STEM Toys – Build Your Own

Lessons that involve making toys from #STEMontheCheap materials to play with, engineer, and explore the science behind how and why they work.

Density: Condiment Packet Cartesian Diver

Density: Condiment Packet Cartesian Diver

Using an empty 2-liter bottle, condiment packets (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc), water, salt, and a bowl, children will explore how to make the condiment back rise and fall at their command as they make a ...
Flying Butterfly

Flying Butterfly

Materials Butterfly Templates (found below) Tape (transparent or masking) Double Stick Tape or Glue Bakers Twine or similar string Large Craft Sticks (also known as tongue depressors) Plastic Drinking Straws Markers or Crayons or Colored ...
Fourto

Fourto

Fourto is a hack of the game Quarto. Learn how to make your own pieces for either $2 with dollar store pieces, the cost of copies of the 2D pieces, or use the template to ...
Loop-the-Loop and Other Explorations with Die Cast Cars

Loop-the-Loop and Other Explorations with Die Cast Cars

Materials (for four testing stations) 4 Name Brand Die Cast Cars (Hot Wheels™ or Matchbox™) 4 Generic Die Cast Cars 16 Hot Wheels™ Track Sections and Connectors 4 Hot Wheels™ Loop Accessory and Track Section ...
Magnets: Fish Tales

Magnets: Fish Tales

Learning Objectives Children will… • make a fishing game. • quantify the strength of magnets by how many big fish and little fish they capture. • use their imaginations to tell stories about their fishing ...
Magnets: Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee

Magnets: Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee

Learning Objectives Children will… • have an opportunity to test their creativity in this open-ended activity in which children will use magnets and other materials to build systems that defy gravity. Key Question How can ...
Pool Noodle Rocket

Pool Noodle Rocket

Build this Pool Noodle Rocket using, you guessed it, a pool noodle, duct tape, rubber bands, scissors, cardboard from a cereal box, a sharpened pencil, plastic knife, rocket fin template, ruler, sharpie, string, and a ...
Projectile Popper

Projectile Popper

Build this Projectile Popper using an empty 32 oz Gatorade bottle, a string, rubber bands, drill (other options), scissors, goggles, bead, ping pong balls, and a box cutter (or knife). (NOTE: Adults should prep the ...
Rattle Writer

Rattle Writer

Build this Rattle Writer using just a pool noodle, electric toothbrush (found for $1 at dollar stores), a plastic knife, washable markers, rubber bands, googly eyes (optional but fun), paper, duct tape, and a ruler ...
Screaming Balloon

Screaming Balloon

Engage young children with sound explorations using balloons with various things put inside them which you then roll around the inside of the balloon. The ECE Notice and Wonder Journal is a great resource to ...
Spin Top Spin, Mix Color Mix

Spin Top Spin, Mix Color Mix

Key Question Can you create a top that spins? What happens when you make changes to the top? Learning Objectives Children will… construct a simple spinning top. learn to use and experiment further with the ...

Tik Tiki Toy from Trash

A modified version of the Tik Tiki from Arvind Gupta's Toys from Trash - we replaced the button with a wooden bead. The crown cap can be replaced with a plastic lid or metal cap ...

Wobble Walkers

Folk toy turned engineering and STEAM project! Start with noticing and wondering using the first 12 seconds of the video below and then let students explore this pHun phenomenon. Templates for small, medium (original scale), ...

Looking for something specific? Type keywords into the search bar to locate resources you could use.