This is second part of Few Things To Do With Toys. The First Part was about using toys in literacy. In this part I have gathered some ideas on how to use toys in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and history.
STEM with Toys
1. Children can do surveys among family and friends of favorite toys and represent the data in graphical format. You can use this pictogram if children are not comfortable making bar graphs yet.
2. In Toy Repair Man, children will need to decide on the correct tool to repair the toy.
3. Gather some toys and talk about what are they made from. Discuss the properties of materials. Brainstorm words like shiny, smooth, hard, soft etc. Challenge the students to find other things in the house made of that same material. You can take the activity further by sorting toys in groups like hard and soft, shiny and dull, fabric and plastic etc. You can also use this describing toys activity after doing the same for real world toys.
4. Use the same toys from step 3 or gather some more. Talk about if and how the toys move. You can again sort the toys in groups of movable and non movable toys. You can use this toy sorter to sort toys with and without wheels.
5. Using this activity children can look at when teddy bears, dolls and cars were made and what they were made of.
6. Making Scientific toys is one sure way to spark interest. There are a lot of benefits in these kinds of toy making. Not only is it a fun way to spend quality time with your child, it increase their interest in science and math, give them a better understanding of why science and math are important in everyday life (applied science and math) and increase their problem solving and designing skills. Try making some simple toys from Science Toymaker and if the child is interested follow the “whys” behind these toys.
History with Toys
1. Look at these pictures of toys together with your child. Discuss how toys have changed. Try to guess the time by looking at the pictures of toys.
2. Look at the history of some of the famous toys like Lego here.
3. Children can sort new and old toys. Talk about why your child thinks a toy as old or new. What things does he/she look at. Carry on to describing the toys.
4. Iboard has some very good resources for history using toys. Kids can compare toys of today with toys of past. They can also sort toys into piles of new and old toys. There is also a toy time line available where children can place toys according to their time of invention.
5. You can look at how teddy bears have changed over the years and find the differences between your toys and your grandparents toys here.