Make learning fun: Toys for fostering STEM skills

Stem/Steam toys for fostering learning

The hottest trend in toys isn’t based on the newest cartoon character, it’s STEM. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s these skills that kids must adopt in order to stay relevant in today’s tech-centric world. At Ann Williams Group, we’re advocates of STEM and the expansion to STEAM, adding the A for arts. After all, our CEO is a Mechanical Engineer* and Mom! Many of our toys and craft kits can help improve STEM/STEAM skill sets by keeping them so engaged they don’t even know they’re learning. Like what? Glad you asked!

 

Craft-Tastic and Loopdeloom Go Full STEAM Ahead

Craft-tastic cardboard sculpture kit

The Cardboard Sculpture Kit takes advantage of kid’s natural interest in building toys, and allows them to create structures that are often taller than they are! Kids learn about engineering skills, proportion and balance as they build and play. It is great for using with other toys, making a great place for cars and little play characters to hang out. The play possibilities are endless.

 

Craft-tastic string art kits

The String Art Kit (1) and String Art Kit II (3) come with patterns that kids can follow, or they can make up their own. Either way, they will need use puzzle and problem solving skills to fill in gaps in the string art as they complete the designs. Kids have to assemble the 3-d String Art Kit (2) before they can string it, bringing construction skills into play.

 

Loopdeloom projects

The Loopdeloom is an open-ended kit that comes with basic instructions and supplies. We provide some video tutorials for projects, but we encourage kids to make up their own patterns for objects they want to weave. Kids need to use math to set up the loom and figure out patterns, as well as engineering skills to “build” their 3-d projects such as messenger bags and stuffed animals. 

 

Craft-tastic mini pom pom kit and Craft-tastic pom pom kit

The Pom Pom Kit and Mini Pom Pom Kit require kids to use math to figure out how many pom poms they will make and how they need to set up the tool in order to do so. Once they have made the pom poms, there are many crafts they can “build” with them. Will they make a scarf? A sculpture? A necklace? It’s up to them!

 

One More Cool Thing To Know….

Fun fact*: Our CEO invented the patented Loopdedoo and Loopdeloom thanks to her Mechanical Engineering background. While the toys may look simple, it took a lot of sketches, prototypes and testing to make them a reality. They both incorporate a combination of moving parts, gears and levers/knobs. She was an avid crafter as a child!

 


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