Lately the boys have been interested in learning how things work, and they are asking lots of questions. They ask great questions, like what are clouds made from, and how do planets sail through the sky without falling anywhere, and how does a rollercoaster do that? I love that they are curious, so I subscribed to KiwiCrate and Amazon STEM Club so that every month, the boys receive new STEM projects related to tech, building, or some other topic they love, and every month they create and learn knew things (and I learn along with them).
I signed my younger son up for KiwiCrate and we received a kit that taught us about colors and light optics. It was really (surprisingly) informative and fun for him, which is not something I would have imagined when it came to studying lights and colors, but he enjoyed putting together the various projects to test out color theories, and his older brother joined in too.
I ordered STEM Club for my older son (I also ordered Tinker Crate for him but it has not arrived yet so will update in future on how he likes it). As part of STEM Club, he receives a new, quality, challenging STEM toy or project every month or so (you can set it up to receive every second or third month as well). So far everything has been twice the value of our $19.99 monthly membership fee, making it a great value, and with his first kit he is learning to create cranes, pulleys, structures, levers, and mobile objects. The two boys work alongside each other on their various surprises that arrive in the mail, each making their own projects for their own level.
(they also love getting mail, so gifting children educational subscription boxes is a great gift idea!)
Some of the STEM projects are very challenging, and spark an interest in engineering in the boys in a fun way. Other products, like ZOOBs, just let him be creative and make things (sort of like LEGOs, which they love, but ZOOBs have four piece designs in four colors that each connect in their own way, so mainly it’s about figuring out how they connect and making structures). ZOOBs are fun but don’t quite engage them as much as STEM toys that create product with recognizable end products. LEGOs are designed in sets to end up as castles or ships or planes, and the STEM toys we are getting from our subscription create bridges and vehicles, and they definitely love the projects that end up as projectors or cranes or vehicles the most (and we didn’t find ZOOBs to be beautiful enough to display or photography when we were done… but fun for a bit).
My older son currently wants to be a YouTube star (I have my gaming husband to thank for this) and I’m hoping having fun with STEM toys gets his mind thinking in a different direction instead. My younger son currently wants to be a veterinarian, a fireman, and a rock star, and I’m ok with all of that (when he says rock star, I hear musician), but since they change so much as they grow up, especially as they are exposed to fascinating new things, I can’t help but hope to one day hear “Hey mom, I want to be an engineer”… so I’m planting the seeds of love for science, technology, engineering, and math early on ♥︎