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If your children are anything like mine, you know that everything can be used to experiment. In our house, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects are always a hit, and the more the kids can explore, the more fun they have and the more they learn. My children love to learn and conduct new experiments. Building a volcano using baking soda and vinegar is just not cutting it anymore.
STEM project books for kids
Therefore, we have found some lovely, child-friendly (or should I say parent-friendly?) books with a wide variety of experiments and activities to do at home.
1. Maker lab: Outdoors: 25 super cool projects
This book brings science theories and practical experiments to your backyard. Maker lab: Outdoors uses common household items to teach youngsters about the wonders of science. It includes captivating experiments such as constructing a compass using household materials and cracking a rock with water. You can see Newton’s laws in action with a water rocket or build a wormery and learn about compost.
The book has vivid pictures and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. The science of each experiment is explained in a way suitable for young aspiring scientists. The book has 25 science experiments and projects that engage children to acquire different science skills through hands-on learning. These activities can be enjoyed by the whole family. The book will inspire your children to explore the principles of science by creating their own experiments.
2. Maker lab: 28 super cool STEM projects
Maker lab: 28 super cool projects is perfect for children between the ages of 8-12. It takes your kid on a science journey in your own kitchen through everyday materials. This means there’s no need to go out and buy any fancy equipment. The experiments can be used for pure enjoyment or making something incredible that can be shared with friends. It’s also a fantastic resource for putting together a school or science fair project.
Each experiment is explained step by step and includes an estimated time frame for completion. They are also ranked as easy, medium, and hard so that you know what you are getting yourself into before you start.
Tickle your child’s curiosity and awaken their inner inventor with experiments such as race balloon rocket cars or building a lemon battery. Photographs and facts carefully explain the whys and hows of each experiment. The real-world examples in the book provide context and a deeper understanding of the scientific principles.
3. Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids: 40 fun science projects and why they work
Explore the world of physics with topics such as electricity, magnetism, light, sound, buoyancy, flight, and force. How far can you shoot a pom-pom using the energy generated from rubber bands? Can you cook s’mores using energy from the sun?
Find out with the Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids, which is jam-packed with exciting science adventures for children of all ages. Like other books, it includes step-by-step instructions, uses inexpensive materials found around the house, and includes some time guidelines.
What sets this book apart is that it follows the 7-step scientific method. Kids will learn how to:
- State a problem or question
- Gather information
- Form a hypothesis
- Test a hypothesis
- Collect and analyze data
- Draw a conclusion
- Communicate their findings
4. Awesome robotics projects for kids: 20 original STEAM robots and circuits to design and build
Build incredible robots in the comfort of your own home with Awesome robotics projects for kids, which shows children aged 5-10 how to build real working robots. It starts off with easier projects and becomes more advanced as you learn and move ahead. Projects include a robot-like night light, a cliff-detecting robot, and a bipedal robot, to name but a few.
The book starts off with some background and information on robotics and robots. Chapter 2 guides you on how to approach the projects, safety, as well as what parts you’ll need and where to get them.
The rest of the chapters are based on the functions of the robots and show you how they can be used in our real day-to-day lives. These include robots in the home, in space, and on the job. If your child loves robots, this is the book to get.
5. Tech lab: Awesome builds for smart makers
Tech lab: Awesome builds for smart makers is for children 11 and older as the experiments are more challenging. They require certain skills, such as being able to use and read a multi-meter, cut with a utility knife, and use a hacksaw. It will engage aspiring engineers as they experiment with electronics and mechanics. The step-by-step instructions are clear and accompanied by color photos.
The book starts with an introduction to safety. It explains different components such as power sources, capacitors, resistors, and wires. It also teaches you how to build a bug bot, an electromagnetic crane, a door alarm, and even your own buzzer game.
The items needed for each project are listed and illustrated by photographs. The individual projects are also accompanied by an explanation of the science behind them. What I love about this book is that it takes these projects and explains how they’re used in the real world, thus exploring the science in a very practical way.
6. Real Engineering Experiments: 25+ exciting STEAM activities for kids
Discover how awesome engineering can be with Real Engineering Experiments. This book presents the amazing world of engineering and how it works together with other fields, such as science, math, and art.
The book teaches children the nuts and bolts of engineering. It explores and explains the different types of engineers, such as civil and electrical. The relevant type is then referenced for each project.
The author helps kids find the answer to questions like “What do we use magnetism for?,” “How do catapults work?” “What kind of force field is created when we cause an electrical current in a wire?,” and “Why robots don’t make mistakes.”
Each project includes the following information:
- Difficulty level
- Estimated time for completion
- Engineering branch
- The real question (what the purpose of the experiment is)
- Safety precautions
- Materials needed
- Step-by-step instructions
- STEAM connections
The projects build on each other, too, so what you learned in one experiment will be used and built on in another.
7. The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil ice, float water, measure gravity-Challenge the world around you!
