Inside: If you like STEM Activity books, you will love this amazing list of titles that will let your little ones tinker, code, craft and experiment right at home!
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STEM Activity Books Your Kids Will Love!
Tinkerers, inventors, crafters, coders… unite!
There’s no debating it: science, technology, engineering, art and math have pervaded all aspects of our lives. From computers to robots to code — and from the way this technology has become a ubiquitous part of so many jobs in the American workforce — our children must acquire a STEM education in order to adequately prepare for their futures.
Aside from the fact that STEM (or STEAM) occupations in the United States are growing at a significant rate, STEM education is vital for our children as it teaches them to think critically, innovate creatively, and explore science and technology in ways us adults never dreamed of when we were kids. What could be cooler than that?
Don’t get me wrong, though. For those of us who do not have this type of background, it can feel extremely daunting to help our kids explore and learn in this area. Trust me — I know! I’m a writer, a reader and a lover of words. Science and math are kind of my enemy.
But — I promise — there are easy ways you can encourage STEM education right in your own homes, even without having this background your self.
How do you do that, you ask? With the help of amazing STEM activity books!
Experiment and Tinker Safely at Home with STEM Activity Books
If you have a kid in your house who loves experimenting, we have just the list of books for you.
From building your own constructions right at home, to learning about the world through awesome science projects, to coding without even getting onto a screen, the following STEM activity books offer activities and experiments to get your kiddos thinking creatively and critically.
You will have so much fun with these books, you won’t even realize how much you’re learning as you read and play. Enjoy!
Do you want to find out our 28 favorite books to make storytime magical and meaningful? Check them out, here!
STEAM Play and Learn: 20 fun step-by-step preschool projects about science, technology, engineering, art and math, by Ana Dziengel: Perfect for your preschoolers, these projects feature step-by-step, easy to understand instructions, all of which encourage your kids to become creative thinkers. The projects emphasize process, encourage tinkering, make connections between subjects, and, most importantly, allow kids to make mistakes! This one is just amazing for young kids!
Fun and Easy Crafting With Recycled Materials: 60 Cool Projects that Reimagine Paper Rolls, Egg Cartons, Jars and More!, by Kimberly McLeod: One of my absolute favorite craft bloggers recently came out with this fabulous book of easy projects you can do at home with materials you are bound to have around your house. The craft ideas in this book are earth friendly (we love recycled products!), easy on the wallet, and ideal for sparking imaginative play. How so? Because your kids will be having so much fun making their own superhero masks and cardboard castles, that their play will continue long after their crafting has ended. We absolutely love this gem of a book!
Curious Creatable Creatures: 22 STEAM Projects that Magnetize, Glide, Slingshot, and Sometimes Scootch, by Sam Haynor: Don’t let the pictures deceive you. While these creatures may look like simple crafts on the outside, on the inside they contain items such as springs, magnets and even circuits! Each creature is unique and customizable, allowing kids to experiment and use their imagination at the same time. This one is perfect for young kids to do with their parents or for middle graders to do alone. Get ready for some fun with “Light-Up Crocodiles,” “Honksee the Popstar,” and “Watery Pumpitups”!!
My First Coding Book, by Kiki Prottsman: If you thought your five year old was too young to begin coding, think again! Even your youngest kiddos will learn the basics of coding in this fabulous book, from sequences to loops. Hesitant to hand over your screen to your little one? No worries here – this book doesn’t even require a computer. Instead, it’s filled with puzzles and games to teach kids the basic consequences of sequencing, algorithms and the like, all while developing critical thinking and logic skills. Get your kids ready to code without the screen!
Play, Make, Create: A Process-Art Handbook, by Meri Cherry: Oh YOU GUYS! I am in love with this book by one of my very favorite activity bloggers. Meri Cherry is a brilliant art teacher, and what I love about her the most is that she is all about helping kids learn how to make things, rather than focusing on the finished product itself. Even better? Her projects are so manageable for parents (especially the ones like me who often hide in the closet rather than set up craft projects for my kids!!), and even more fun for children. I love that so many of her amazing process-art projects have now been combined into one gorgeous book, and this is undoubtedly our favorite go-to guide for weekend projects and creative fun!
