Thursday, September 25, 2014

Introducing Science to Young Children

For the last two years there have been quite a few science toys  featured at the annual Toy Fair show in New York.  STEM education is in these days and it is close to my heart.  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  We don’t have enough people majoring in these subjects and the toy industry is jumping on the bandwagon by introducing some wonderful science sets that are sure to spark interest in kids - including young children.

Full disclosure – I was one of those kids and studied chemical engineering and had a career in engineering for 30 years.  My husband and son are engineers and I am convinced that my 5 year old grandson definitely has skills and interests in this direction.  So yes, I think the emphasis on STEM education is a great idea.

These new science oriented toys are not like the ones we remember that would only appeal to the nerdiest of older kids.   These toys are a great way to introduce kids to the excitement of science in a hands-on way.  There is way too much to put in one blog post so today’s post is about science toys for young children and the next one will be for older kids.  All of the pictures were taken by me at Toy fair displays - no stock images. 

Clifford The Big Red Dog Science Kits
from The Young Scientists Club   Ages 3 and up
There are five of these kits – Bubble Science, Rainbow Science, Kitchen Science, Food Science and Animal Science.  Each set comes with a 20 page manual narrated by Emily Elizabeth and all the materials needed to conduct simple science experiments.  These kits are design for pre-schoolers and offer an excellent and interesting introduction to science.
Clifford The Big Red Dog Science Kits

Oh, That's me with Clifford The Big Red Dog

My First Microscope
By GeoSafari/Educational Insights  Ages 3 and up
Everybody enjoys looking in a microscope but this isn’t something that young children can usually enjoy for the simple reason that you need to close one eye and look with the other.  This microscope designed for young children features two scopes – no need to squint.  I love it!

My First Microscope by GeoSafari/Educational Insights

My First Microscope by GeoSafari/Educational Insights

Metal Detector, Color Mixer and More
by Learning Resources    Products for every age group

Learning Resources makes lots of educational toys and products used in schools as resources for learning.  They have an excellent line of science oriented toys for young children and here a few of my pictures from Toy Fair.

Learning Resources Mix and Measure Set

Learning Resources Color Mixing Set

More Interesting Science Items from Learning Resources

This Lab Coat from Learning resources will fit a child ages 3- 7.

The Magic School Bus Series
from The Young Scientists Club
Remember Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School bus?  They were great books that my kids loved as Ms. Frizzle took her class on exciting and fun science adventures.  With these science sets Ms. Frizzle takes her students on wild rides in the Engineering Lab, Weather Lab and Slime and Polymer Lab and more.  In the Engineering Lab young scientists become engineers when they build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, create solar energy, design an electric game, make a simple machine, construct a submarine, and more.  And it comes in this great Magic School Bus box.  This one is coming to my house in the near future for sure.

The Magic School Bus Slime and Polymer Lab from The Young Scientists Club

Here I am with Ms. Frizzle - What Fun!
  Check out most of these at Amazon.  See the links below:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Celebrate National Play Doh Day - DohVinci – for Older Kids

Today is national Play Doh Day!!  Yeah!!!  For the occasion I thought I would write about something new from Play Doh and oriented for an older child.  In August I attended a small Hasbro show for bloggers which featured new products.  My favorite is this new line from Play Doh – DohVinci – which is aimed at children older than the traditional pre-school.  Recommend over ages 6 and up.

Here I am at the work table creating a decorated picture frame

DohVinci is a new air dry compound that fit into a styler and squezzed unto any surface that you like.  There are different attachments for different designs.  You let it air dry and voila – you have a 3-D work of art.  At the event we had the opportunity to decorate a frame with DohVinci, let it dry and take it home.

Here are the simple directions on display at the show

Okay, So I'm not much an artist - but I sure had fun.

There are sets you can buy to decorate such as this one....
DohVinci Style and Store Vanity Kit

This is a great product for a craft at a sleepover birthday party or a grandparent visit.  It would make a fun project for a grandmother and school age child to do together - perhaps making homemade holiday gifts.  Check it out - available in stores and at Amazon.  See some Amazon links below.