Featured Editorial

Top Trends in Indoor and Outdoor STEM Learning Play

How can STEM/STEAM learning experiences take place outside of the classroom environment? Excellent question! STEAM learning is the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics into student-centered learning environments. Through engineering, critical thinking, 
problem solving, and investigation, solutions to real-life problems are discovered from evidence-based exploration. Creating a wholistic focus nurturing young learners' social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the collaborative efforts within schools, families, and communities. With STEAM education learning is not restricted to the confines of the classroom. Offering flexibility in learning, STEAM crosses the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, math, biology, chemistry, physics, design, Information and Technology (IT), computer science, economics, physical education, and geography. STEAM learning provides the opportunity to develop career-building skills through hands-on application. Take a look at a few of out favorite choices of top trends in indoor and outdoor STEM learning play.

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Top Trends in Indoor and Outdoor STEM Learning Play

It's incredible to consider the amount of rocks I find in random places and pockets throughout our home. We "rocked out" while we were busy "digging in" our Smithsonian Rock and Gem Dig Kit. Oddly satisfying, my son was able to use the tools in the kit to tap away at sand block gradually revealing an assortment of hidden treasures. Discovering and identifying was both educational and entertaining, leading to further rock and gen research. Ideal for ages 8 and up, included in the Rock and Gem Dig kit are an imprinted, pressed sand block hiding 11 gemstones, minerals or rocks, a wooden mallet and dowel, goggles, a streak plate, magnifying glass, pouch and informative color poster with instructions. Available from Target, Amazon, and select retailers.

Moonlight is spectacular light when gazing with our Smithsonian 30X Telescope/Monocular, which is a two-in-one handy, dandy instrument. Looking outdoors with the telescope was an eye-opening experience for my son as he was able to position the telescope on the tripod to get a steady view. Removing the tripod allowed him to use the monocular as a spyglass to easily observe the skyscape from different viewpoints. Adult supervision is required, with a suggested recommendation of 8 years of age and above. Included are a 30X Telescope, Aluminum Tabletop Tripod, and instructional booklet with information explaining the moon, phases of the moon, and much more. Available from Target, Amazon, and select retailers.

All Pro Passer Robotic Quarterback  

Get ready! We weren't prepared for the power the ALL Pro Passer Robotic Quarterback packs. Tossing a football back and forth is everything for some of us, for others it can really require time for recovery afterward. We were thrilled to be able to leave the tough stuff to All Pro Passer Robotic Quarterback, The Most Accurate Quarterback on Earth. My son was quite impressed with the way the base is programmed with 9 different passing zones to throw the football short, midfield, or long, and to the right, left or center.  It's easy to set-up and can be used to practice catching alone or with a team. Designed for outdoor use, and recommended for ages 14 and up, included are the All Pro Passer Robotic Quarterback, football, and instructions and requires 4 “C” batteries (not included). 

It will probably give away my age to say that I remember the enchantment of the first Wubble Bubble Ball commercials. If you've ever picked up a Wubble, you'll understand how difficult it is to put it back down. Magically made from soft yet durable, lightweight and strong Xpandium, Groovy Glow Wubble is tie-dye designed to glow-in-the-dark to bounce around indoors or outdoors. We were excited about the with new valve making it super easy to inflate our Wubble by blowing into the self-sealing valve using the included nozzle or using almost any pump you have around. We chose to inflate our Wubble just a little larger than the size of a basketball, however, it inflates between 24-30 inches. Once we held the Wubble closer to the light for about 10 minutes, we were able to see the really cool glow-in-the-dark feature. SO much fun! Recommended for ages 6 and up, each Groovy Glow Wubble Bubble Ball package includes 1 Groovy Glow Wubble ball, nozzle, patch kit, petroleum jelly pouch, and instructions. Available from Target, Amazon, and select retailers.

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