When the summer started, did your kids seem to forget about school? Have they picked up a book or worked on any of their school subjects? Mine certainly haven’t. But there’s still time to get them back to learning, even if it’s not traditional book work, while still having fun this summer. Here are some book titles from The Quarto Group to offer hands on summer learning!
About The Quarto Group
The Quarto Group makes and sells great books that entertain, educate and enrich the lives of adults and children around the world. We create and own proprietary content, publishing books from a diverse portfolio of imprints that are creatively independent and expert in developing long-lasting content across specific niches of interest. We sell books across 50 countries and in 39 languages through a variety of traditional and non-traditional channels, while constantly looking for new ways to create and deliver content that people need.
- STEAM Play & Learn – Includes 20 hands on activities for preschoolers while they learn about STEAM skills with ideas from reflections to circuits.
- Brick Building 101 – Put that love for brick building to good use with STEAM projects, including DIY slime, a bird feeder, and even balloon racers!
- Unofficial Minecraft STEM Lab for Kids – 48 projects, both within the game and at home, to teach fun skills like building, crystals, fireworks, and more.
- STEAM Lab for Kids – Use art, the kind where you get your hands dirty and use problem solving skills, to dig deeper into science, math, and engineering.
- Science Maker Book – Building crafts and models to test theories, follow instructions, and investigate the world around us.
- Spa Soaps Forest Friends – Learn a new craft by making your own soaps, including using dye, fragrance, and natural materials to make them unique.
The “summer dump”, as it’s called by educators, is the idea that kids practice and learning of skills comes to a screeching halt once school is out for summer break. I definitely can see how this is true, especially for working parents and busy families. True, kids don’t only learn by books and writing, but some subjects are efficiently taught by experiencing certain tasks, like a science experiment or solving math equations.
So what are we to do? How about using books, like the ones listed above from The Quarto Group, to combine hands on summer learning with their love for games, art, getting messy, etc? As a homeschool parent, I use the STEAM method of learning a lot in our lessons at home. During the summer, it’s not different, except that I don’t make them do all the writing, reports, and other traditional school skills like we do during the regular school year. It’s more about learning how crystals are made and then trying different methods to make our own! Or building a miniature catapult and learning about geometry angles and speed of different objects we fire.
For my crew, some of them loved the Brick Building 101 and the Unofficial Minecraft books the best. Each book had beginner ideas and then would advance as the kids got more comfortable with the challenges. This is a great way to take toys they already love to play with and use them for learning as well. They can follow the instructions in the step by step guide or even make up their own projects, stemming from something they had learned previously. A brick volcano was definitely a hit as well as being able to complete projects both outside and then within the game of Minecraft.
As for the little ones, the STEAM Play & Learn book was full of perfect activities to use their tiny hands to introduce them to advanced ideas but on their level. These were great experiments and hands on projects to learn about circuitry, diffusion of color, and even how light bounces. They couldn’t normally handle that depth of topics but when they learn while doing it themselves on a basic level, they understood just fine. Plus they had tangible items to show off once they were finished, which is a big deal at that age.
Finally, for the science lovers in the house, both the STEAM Lab for Kids and the Science Maker Book were hits with us. Not only did they teach some basic safety and learning skills, they also combined real life experiences with crafts and materials from the home. I love how they combined math, science, and engineering with crafting and art. They all meet together at different points and the kids just loved finding how one thing actually was based on a totally different subject, like edible stained glass (and the math behind it) or a smartphone speaker with every day items from around the house. Plus they got to do most of the work themselves, so they seemed to understand the topics a lot better than if they were just reading about them. And who wouldn’t love designing and making their own soaps, in the shape of forest creatures? This gave them incredible ideas for future products and gift giving, especially once they were able to learn how to complete the soap building process safely.
Any or all of these books would be great to help keep your kids learning this summer, short of sitting down and reading and writing like they do the rest of the year. Hands on summer learning was definitely a hit with my kids, especially when they could demonstrate what they learned by having a toy or creation built when they were finished. Be sure to check out all the wonderful topics from The Quarto Group today.
We’ve added Quarto Knows Books to our Summer Fun on MDR 2018 Gift Guide! Check it out here!