Resources: STEAM Projects for Kids

Saw this cool video on TED Talks and was inspired to look up some easy engineering projects for kids…

Books

Rubber Band Engineer

19 designs for turning common materials into crafty contraptions, ranging from slingshot rockets to unique catapults to hydraulic-powered machines. All you need are household materials, such as paper clips, pencils, paint stirrers, ice pop sticks, and rubber bands, and tools, such as a glue gun, pliers, and tape.

Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors

55 playful experiments that encourage tinkering, curiosity, and creative thinking from the creator of Tinkerlab.com—hands-on activities that explore art, science, and more. For children two and up.

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects

Discover how to create:

  • Brushbot warriors, scribble machines, and balloon hovercrafts
  • Smartphone illusions, holograms, and projections
  • Paper circuits, origami, greeting cards, and pop-ups
  • Dodgeball, mazes, and other interesting Scratch games
  • Organs, guitars, and percussion instruments
  • Sewed LED bracelets, art cuffs, and Arduino stuffie
  • Makey Makey and littleBits gadgets
  • Programs for plug-and-play and Bluetooth-enabled robots
  • 3D design and printing projects and enhancements

STEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for Kids

Find entertaining and educational projects like:

  • Rainbow Reactions
  • PVC Pipe Slingshot
  • Grafitti Art & Science
  • Color Changing Play Dough
  • Diaper Science
  • Circuit Bugs
  • Candy Mazes and more!

Perfect for children ages 4-10. Step-by-step activities are coded with difficulty indicators and estimated project times. Project extensions promote further exploration and learning for enthusiastic children. Bonus materials include:

  • weekly planning guide
  • project shopping lists
  • STEAM journal

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects

Build, invent, create, and discover 28 awesome experiments and activities with Maker Lab.

Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution and supporting STEM education initiatives, Maker Lab includes 28 kid-safe projects and crafts that will get young inventors’ wheels turning and make science pure fun.

Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8–12 and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano, race balloon rocket cars, construct a solar system, make a lemon battery, and more. Photographs and facts carefully detail the “why” and “how” of each experiment using real-world examples to provide context so kids can gain a deeper understanding of the scientific principles applied.

Paper Inventions

In this book, you’ll learn to make:

  • A light-up paper cat that shows how switches and sensors work
  • An action origami robot worm
  • Edible rice paper perfect for secret messages
  • A space rover that moves thanks to paper machinery
  • A paper generator that creates electricity when you tap or rub it
  • Heat-activated paper models that fold themselves
  • A geodesic dome big enough to crawl into–from newspaper!

Kits

Intro to Engineering

  • Intro to Engineering welcomes young children to the field of engineering with 25 experiments and building projects in five sections.
  • By engaging in hands-on activities, children will learn how engineers apply their scientific and technical knowledge to design machines and devices.
  • Build a helicopter, a pinwheel, a parachute, a glider, a balloon rocket, and an air-powered carousel.
  • Build a diving bell, a sailboat, and a paddle boat to experiment with engineering in water.
  • Find engineering in your own home with experiments modeling the telephone and television.

Meccano Super Construction Set

  • The Meccano-Erector 100th Anniversary Multimodel 25 Model Motorized Set unlocks endless construction possibilities with its 6V electrical motor as you build 1 of 25 motorized models!
  • Build a motorized crane and bring it to life with the 6V electrical motor. Play with its rotary body and extendable hook!
  • Made with 640+ real metal parts, the Multimodel kit utilizes 2 tools to build 25 unique quality models. Includes storage case.
  • The Meccano-Erector Multimodel 25 Model Set is made for children ages 8+.
  • Includes: 640 + parts, 6V electrical motor, 1 carrying plastic case with storage compartments, 2 real tools, 1 instruction sheet

Keva Bots Game

KEVA Contraptions

KEVA Contraptions teach children to embrace their creativity and design engineering marvels. With 50 identical wooden planks crafted to be used as scaffolding, ramps, paths, and much more, this toy is perfect for any child looking to build and learn problem solving with basic physics.

LEGO Chain Reactions

  • Design and build 10 amazing moving machines – teach your bricks new tricks
  • Comes with 80 page instructions, 33 LEGO pieces, instructions for 10 modules, 6 plastic balls, string, paper ramps and other components
  • Includes a 80 page instructional book with Klutz certified crystal-clear instructions
  • Includes more than 30 essential Lego elements
  • Recommended for children ages 8+

ZOOB BuilderZ S.T.E.M. Challenge

  • Design and build cool, wacky creations
  • Solve challenges, such as hitting targets and making balls bounce
  • Build a catapult, zip line, trampoline and more
  • Includes Comes with 175 ZOOB pieces, 4 wheels, a ball, 24 rubber bands, 2 foam play pads, string, challenge cards and 5 instruction guides
  • Recommended for children 8 years of age and older

K’NEX 70 Model Building Set

This set comes with 705 classic K’NEX parts and pieces. These rods and connectors all attach to one another in different ways, allowing kids to create a multitude of shapes, figures, and models with ease. The snap fit pieces stick together securely and can be easily reassembled into other creations. Unlike other building toys, K’NEX allows kids to create unique models that actually move. Kids can make interactive toys using K’NEX parts whether it’s wheels, rotors, wings, and tracks. Making rolling cars, working amusement park rides, or a transforming animal isn’t just a dream when you have this building set!

Encourage development of hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving ability, spatial awareness, and imagination!

Piper Computer Kit

  • Hand-crafted wooden computer case with lcd screen monitor
  • Minecraft story mode adventure play with hardware components and challenges
  • Wifi enabled gameplay for extra levels and sharing capabilities
  • Electronic gadgets including led lights, motion sensors, buzzers, buttons and switches
  • Self-contained computer running on a raspberry pi 3 project board – 1gb ram – 1.2Ghz quad-core CPU