DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

This DIY nebula in a jar necklace tutorial is a fun and easy way to get your daughter involved in STEM based crafts. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace Tutorial

We’re pretty big on STEM learning here. With a passion for sharing the love of science, technology, engineering, and math with our kids, we’re always trying to figure out how to incorporate STEM activities in our daily lives. 

This craft was great for STEM learning because it opened up the doors of communication with my kids about space, stars, and constellations. Not only did we talk about where stars came from (nebulas – which lead to a whole other conversation about the birds and the bees) but we waited until dark to count the stars and find constellations. We also talked about the full moon and moon cycles since we just had a full moon. Let’s make some nebula in a jar necklaces!


DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace with stopper

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

What you’ll need: 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace supplies

What you do: 

1. Cut cotton balls into small strips and set aside. 

2. Add water to the jar, about 1/3 of the way up. 

3. Using the small stick, add a few drops of one color paint to the jar then add some cotton ball pieces to fill up 1/2 of the jar. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace - use a syringe to add water DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace - use a stick to add paint and cotton ball

4. Sprinkle some glitter into the jar. 

5. Add a few drops of the contrasting color paint and some more cotton. 

6. Fill with water but not to the top. Leave room for the stopper. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace close up DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace add glitter DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace glue stopper to bottle

7. Grab the glue and the stopper with eyelet. Add a dab of glue to the eyelet and screw into stopper. 

8. Add glue to stopper making sure to cover all around the bottom 1/2 of the stopper that will be touching the jar when inserted in. 

9. Place the stopper in the jar and let dry for 24 hours. 

10. Add jar to necklace cord and put on! 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace craft

How do you promote STEM learning with your daughter? 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

Interested in more science-based crafts and activities? Check out these fun projects: 

For Preschoolers:
DIY Bouncing Ball Craft

DIY Bouncing Balls

For School Agers:

How to Inflate A Balloon Using Science

How To Inflate A Balloon Using Science

For Older Kids:
How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle with roses

How To Make A Vase Out Of A Glass Bottle

This article first appeared on A Crafty Spoonful on July 22nd, 2016. 

Top 10 Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys

review affiliate link disclaimertop-10-gifts-for-8-year-old-boys

I’m not sure if it’s just me or it my friends are also having this same problem but as the kids get older I’m finding that it’s harder and harder to find out exactly what they want for Christmas. Or, as I’m experiencing with my son, things change from week to week so the one thing you thought was at the top of their list is now just eh. Frustrating, right? 

Well this year I did a bit of research and if you’re like me and have an 8 year old boy, I’ve got you covered! Different price points, different types of toys, and all perfect 8 year old gifts. 

stickbot-zanimation-studio

Stikbot Studio

Create , Animate and Share! Stikbot Studio Pro is the perfect way to get kids interested in stop motion video. This set include 1 tripod , 2 stikbots (solid red and solid orange color, 2in1 stage green and blue screen. With green screen , you can capture the best photo and video and save time editing. Easily cut and edit footage to create the sequence you need by using green screen. You can digitally recreate the background of your scene

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2guca5u

LEGO Sets

What 8 year old doesn’t love LEGO sets? From Minecraft to LEGO City to Superheros, LEGO sets come in all themes, sizes, and price points. Perfect for boys or girls. 

Video Games

My son is obsessed with video games. But of course he loves the ones that aren’t actually available to purchase easily. Top of his list? The Isle, Subnautica, and Terraria.

i-do-3d-vertical-pen

IDo3D Vertical

IDO3D uses a cool blue LED light and soft, squeezable 3D pens that enable you to easily draw 3D objects! The IDO3D Vertical light attaches to each pen by clicking firmly into place. The light can easily be removed from one pen, and placed on another by simply pulling it off, and popping it onto another. It’s a snap!

With IDO3D Vertical, you can draw vertically, straight into the air. To do so, turn on your light, and simply draw upward by squeezing your pen and moving the tip vertically, away from your drawing surface. You can also make solid sheets of material by drawing on flat or curved surfaces, first with the light off, and curing afterward by shining the light on your art. Draw on non-sticky textured materials or objects like coins or buttons, and then remove for very cool effects. 

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2hjPMeN

Osmo

Osmo is an award-winning hands-on game system, fosters creativity & problem solving skills. The starter kit incldues 4 games – Words: puzzle form spelling, Newton: creative problem solving, Tangram: expand your visual thinking, and Masterpiece: supercharged drawing and is designed for kids 5-12. So siblings can play along as well!

From coding to tangrams to everything in between, my kids are obsessed with Osmo. Their current favorites are the Osmo Coding and Osmo Pizza Co

Cosmo

Now this is one of those gifts my husband checked out before the holiday season and purchased as a joint gift for himself AND the two older kids. Yeah, you read that right. A gift for him and the kids. But boy were his instincts right! Cozmo is a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies, with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more you hang out.

