Encouraging Hands-On Learning with STEM Toys

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My daughter seems to be bored almost instantly, unless she’s either getting messy or putting something together and I’m running out of ‘fun’ experiments to share with her. We’ve done the milk and food colouring with a soapy Q Tip, we’ve done drawing with glue, sprinkling with salt and dropping on food colouring-water solution to paint with colours, and we’ve made every kind of Play-Doh ‘ice cream’ to pretend to eat.

Luckily, there are a few pretty cool products that will give us some things to play with and would work for whatever your school year will look like. Whether you’re sending the little ones off or home-schooling (or just staying in on a rainy weekend), these will work for fun with science.

Ooze Labs: Colorful Crystal Lab

Explore the natural beauty and wonder of crystals by growing them yourself in many different shapes and colors! Set up your lab station — complete with beakers, test tubes, centrifuge, display dome, and more — and use safe, non-toxic crystal salts to conduct more than ten experiments in crystal formation.

You can even make red, pink, blue, purple, and clear crystals using the spinning centrifuge! After you’ve completed the experiments in the kit, continue your crystal growing adventures using the cool lab setup and common materials from around your home. MSRP: $29.95; Ages 6+.

Stick-O Basic 10Pc Set

The Stick-O Basic 10 Piece Set teaches hands-on learning through magnetic play. Toddlers can easily connect and express their creativity with the rainbow-colored shapes including 2 Sticks, 4 Spheres, 2 Curve Sticks, 1 Cone and 1 Disc. Once playtime is over, Stick-O pieces can easily be cleaned up and put away for next time. MSRP $14.99; Ages 18m+.

SolarBots: 8-in-1 Solar Robot Kit

Build unique robots that are powered by the sun — batteries not required! Using a compact solar panel, these cool little bots harness energy from the sun to power an electric motor to get moving. Build a drummer robot that marches along, beating a drum; an armadillo robot that does somersaults; a solar bug that crawls on six legs, and more!

The 48-page, full-color manual guides solar power pioneers through model assembly and offers fun scientific facts about the real-life applications of solar technology. What solar-powered inventions will you dream up? MSRP: $24.95; Age 6+.

Tileblox Rainbow 20Pc Set

Discover the endless possibilities of Tileblox 20Pc set. With the step-by-step idea sheet, create one-of-a-kind masterpieces! A great set for beginner builders looking to explore and learn through play. Arrives with 8 Triangles and 12 Square in Rainbow colors.

Each geometric shape contains magnets that let you build with endless possibilities! TileBlox is perfect for STEM education and when playtime is over, use the magnetic power to simply stack and store. MSRP: $24.99; Ages 3+

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