Full STEAM Ahead with Language!

The STEM/STEAM trend is really hot in the toy industry! Sherry Artemenko, Speech Language Pathologist with over 17,000 hours working with kids can help parents choose toys full of learning while advancing knowledge in science, technology engineering, the arts and math. Language arts is increasingly emphasized in school assignments as children are asked to explain their work, predict outcomes, solve problems and draw conclusions.

Sherry’s PAL Award winners are at playonwords.com

Here are some of Sherry’s Spring PAL Award winners in the STEAM category:

SmartMax My First Safari Animals by Smart Toys and Games (1-5) $19.95

  • Magnets are magic to kids
  • Soft touch front and back click together with the body rod
  • Didn’t take long for my preschoolers to create variations with feet sticking up, and combo animals
  • SmartMax sets are compatible so kids added more rods and magnetic balls, calling it a slide and animate and play pretend with their animals

Bunny Trails by Alex Toys (4 and up) $39.99  

  • Part of a new series of games, Future Coders
  • Help bunny find a path through the garden
  • Progress through levels on the cards
  • Break it down into little steps like telling a story
  • Plan to avoid obstacles and get Bunny to the carrot
  • Thinking, planning, problem solving, creative play

Brio Builder Activity Set (3 and up) $69.95

  • 211 pieces–screws, nails, wheels, nuts, blocks
  • hammer, screw driver, wrench
  • to build projects it’s a great parent-child activity at 3
  • make and play, animate with talk and play

Meccano Micronoids by Spinmaster (8 years and up) $29.99

  • Robots are hot this season and we have “Switch and Basher” who have 3 mode functions along with programming options
  • question mode ask yes, no questions
  • dance and coordinate when closer
  • autonomous–giggle, babble, dance, sing, sneeze..silliness
  • buttons to program your own walking sequence, record your voice
  • creative play, alien voices, made up their planets

Dig it Up! Discovery Kit by Mindware (8 and up) $34.95

  • Science kits are popular
  • This one has 12 solid projects for little paleontologists to learn about dinosaurs and insects.
  • Use facts about t Rex and Triceratops to make prehistoric battle scene, placing bones according to how it would happen
  • Amber casting with insects
  • “This is way cooler than the science we do in class!”
  • Learn, discover and tell a story from the evidence

KNEX Education STEM Explorations Roller Coaster Building Set (8 and up) $39.99

  • Who doesn’t like a roller coaster?
  • Kids can build it, play with it and perform experiments, recording their observations
  • Part of KNEX’s STEM education, for classroom, maker spaces,
  • 3 experiments, test your predictions, analyze your data and record your findings
  • critical thinking, analysis, comparisons–language skills