I have always had an interest in science, and I am keen for my daughter to be able to explore the world of STEM subjects as I know there is vast inequality in those areas, and quite frankly we are all missing out by not having girls encouraged to learn about those subjects, love those subjects and discover new things.

Homemade STEM toys with Konnie Huq - Chalkboard and Books

I have lots of books already waiting for when my daughter is a little older, including Interstellar Cinderella about the princess who fixes rocket ships (and may just rescue a prince!) and Women in Science: 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world, and many more! We have also started doing our own experiments (more about that in a later post). My daughter is currently space obsessed and wants to be a ‘doctor in space’ when she is older. She has even asked Father Christmas for a Spacesuit this year. She can name all of the planets and all of the dwarf planets and loves learning new things and she is constantly asking questions (she asked me what the difference between a meteor and a comet was the other day and I had to look it up!)

So when I was told that Konnie Huq had worked with the IET to create some homemade STEM toys, and was asked if we would like to give them a go, I jumped at the chance and my daughter and I have had such fun trying a few of them out. And we have more planned from the list of nine fab toys.

Homemade STEM Toys
1. Dissolving egg
2. Magnetic slime
3. Icosahedron bauble
4. Marble run
5. Balloon boat
6. Bouncy balls
7. Smartphone projector
8. Living gingerbread house
9. Kaleidoscope

You can see the full playlist of the videos if you click here.

We had a great time making the Kaleidoscope, which was super simple and you probably have everything already! Here’s the one we made and my daughter was so impressed she had to take her’s in to nursery to show her favourite teacher.

Homemade STEM toys - Kaleidoscope

We also had a go at creating our own Smartphone Projector, which was great fun – we still need to get the outside decorated and I think we will try again with a different magnifying glass too.

Homemade STEM Smartphone Projector

Are there any of these fab homemade STEM toys you fancy trying to create?

For more information you can check out the videos and how to guides here. And below in italics is some information about where the idea for these homemade STEM toys came from.

Konnie Huq has created the homemade STEM toys of Christmas, crafting DIY cut price versions of some of the must-have toys on the market
This comes as new research shows parents are spending on average £182 on toys and tech presents per child this Christmas and a fifth are using a credit card or loan to pay for them
Konnie Huq has partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology to inspire more children to consider careers in engineering.

Konnie Huq has put her Blue Peter powers to practice for a good cause, making Britain’s most popular Christmas toys at home for a fraction of the cost.

Konnie, who spent over ten years craft-making on Blue Peter, is supporting a campaign by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to inspire more children to consider careers in engineering. The toys are designed to make learning about science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more accessible and affordable. The improvised toys – which include a dissolving egg, magnetic slime, a kaleidoscope and even a smartphone projector – are educational, as well as fun.

Alongside this, new research from the IET – conducted amongst a sample of 2,000 parents of children aged 1 – 12, reveals that parents are spending an average of £182 on toys and tech presents alone per child this Christmas. Additionally, two thirds (68%) put the emphasis on education, thinking it’s important for their kids to learn about science, technology, engineering and maths from playing with their toys.

And parents have to plan ahead or get in debt to pay for them. A whopping one in five (19%) parents have taken almost a year (10-12 months) to save for the big day. A similar number (21%) pay for these toys using a credit card or loan and a further 10% use an overdraft to cover the costs. This figure rises to 18% amongst younger parents (aged 16-24).

One in five (19%) admit to cutting back in other areas of household spending to accommodate Christmas stocking costs.

Some, however, use the festive season to compete with their peers – 14% want their kids to have the same toys as their friends and one in 20 (5%) want to use the gifts as fodder for their social media feeds.

However, some parents are less than positive about the pull on the purse strings. Less than half (46%) think it is worth the money on these types of toys, one in ten (9%) would rather spend the money on a family holiday and 8% would rather spend the money on their household essentials, bills and food.

Mother-of-two and former Blue Peter presenter, Konnie Huq, says: “I’m thrilled to partner with the Institution of Engineering Technology to inspire parents and children to get crafty at home. Christmas can be a stressful and expensive time of year, but these nifty STEM toys can be made at home for next to nothing, from items lying around the house. What’s more, it’s fun, interactive and teaches children about engineering. I’m definitely going to be trying them out with my kids!”

David Lakin, IET Head of Education, says: “There is a significant shortage of engineers in the UK, which is posing a threat to the economy. With our STEM toys of Christmas, we want to inspire children’s natural curiosity about how things work and why – a key principle in engineering. Exciting children about STEM and its endless possibilities will set them on an exciting path that could lead to a fulfilling career in engineering and technology.”

 

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