I hear you.
You want to do something creative with your kids. You know that creativity is the key to learning.
But you are overwhelmed with the day to day grind of feeding them, driving them everywhere, convincing them to brush their teeth, telling them no more ipad for the thousandth time, and shuffling endless school paperwork. Did I mention feeding them?
(Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
You have zero energy to collect the items necessary to do that cool project you saw on Pinterest, or at the Maker Faire.
Does any of this sound familiar? Fortunately, it doesn't have to be hard to do a creative project. Last weekend my son and I built a gravity ball game. Do you remember this classic toy from your own childhood? How you spent hours trying to figure out how to get the ball to just drop in the last hole already?
Well, back then no one told us we were learning S.T.E.M. skills and you probably didn't make the game yourself but no matter.
The DIY gravity game arrived as part of our monthly Tinker Crate subscription, although it is available as a single set. Getting the Tinker Crate in the mail is one of the highlights of our month. Recently we also put together a fiber optic constellation, a mechanical hand and made a flashlight. Sounds totally cool, right?
Putting the monthly project together has become a special time for me to connect with my 11 year old son doing something we both enjoy, and that doesn't involve sports!
The gravity game kit included a surprise I'd never seen before: how to get an object to roll uphill! (or does it???) I made a quick little video of the kids playing around with it. Watch the action:
Each Tinker Crate project comes with a booklet that explains the science behind the activity. In this case, my son learned about how the movement of the ball and cone is related to their center of mass. He was also able to try a few other experiments about mass and gravity to extend his learning. Even my 7 year old got in on the action and loved playing the gravity ball game.
The crate also included a cool bird balancing toy, which appealed to my little bird lover.
I don't make recommendations lightly, to which long time readers of this blog will attest. I hope you will try out one of the KiwiCo. monthly subscriptions. They have truly been a joy to receive. I am an affiliate, but I purchase the subscriptions myself. I do not get them free in exchange for telling you how much I love them.
There are different crates for different ages:
- Tinker Crate, STEM based activities for kids ages 9 and up
- Doodle Crate, art and craft based activities for kids ages 9 and up
- Kiwi Crate, for kids ages 5-8
- Koala Crate, for kids ages 3-4
- Panda Crate, for kids ages 0-2