Cozmo expresses real emotions in response to your actions. He requires a free app and the processing power of your compatible mobile phone/tablet to access high level robotics functions that brings Cozmo to life. New games and upgrades are unlocked the more you play.

Cosmo may be hard to get now but keep an eye on when he comes back in stock: http://amzn.to/2gqt3sY

dart-zone-covert-ops-magnum-superdrum-blaster

Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster

One way to get my kid out of the house (and off his video games) is to start a fun game of war. And this Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster is the perfect accessory for a friendly competition. 

Grab yours here: http://amzn.to/2hjHEKY

Minecraft anything

What kid doesn’t love Minecraft, right? My son is still just as obsessed with Minecraft now as he was last year. And while he has the game, he still wants all of the toys, t-shirts, and stuffed animals out there. So many options for a Minecraft lover! 

Magic Treehouse Box Sets

One thing I love finding for each kid is a good book for them for the new year and the Magic Treehouse series is one my son enjoys reading with us and by himself. Anything that will get him to read is a win-win in my book! 

Grab books 1-4 here (more available if you’ve already read these!): http://amzn.to/2hk2DuC

Little Live Pets

I don’t know what it is about these little guys but both my 6 year old and 8 year old are obsessed with them. There are turtles, frogs, and mice available and each has their own little habitat they come in (or you can purchase them separately. 

Check em out here: http://amzn.to/2htBjxg

little-live-pets

What are your kids asking for under the tree? 

San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering Expo Day

This post featuring the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering’s Expo day is sponsored.

SDFSE 2016 Social Media Image EXPO Day TagExcite your mind at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering March 5-13.

The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering’s EXPO Day is Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and kicks off a celebratory week of learning interaction and behind-the-scenes opportunities for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade and their families to ignite the love for all things STEM.

Join us at PETCO Park for a FREE day of fun for the entire family. Visit with more than 130 local businesses, corporations and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers, but everyone is welcome. EXPO DAY is free and open to the public.

Now in its eighth year, festival organizers are expanding their festival event schedule to appeal to adults ages 21 and up, to continue their passion for STEM education. Also new in 2016 is the “STEM in Your Backyard” series, which consists of mini versions of EXPO Day in diverse communities across San Diego, including Vista, Barrio Logan, Chula Vista, City Heights and Downtown San Diego’s East Village. This new series will invite local families of all backgrounds to experience the festival and STEM exhibits in diverse neighborhoods across San Diego County.

SDFSE 2016 Twitter Image 1

A program of the BIOCOM Institute and presented by Illumina, the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is partnering up again with the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center to encourage and get kids excited about science and related fields to inspire them to become tomorrow’s STEM innovators. The festival also helps continue our region’s reputation of being a leader in the science industry. The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering truly shows how science and engineering is right in our “backyard.”

The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering website has a complete list of Festival Week events. Many of the activities are free and can accommodate school groups, scout troops, and other individuals, students and families.

Go to lovestemsd.org for complete details.

SDFSE-EXPO-Day-IMG_0002-Photo by Melissa Jacobs

Is your child interested in STEM subjects?

Learning with Minecraft: Tips For Incorporating STEM Lessons In Everyday Life

I am part of the Microsoft Blogger Program and receive incentives from Microsoft to blog about its products.

Learning with Minecraft Tips For Incorporating STEM Lessons In Everyday Life

As I have mentioned previously, my son has quite the obsession with Minecraft right now. It all started with a few mentions of Minecraft 1-2 years ago from his cousin. He wasn’t too interested back then but learned the basics about what it actually was. We went over to one of his friend’s houses for a birthday party before the start fo summer and the kids ended up playing Minecraft after swimming for a few hours. It was then he started begging for us to download Minecraft for him to play at home.

We don’t have an updated gaming console that he could purchase a Minecraft game for so I decided to download the Minecraft Pocket Edition on our tablet to try it out. I wasn’t quite ready to give him access to our PC just yet and testing the game out on the tablet seemed like the safest idea. No connection to the internet and he got a taste for what Minecraft was all about.

Then we were invited for a pool party at the same friend’s house and again they played Minecraft. He realized that the Minecraft he was playing was severely lacking in the options the PC version provided. So I did a little more research on the game and decided he was ready to move up. And luckily a whole new version of  Minecraft was on its way called Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta.

Learning with Minecraft Tips For Incorporating STEM Lessons - Engineering

So I bit the bullet when it came out on July 29th and downloaded it onto our Surface Pro 3. Since he was used to playing the Pocket Edition on a tablet, having the full game on the Surface Pro 3 made things easy to transition. He knew exactly what he was doing and in tablet mode could easily maneuver throughout the game with ease.

