Posted in DIY & How To, Kids 5-12, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, Uncategorized

Take a STEAM Break

Hey kids! Are you looking for screen-free activities to do? Whether you’re looking for ideas for activities to keep busy during spring break or to occupy yourself on a rainy day, we’ve got you covered! We have many books in our children’s library packed full of fun ideas. Topics include creative art projects, science experiments, building, baking, upcycling, slime making, and more! Check out some of our book suggestions below. Take a break from the screen, and spend time learning and creating something in real life! You can click on the links provided to request any books you’re interested in directly from our library catalog. Do you have other interests not covered below? Let us know! There’s probably a book for that, and we can help you find it.

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures Activity Lab: Exciting Projects for Budding Paleontologists by DK

Whether you’re a dinosaur fan or just simply enjoy practical hands-on projects, this dynamic dinosaur book combines creativity with a prehistoric twist. Each of the super-fun make-and-do projects in this book comes with simple step-by-step photographs and instructions that will inspire imaginative minds and bring the dinosaur world to life!

Join the journey back to prehistoric times and explore: 

– 24 hands-on projects that appeal to young readers aged 9+

– All materials used are inexpensive and easy-to-find

– Crystal-clear instructions are easy-to-follow

– Clear photography shows how to make each project step-by-stepPerfect for kids who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths), SI Dinosaur Activity Lab features activities that cover many aspects of prehistoric life, from the evolution of dinosaurs to what might have caused them to die out. You’ll combine science and maths with art and craft by making your own dinosaur fossils, constructing a 3D diorama to learn about dinosaur habitats, designing a fearsome Tyrannosaurus mask, hatching your own mini dinosaur out of a bath bomb, and even creating a meteorite impact experiment to find out how dinosaurs may have become extinct! Throughout the book there are information boxes with incredible facts about prehistoric life and panels to explain how the skills you’ve learned are used in the real world.

Create Your Own Vacation Games by Annie Baker

There are suggestions for games both big and small to be played both indoors and outdoors. Learn how to make jigsaws and board games, create travel scavenger hunts, make up your own travel bingo or snap games, organize holiday charades or produce a dance routine, and much more. The book includes step-by-step photographs and templates to get you started. All you need is your imagination!

The Big Book of Amazing LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have by Sarah Dees

This book offers eight unique themes ranging from popular vehicles and practical projects, to imaginative fairytale fun and a thrilling spy mission. The author includes chapters for mini projects and LEGO art. With 75+ brand-new vehicles, robots, dragons, castles, games and other projects for endless creative play.

If you’re looking for more LEGO building ideas, try these books: LEGO Cute Ideas, How to Build LEGO Dinosaurs, LEGO Super Nature, and The LEGO Ideas Book

Math Maker Lab: 27 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover by DK

Produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, SI Math Maker Lab is designed to appeal to math geeks and those that prefer practical projects. To complete these engaging projects, kids don’t need to be math geniuses or even know how to use a calculator. Each task comes with easy-to-follow instructions, photographs, and illustrations to help whip up super cool mathematics creations! Activities include: number fridge magnets, make your own abacus, times table fortune tellers, math bingo, Fibonacci spiral collage, dreamcatcher, bake and share a pizza, symmetrical pictures, picture ball, wrapping paper and gift bag, scaling up pictures, origami jumping frog, tessellating patterns, impossible triangle, pop-up cards, speed trials, friendship bracelets, fun fruit drinks, chocolate truffles, chocolate box, popcorn sale tray, shadow puppets, grab bag, marble run, optical illusions, make your own clock, craft stick bird feeder.

If you enjoy these projects, you’ll want to check out STEM Lab: 25 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover and Maker Lab Outdoors: 25 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover

10-Minute Origami Projects by Christopher Harbo

Searching for simple paper folding projects for your makerspace? You’ve found them! From happy hounds and clever cats to floating ships and shining stars, these amazing 10-minute origami projects will have kids making in no time! Projects include: Happy hound — Clever cat — Yachts of fun — Windsurf racer — Pencil pocket — Corner keeper — Ring wing fling — Exploding envelope — Tabletop hoops — Magic rabbit — Graceful swan — Warrior helmet — Stellar star.

