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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Review: Steam Play and Learn

Steam Play and Learn is an wonderful package of ideas for preschool children that is both entertaining and educational.

It shares 20 simple projects that introduce concepts that are STEAM-based. That is, science, technology, engineering, art and maths.

An introduction explains to parents the importance of the STEAM projects in emphasising process, encouraging tinkering, allowing for mistakes, and making connections.

It also asks parents to wherever possible let children experience and work through the projects themselves, at their own speed, and to ask them questions to encourage their curiosity and understanding.

Learn about colours using food colouring, cornstarch and water; and explore weight by making your own scale and measuring objects.

My favourite project in the book is making a colourful, fizzing volcano with citrus fruits, soap, baking soda, and food colouring. Another one I love also uses citrus fruits -- turning a bag of limes into a battery! There's also a project that uses marbles, craft sticks and string to create a Newton's Cradle toy.

The projects in Steam Play and Learn are divided into three categories: easy, medium and difficult. The easiest only need adults to prepare the materials for children to get them started. Medium projects need some adult help, and difficult projects are intended to be led by adults.

Each project has a list of materials and step-by-step instructions (including 'parent prep' information). The text is large print, so it is easy for children to read, and there are lots of colourful photos accompanying each project, making it easy for children to see what to do and what the outcome will be.

I highly recommend Steam Play and Learn. It's one of the best STEAM activity books I've seen for young children.

Title: Steam Play and Learn
Author: Ana Dziengel 
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr, $17.99
Publication Date: May 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781633225268
For ages: 4 - 6
Type: Activity book

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