Friday, 15 December 2017

Homemade STEM Toys for Christmas

Both myself and my husband are very keen on education, and raising girls means that we are keen that they are not limited by their sex - we like them to have a variety of experiences and play with toys, clothe, books that are not traditionally for 'girls.' As you probably know, part of my PhD research focuses on gender, so I won't start getting all lectur-y about sex and gender, but needless to say - we want our girls to embrace all aspects of being human without confining them to one gender or another.

So of course we are delighted to write about Konnie Huq's partnership with the Institute of Engineering and Techinology (IET) to create home-made STEM toys for Christmas. We were keen to get the kids involved in learning. getting creative and doing something a little bit different.



Christmas can be difficult for many people. Some people feel the pressure and spend a fortune on toys for their kids, and even if you aren't having money difficulties, it can still be hard to 'keep up with the Jones' in this way. This is why I really loved the idea of home-made presents - not just for Christmas gifts but also as a way of spending time with your kids, engaging with their creative side as well as teaching them a bit of science along the way.



The Christmas STEM toys made by Konnie include:

1. Dissolving egg

2. Magnetic slime

3. Icosahedron bauble

4. Marble run

5. Balloon boat

6. Bouncy balls

7. Smartphone projector

8. Living gingerbread house

9. Kaleidoscope


We decided to try and make the Icosahedron bauble. As Warren is a Physics teacher, I thought it would be best to leave the kids to be taught by their Dad with this, They sat with a compass and made each circle individually. Warren showed them some maths tricks to turn the circle into equilateral triangles, I was sat nearby and overheard the conversation between Warren and Alice - they discussed how important maths and science is to creating shapes and structures in the world, and how maths and science as subjects inform each other.




They had a really good time making the decoration. As you can see, it turned out really well - all they need to do next is to paint it and add glitter - that is our next job!





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