Check out the other titles from the 10-Minute Makers series here

Recycled Paper Projects by Marcy Morin and Heidi E. Thompson

Don’t recycle that magazine or old gift wrap-re-craft it! Nature-inspired jewelry hangers, earth-friendly journals, funky window suncatchers, and more are just a snip, fold, or stitch away. Turn old paper into new, one-of-a-kind eco-creations with more than 10 fun crafts. Projects include: Scrap paper bookmarks — Newspaper flowers — Map envelope — Magazine tube animal — Paper bag tree hanger — Message board — Tissue paper suncatcher — Brown bag journal — Butterfly garland — Gift bag ornament.

Click here for more books from the Eco Crafts series

How to Be an Artist by S. Natalie Abadzis

Discover the artist that lies within through the pages of this children’s craft book. More than that, this book encourages art as a STEM field and teaches kids the history of art, art theory, and introduces them to the most notable artists who have influenced art movements.

How to be an Artist includes fascinating details on the art world and gives children the opportunity to learn key artistic skills. The book includes:

-Step-by-step projects, information about artistic movements, and profiles on pioneering artists

– Four sections: drawing, painting, crafting, nature, and animating

– Information on the educational importance of including art in STEM learning

– Over 30 art activities

Find more fun projects in How to be a Math Wizard and How to be a Scientist

Mini Decorating by Rebecca Felix

This how-to series teaches young readers to create their own miniature decorating craft projects with simple steps and everyday materials. Projects include: Wee wall art — Tiny garland — Bitty box collections — Itty-bitty bowl — Very small vase and peewee paper flowers — Little lamp — Teeny-weeny tea set — Tiny terrarium — Small sculpture shelf.

More titles from the Mini Makers series can be found here

101 Kids Activities That Are the Ooey, Gooey-est Ever!: Nonstop Fun with DIY Slimes, Doughs, and Moldables by Jamie Harrington, Brittanie Pyper, Holly Homer

Let your creativity and your imagination soar with these colorful, crazy-fun recipes for slime, dough, clay, foam, mud and more. Create amazing concoctions like Fake Snow, Color-Changing Slime and Glow-in-the-Dark Dough. Dig your fingers into Glowing Magic Mud, Shaving Cream Dough and Kool-Aid Foam. Or, if you’re brave enough, squeeze the Spider Egg Sack Slime or the Frog’s Vomit Slime–eek! There are even some special slimes that you can eat like Gummy Worm Slime, Pudding Slime and Cookie Dough Dough. With 101 super cool activities (that are also super easy to clean up), you can try them all! From the bestselling authors of 101 Kids Activities, 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments and Adorkable Bubble Bath Crafts, this book is full of exciting and fantastical recipes that include tips on the science behind the goo, so you can learn too! Whether it’s a slime, a dough or some other moldable creation, you’ll be able to create and become whatever your imagination dreams up!

Find more slimy activities in these books: Goo Makers and Amazing Makerspace DIY Slippery Slime

100 Easy STEAM Activities: Awesome Hands-On Projects for Aspiring Artists and Engineers by Andrea Scalzo Yi

Exciting Activities for Young Artists, Scientists and Engineers. Spark your curiosity with these fun games and creative projects to learn early concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. These incredible activities from Andrea Scalzo Yi, creator of Raising Dragons, make learning such a blast, you’ll forget you’re doing it! Feeling bored on a rainy day? Now you can pick a project, gather your supplies and let the magic happen. Try far-out science experiments like making Shaving Cream Rain Clouds or Lava Lamps. Make math-time snack-time with delicious Cream-Filled Cookie Fractions. Unlock boundless creativity with art projects like Marbled Paper or Monster Bugs. With seasonal activities like the Pool Noodle Obstacle Course and Erupting Pumpkins, there are games to love year-round. Have fun learning early ideas in chemistry, physics, computing, color-mixing and so much more, all while problem-solving and working together with friends. With projects that use common household items and require little adult supervision, 100 Easy STEAM Activities is the ultimate resource for an amazing, creative day of learning.

For more STEAM projects, check out Good Housekeeping Amazing Science : 83 Hands-on S.T.E.A.M. Experiments for Curious Kids!

*Book descriptions are provided by the publishers