while keeping it age appropriate. Both my husband and I come from very handy, entrepreneurial minded families and I’m really looking forward to seeing where my kids take that history and create in their futures.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. In the meantime, I’m doing a lot of research on how to boil things down to basic skills and come up with a road map of action plans. Say you want your kids to learn how to code? Well, they have to start somewhere with basic logic and reasoning puzzles. (I’ve actually found a bunch of very basic resources that I’ll be sharing in another post.) Do you want them to learn woodworking or mechanical skills? What basics do they need to know first?
I’m even toying around with a virtual “maker” or science camp that my readers will be able to participate from their home. More details coming soon as I figure them out.
Earlier this year I read and reviewed the book,Science- Not Just for Scientists that reinforced my theory that children are born scientists, with a natural curiosity. They are born thinking scientifically, it’s just up to us as parents to give them opportunities to continue to explore, discover, and test their ideas.
More Books We’re Using to Explore Science
• Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors￼
• The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!￼
• Science Not Just For Scientists!: Easy Explorations for Young Children￼
Online Resources for Science Experiments and STEM Activities
- Steve Spangler Science
- Buggy and Buddy
- Left Brain Craft Brain (including the 28 Days of Hands On Stem Series)
- Go Science Girls
- Mama Smiles
- Kitchen Counter Chronicles
- 5 Easy Science Experiments for Kids from East Coast Mommy
- What We Do All Day
- Parenting Chaos
- Inspiration Laboratories
- The Educator’s Spin On It
- Lemon Lime Adventures
- Planet Smarty Pants
- Babble Dabble Do
- All For The Boys
- Frugal Fun For Boys
- STEAM Powered Family
- Brain Power Boy
I’m also collecting a ton of science experiments and tinker project ideas on my Science Pinterest board.
STE(A)M – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics and STEM (All of that without the art component) activities have been trending in the toy industry for several years now and I’ve kept my eyes and ears peeled, even though my kids aren’t ready for the complicated stuff yet. We’ll be reviewing a few things soon and sharing posts about our everyday science experiments.
I’ve always hoped to make these kind of activities and experiences, as well as exploring nature and developing inquisitive, scientific, creative minds a focus here on my blog. So keep a lookout and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to hear about new projects and opportunities for your kids (like that virtual science camp I mentioned above). When I have the details worked out, my subscribers will be the first to know.