Contributed by Audrey Matalon.
For STEM Sundays gift ideas I was looking for something …developmental. I wanted quiet things. I was looking for “wholesome”. I’ve found two I’m really excited about getting into my kids’ hands.
STEM is good all year long. But when the holidays roll around, from late November to January 1st, parents, like me, might well be tearing the house apart looking for vacation day activities.
(For Ages 6+)
Your kids will make their playtime personally gratifying by making the very toys they’re playing with. “Using your hands to think.” is one of the goal of Paper Punk. Paper Punk projects are a vehicle for stimulating the brain, fine motor skills, and the wonder of watching something transform from the 2D plane to the 3D plane.
There’s a current subculture of what’s known as Makers. It ranges from making with natural materials to the intersection of technology and physical design. It includes hacking, robotics, 3-D printing, as we metal working, wood working, textiles and fibers designs. At the base of Making is thinking, tinkering and hands on making.
Paper Punk is the essence of the maker culture embodying the whimsy, imaginative process and a grassroots nature of the philosophy. What I love about Paper Punk is everyone can do it, bringing the basics of tangible, hands on crafting to everyone. And Paper Punk says the process of making “changes the way the maker thinks and the process changes the way the maker behaves.”
With Paper Punk’s Pup, Kitty, Unicorn, Ape, Bot, Urban Fold Paper Block City, Ride Toy Car, Jewelry Fold and all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael your child gets a doable introduction to crafting with paper, similar to the art of origami.
Each Paper Punk kit allows for personalization by including stickers that customize your punk. And of course the showering of your imagination over the punks make them a reflection of their creator.
Between $9.95-$14.99 for the individual character kits. Urban Fold is $24.95
LUX The Principled Block
(For Ages 6+)
**LUX Blox Black Friday ALERT: Unbeatable sales on www.LUXBLOX.com **
Are you wondering why it’s referred to as “the principled block”? When my son opened the box, I was surprised by the shape of the individual pieces. Lux pieces are shaped using the design ‘principles’ within nature. They’re shaped so the built LUX structure is not stagnant. It can operate with the flexibility and intelligence inherent in nature. That includes creating rounded structures and structures that move and bend.
When you open the 88pc, 200pc or 450pc box you’ll find the interlocking pieces, straws, dowel rods, popsicle sticks, but no instructions. LUX Blox purposefully does not include instructions in each box. Why not??? Their mission statement explains it, “…to light the imagination of all who create with Lux and give children the power to build whatever they wish.” LUX Blox is powered by your child’s imagination. Early childhood educators stress the importance of unstructured free play as an important instrument for child development. LUX’s no instruction-policy supports this. (You can visit www.luxblox.com for creation ideas and how-to’s.)
I was inspired by the LUX Blox manifesto, “…genius can be taught.”, “…play and discovery are inextricably linked.” and “…to be successful you must do what others fear.” These are ideas I want to whisper into my children’s ears when they’re sleeping.
88 piece set is $29.99; 200 piece set is $69.99; 450 piece set is $199.99
Free shipping till Xmas day on www.LuxBlox.com
Disclosure: There was no compensation for this post. Product was supplied for the purpose of review. Everything expressed here is authentic.