One thing I love about Minecraft is that it’s a gateway into programming and engineering. From choosing what color your character’s hair is, to creating new worlds and lands by building up their villages and empires, kids are getting a hands on learning experience through gaming. And my son is eating it up!

At first I was worried he’d become “addicted” to the game and always want to play it. And in the beginning he did go a little crazy. He’d constantly ask me to log him in to play (safety first, right?). But then we roped him in and let him know that he only had a certain time he could play each day. After that was up, he could earn more time by doing a few math problems. But then after that he was done until the next day. So in addition to STEM learning, he’s also learning to utilize his time playing wisely.

Learning with Minecraft Tips For Incorporating STEM Lessons - Technology

We’ve kept him offline and for the most part he sticks with the creative mode. This means that he’s not interacting with others online yet. And he has all of the building materials he needs. He doesn’t need to search for them. At age 6 I’m not quite ready for him to be playing a game online without me being right next to him. But he’ll be ready to take on bigger responsibilities in the near future. And this is a great way to start teaching him about the online world.

As I learn more and more about Minecraft and how it can be utilized to spark inspiration in children and get them thinking about STEM topics, I consider the other possibilities of using Minecraft as a teaching tool. I even saw a Minecraft Programming class offered this summer that I would have loved to sign my son up for. I’m still considering tracking down the info again and seeing if they’ll offer an after school class or two for his school. What a great way to get kids interested in these subjects, right?

Has your child caught the Minecraft bug? Do you think it’s a positive way to increase opportunity for STEM learning?

Just like the first release of Minecraft, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta will develop and evolve over time with the help of our feedback. Players who already have the PC edition of Minecraft can download the Windows 10 beta version free. Others can download “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition” at a discounted price of $10 throughout the beta period. 

Players who download “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition” during the beta phase will still have the game when it comes out of beta, and receive all future updates to the game at no additional cost. Download Minecraft beta or Minecraft Windows 10 Edition at the Windows 10 Store today.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine: Math For Screen Time

Today we’re sharing how we incorporate STEM into our daily routine. With help from Post-it® Brand, this sponsored post features how we use Post-it® Products to help our son with STEM learning.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time

As we’re prepping our son for back to school, I wanted to make sure that he didn’t have a summer slump over break. We’ve been working on the curriculum he was learning at the end of the school year through his summer vacation so that doesn’t happen.

At the last PTG meeting I attended, we learned that a STEM curriculum would be added into the coursework for the new school year for all grades. Since my son thrives on those subjects this was music to my ears. And since he has an engineer for a father and a mother who loves math and science, we were hoping a little of that interest would rub off on our children.

But even though he loves math, science, and engineering, he seems to be using a lot more technology than the other three STEM subjects. He’s found Minecraft and it’s sucked him in.

It is important for parents to understand their child’s learning style and adapt STEM  study techniques to that learning style. Our son is a visual learner, so it is helpful for him to see information to absorb and understand it. In an effort to still make math fun, we’ve come up with some unique ways for him to earn more screen time and learn other STEM subjects.

Here’s what we did.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time on Post its

Visual STEM Learning Project: Math For Screen Time

What you’ll need:

  • Post-it® Super Sticky Notes from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro collection
  • Post-it® Flags from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro collection
  • Pens or Permanent markers

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - Post it products

What you do: 

1. Using the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro

collection, use one color for each part of the equation.

2. Leave the answer Post-it® Super Sticky Note blank to let your child fill in the answer.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - addition

3. On each of the colored numbers, use the Post-it® Flags and attach the same color to each of the numbered Post-it® Super Sticky Notes.

4. Have your child complete the equation.

One answered question equals 5 minutes of screen time. Please add or subtract minutes as you see fit.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - Post it flagsIncorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time practice

By creating a simple visual for my son to see the numbers on the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes AND see the Post-it® Flags on each number, he is learning quicker than simply seeing an equation on a piece of paper. In a study conducted by Post-it® Brand, results showed that 86% of parents think the best way for their students to learn STEM-subjects is through visual learning, like reading or seeing pictures. And I believe it!

We’ve been able to switch around the equations each day by rearranging the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, and add numbers in to mix things up. Next on our list is to enroll him in a Minecraft programming class. Since he’s become so interested, we’re finding more ways to increase his interest in STEM subjects.

Before long, I may need to start taking classes at the local community college to keep up so I can help him with his homework!

How do you inspire your children to be more interested in STEM-related activities?

Find out more great ways to inspire your kids to jump into STEM curriculum with the help of Post-it® Brand by following them on Twitter and Instagram, visiting them on Facebook, or pinning a few of their ideas on Pinterest.



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