The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments book was written by high school teacher Tom Robinson. He has done a phenomenal job in making science accessible, easy, and fun. By using some household items to recreate amazing experiments, your child is challenged to expand their knowledge in a variety of fields, such as biology, chemistry, physics, outer space, technology, and engineering.
A lesson starts with the exploration of a question. It includes an experiment overview, a science concept, a list of necessary materials, and a procedure list. This is then followed by questions on what has been observed and these can be written down in the spaces provided in the book.
Some of the questions that are explored include:
- Do toilets always flush in the same direction?
- How do plants know to grow upward?
- Where do the leaves get their colors?
- Can a magnet be “turned off?”
8. Real Chemistry Experiments: 40 exciting STEAM activities for kids
If your child is interested in chemistry, Real Chemistry Experiments is going to be a hit. Learn about the 5 areas of chemistry and explore them through different experiments.
Each experiment is linked to real-world experiences. Dive into inorganic chemistry with an experiment exploring how bugs can walk on water. Learn what happens when oil spills into water, which is a form of organic chemistry. Then explore practically how we clean it up when it does spill.
I love that you can experiment with matter, gasses, chemical reactions, and polymers in your home with easy-to-find materials. Chemistry, like math, is often seen as a difficult subject, but this book brings it into your house in an easy and practical way. It explains complicated theories in simplified terms and will inspire and fascinate young and old alike.
9. Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ exciting STEAM projects to design and build
This book teaches children how things work through fun experiments about different aspects of engineering. Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids encourages problem-solving and logical thinking. The experiments are easy enough for 5–10-year-olds to mostly do independently.
Build a pizza box solar oven or a scissor lift grabber with materials around the house. My 5- and 7-year-olds managed to follow the instructions and build a truss bridge out of craft sticks. This activity not only taught them about civil engineering but also included elements of math (as they built triangles) and art.
The book includes more than 50 fascinating activities with explanations and beautiful color photos.
10. Awesome Outdoor Science Experiments for Kids: 50+ STEAM projects and why they work
The awesome thing about Outdoor Science Experiments is that it focuses on STEAM projects that can be observed in nature. It takes your kids on many adventures while playing outside.
One that my children particularly enjoyed was the Bear Den. They investigated whether it’s warmer inside or outside a den. They needed to start by building the den in the garden. This was followed by placing one thermometer inside the den and another outside. They spent about 20 minutes playing in their den before checking the thermometers.
The book explains how insulation works and that the heat from their bodies warms up the air trapped inside the den. The next challenge is to build an outdoor shelter that would protect them overnight. We have to wait and see how successful their effort will be.
This and many more adventures await, such as exploring bug behavior and building a beaver dam.
11. Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids: 50 STEAM projects you can eat!
Now, this is a book that kids can sink their teeth into! Each chapter of Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids covers one of the STEAM fields. Science, for instance, is covered in an experiment entitled “Finding your fizz.”
This is an experiment to find out which method (baking soda or dry ice) will produce more delicious fizzy lemonade. It allows your child to form hypotheses and test them. It has easy-to-follow instructions, and each experiment comes with a difficulty and potential mess-making rating.
The result? Learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics with delicious outcomes.
12. Awesome Science experiments for Kids: 100+ fun STEAM projects and why they work
You won’t run out of experiments to do any time soon with Awesome Science Experiments for Kids, which contains over 100 experiments. They are easy enough for 5-10-year-olds to do, with concepts simplified enough for them to understand the science behind what they have observed.
Learn how quicksand works, make naked eggs by dissolving the shell, or create a hot air balloon using a teabag. My favorite is the egg drop challenge, which is to build your own unique contraption out of any materials that will hopefully protect an egg from cracking when dropped from a height.
13. The Toddler’s Science Activity Book: 100+ fun early learning activities for curious kids
Toddlers are naturally curious and learn through play. With this book, you can nurture their curiosity and introduce fun science concepts in a playful way.
The Toddler’s Science Activity Book includes lists of developmental milestones for different ages. The activities use these with a focus on science exploration. Some examples of the science-for-toddler activities are building a rock tower and making things stick using static electricity.
Nurturing a child’s curiosity about science from a young age sets them up for success in this field later in life. This book will surely help you to instill a love for science from a very young age.
14. The Outdoor Scientist: The wonder of observing the natural world
The Outdoor Scientist unlocks the wonders of the natural world. It will inspire children to continue exploring the natural world with curiosity. In this book, we are introduced to scientists such as Mary Anning and Enrico Fermi, each taking us on a journey to understand something in their field.
The activities are varied and include making fossils, model rockets, and wreaths from various materials. It also features stories from the author, Temple Grandin, who is a New York Times bestselling author and a world-renowned scientist.
The book includes 40 projects that explore things like the aerodynamics of skipping stones and the physics of making sandcastles. It will inspire 8-12-year-olds, teachers, and parents to look at the world around them with newfound curiosity.
A final word
These STEM books are all about exploring the world around us, asking questions, and making sense out of what we see. Engaging our kids in STEM activities and nurturing their curiosity aids in the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills. These are skills that will benefit your children throughout their lives.