This is Not a Math Book: A Smart Art Activity Book, by Anna Weltman: Math and art may appear totally different, but guess what? There is lots of overlap. For those who think math is boring, they won’t even realize how much math they’re learning as they engage in gorgeous drawing activities, and for those math enthusiasts who are hesitant to let loose, this fabulous books teaches them new ways to be creative. This is such a cool book to teach math through art!
Excellent Engineering: 35 Amazing Constructions You Can Do At Home, by Rob Beattie and illustrated by Sam Peet: If you have a budding engineer in your house or in your classroom, she will fall in love with this vibrant book. With easy to follow, step-by-step instructions, kids will construct marble roller coasters, use plastic bottles to make their own nightlights, create dancing robots, and even make their own smartphone boomboxes! You’ll make kids fall in love with science if you pull this one off the shelf!
Tinkeractive Workbooks, by Justin Krasner and illustrated by Chad Thomas: This series of workbooks is so cool! Designed to develop children’s foundational knowledge and encourage them to tinker creatively, each chapter includes curriculum based learning exercises followed by awesome projects they can create (and directly apply the problem solving skills they just used!), with materials you have around the house. Even better? Each workbook is designed by grade level, so you can guarantee your child is working at his or her appropriate level. LOVE!
Creative Adventures in Cursive, by Rachel Doorley: Cool and funky handwriting is all the rage these days, and with so many schools removing cursive from their curricula, this is a fun book to help them get creative as they write. Here, readers get 22 fun ways to use script to make posters, create cards and projects, and decorate all sorts of yummy treats. And readers aren’t limited to just markers. Instead, they will learn to write with glue, string, markers, paint and icing!
The School of Numbers: Learn About Mathematics with 40 Simple Lessons, by Emily Hawkins and illustrated by Daniel Frost: You have been accepted to the Starship Infinity Astro Academy. Congratulations, Cadet! Here you’ll have three terms of study. First you’ll learn more about numbers, then shapes and then you get to apply math to the world around you. From arithmetic to fractions, from percentages to sequences, get ready for fun with your awesome teachers, Lois Carmen Denominator, Di Ameter, and Al Jabra, just to name a few!
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects, by Jack Challoner: I love this book for the way it ranks its projects as being “easy,” “medium” and “hard,” and for the way it only requires household materials to complete the amazing projects. From exploding volcanoes to constructing lemon batteries, each project details the how and why behind the creation while also providing real world examples for context. This one is super cool, both for kids just starting elementary school (with some help from an adult) and for those on up to high school.
Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEAM Projects and Why They Work, by Crystal Chatterton: If you want to teach your kids about the scientific method, this is an amazing book for you! With more than 100 kid tested science experiments, these projects teach children that its super cool to be super curious, all the while showing the interplay between science, technology, engineering, art and math. Nothing beats learning and laughing at the same time. This is a winner!
Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games, by John Woodcock: If you have a beginning coder in your home who loves video games, they will love this book that provides step-by-step instructions for building video games in Scratch. They will learn the fundamentals of computer programming as they create their own games, complete with the why behind the code, such as simulating gravity and learning about collision detection. A must for coders who also love gaming!
Looking for ways to incorporate STEM education with your little ones? If you aren’t one for science projects or coding, you can easily use magnetic tiles to explore some basic concepts. We are loving our new Connetix Tiles for their durability and strength, and in our house, we have incorporated some STEM play by using Connetix Tiles to make marble runs! Marble runs are amazing for developing spatial awareness and fine motor skills, and they also help kids think about cause and effect, as well as basic laws of gravity.
And that’s not all. My big one loves to build things, and we love using Connetix Tiles to see just how high he can build structures. Constructing towers and castles helps teach problem solving, self control, and enhances fine motor skills and force control. Future engineer, maybe?! I’ll take it!
Happy reading, and have fun experimenting and inventing!