Hands-On STEAM

As a hands-on learner and Engineer, I am a big proponent of Rachelle Doorley's Tinkerlab, A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors.

It details 55 interesting and fun experiments for young children - think 2 - 5 years of age. They are very doable, some a tad messy, but all will be an enjoyable experience for your little interested in the world because they are learning through play. In the picture above we made and are playing with Cloud Dough. It was a fantastic sensory experience that took up a good hour or more and was something we reused throughout the week. It was a bit messy so I'm glad we did it outside! The book includes some really great tips on how to encourage exploration in your child and how to set up your home to optimize a craft and learning space. We've done a number of them since our son was about 20 months old. As a 6 year old, when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he proudly says "Inventor"!

For those with older children, I would recommend Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecks. There is even an Edible Edition which I'm pretty sure is going to my next purchase...like tomorrow!

This one details 52 experiments, many with everyday kitchen staples. These are designed to specifically spark science-minded questions so older children would benefit most - 6-14+ years of age. Most require some space and even to do outside (like the soda geyser), but there are also some that would be a fun learning experience for a short stint homebound. Over the holiday break, I'm excited to do grow some Rock Candy with K. It teaches molecular structure in a relatable way and, will be fun to create many different colors, and will be a fun treat as a reward for his patience.

We want to hear all about any of the labs or experiments you try at home below!

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