We have the promise of a week full of sunshine here in Seattle in the first week of summer which is pretty much our whole year’s weather goals accomplished. So as we wrap up our last week of school and create a this summer’s bucket list (Do you do this? Do you make a summer bucket list??!!) I’m scrambling to make sure the kids and I can handle 9 WEEKS TOGETHER. One of the biggest things I worry about is how to make sure the guys’ brains keep stimulated, especially in the mornings when they wake up early and I do not.
With this week being full of sunshine we were reminded about this new Solar Rover kit that arrived for us to try out. The guys were so excited to test it out and see how it worked in the sun. They are really into mechanical toys right now and trying to figure out how everything works. I like that this toy promotes inquiry and science and they’ve been really curious about energy, so I like that it helps them understand how solar energy can power something to move. One of them read the manual and said it was very interesting and he had fun moving the solar panels on the rover to make it go in different directions.
Another toy, this one is not solar, but it is a buildable toy and I thought it might have been too young for them because it was a toy meant for 5+ but one of my guys built it using the instructions included and had a great time creating this one on his own. If kids are younger than 8 they might need some help, but I loved that my guy could build it independently and he learned some neat mechanics (I did too when he showed me-I’m really not mechanically inclined). This CARS 3 themed Junior Kit car toy was entertaining and it’s great if you have a kid who’s really into the movie and into building. (We are planning on seeing it now that school is almost finished! Have you seen it?)
I also just ordered Tinkercrate, a subscription program that sends a science kit in the mail each month and apparently with this link I can gift $10 off and receive $10 so if you’re looking to join, by all means click the link and we can figure out this kind of STEM together. I swear some of this stuff is so over my head-I’m lucky to be learning along side my kids.
For little babes, I thought these science books from Baby University were hilarious and surprisingly educational and again, I’ll probably be using them for ME when my kids start learning quantum physics and general relativity and other huge science ideas in the coming years. We have some scientists in the family who loved these for their babies and I think they’re awesome baby shower gifts too.
My sister also bought this neat coding toy from Fisher Price called a Code-a-Pillar and again, my 8-year-old kids had fun playing around with it too. Babies and coding. Kids are getting too smart these days-I need to play with it more to understand it better. (The only thing I was wondering I wish they could fix-it was a little loud and I wish there was a volume switch.)
I’m still a little old-fashioned so I bought my guys this lift-the-flap coding book from Usborne. I am letting them do more computer-ish stuff this summer but I still like a good old-fashioned book and this one can helps us all.
The duo recently devoured all the Space and Spy books by Stuart Gibbs. If you’re looking for reads for 8-year-old boys this was a series they really loved. I’m now looking for more reads for the summer so if you have any ideas I’ll totally give them a try.
And did you get your kids into the FREE Apple camp? I keep missing the day this one gets posted and it fills SO QUICKLY and I’m so curious about what the kids learn and if they have a good time. I have until my guys are 12 so there are still a few more years but there is such a demand for these type of camps in Seattle. I don’t know of anyone who has taken them though so I’m totally curious-if you’ve been, I’d love to hear more about it!
And if you have any science ideas for kids this summer please feel free to share below!
(PS. I received copies of Baby University, the Cars Junior Kit and the Solar Rover for review, but I was not required to post and I only post things that we actually love.)