STEM Super Science – Tinkering, Making and Discovery!

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When children are making a mess painting with mud, build an invention with drinking straws or motoring along in their cardboard box car, there is something magical happening! Design thinking, problem solving and artistic intentions abound in the process of making and tinkering. Through crafts, experiments and art projects kids learn to make mistakes, try again and think about making their ideas a reality. With support and encouragement, the skills developed through play and creativity can be grown into the critical thinking skills that support our future scientists, inventors and artists. Books about making and tinkering are perfect for the long summer out of school when it is important to keep minds active, or whenever boredom strikes.  The books included in this list can offer children inspiration to let their creative minds explore and discover new interests.

Ada Twist, Scientist

In this rhyming story, Ada Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.

The Amazing Crafty Cat

When a cupcake disaster derails Birdie’s birthday plans, the little girl’s alter ego, Crafty Cat, saves the day. Presented in comic book format.

Art Making with MoMA : 20 Activities for Kids Inspired by Artists at the Museum of Modern Art

Inspired by the authors’ experiences of looking at and making art with kids and families at the Museum of Modern Art, and designed to get both children and adults to start thinking like artists, this volume presents an array of projects that use easy-to-find materials and encourage hours of imaging, designing, experimenting, constructing, creating, tinkering, and play.

The Book of Mistakes

As an artist creatively incorporates her slipups into a drawing, readers see the ways in which ‘mistakes’ can provide inspiration and opportunity, and reveal that both the art and artist are works-in-progress.

Build It!

Why do things move, fly, tick, or explode? Explore the science behind construction, from how zip wires move to how marble runs work, with these 25 hands-on experiments. Using easy-to-find objects and tools, each fun project, including a 10-second marble challenge, can be constructed at home. Every experiment includes a “How It Works” explanation and a difficulty rating to guide budding engineers.

Crafty Science

Hands-on crafty science book introduces children to science concepts through craft projects with everyday objects. Combines art, craft, and cooking activities with scientific learning. Children can learn how to make a toy raft and discover what makes their boat float, design and color a paper butterfly and watch it balance on the tip of a pencil, or create an ice sculpture and learn about the changing states of solids and liquids. Concepts like buoyancy, gravity, and aerodynamics are explored through play.

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

A collection of concrete poetry, illustrations, and photographs that shows how young children’s constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world. Includes biographies of the architects, quotations, and sources.

Yasmin the Builder

As their makerspace project, the students in Yasmin’s second grade class are building a city: there are houses, a school, a church, even a castle, but Yasmin is not sure what to build– until inspiration strikes.

Whose Tools?

Explains how to build a house from the ground up features six kinds of craftsmen and the 24 tools they use, accurately labeled. The answer to each inquiring refrain is revealed under a gatefold, seven in all, engaging the reader in an informative guessing game.