For the past few weeks, our home has had cards all over the floor, balloons floating everywhere, and jellybeans all over the table! I won’t mention chasing the cats around to try on a hat – well, maybe I will. We have once again been able to review a great product. It is from Tied 2 Teaching and our afternoons have been rather entertaining with their STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading.
About Tied 2 Teaching STEM Activities
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM makes creators, thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and inventors. The founder of Tied 2 Teaching is passionate about finding ways to integrate these things and make learning fun!
STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading is a downloadable PDF that includes over 60 STEM challenges. This bundle has a full year of STEM Activities that are grouped by month and most have a holiday or seasonal theme. For example, this month has challenges for St. Patrick’s Day, Read Across America Day, and for the many March Madness fans, a basketball challenge.
Each PDF packet contains a cover sheet, an Q&A sheet with a QR Code or a link directed to an article from Wonderopolis. I had never been on that site before, the articles are so interesting! After you check out the article, you answer the questions on the Q&A sheet pertaining to that article. The next page is a set of instructions for whatever project you chose with printables for planning, designing, experimenting, and your observations. I like that most items you need can be found around the house, and are inexpensive things such as balloons, toothpicks, etc.
How We Used Tied 2 Teaching STEM Activities
We tried several of the activities over the review period. They were a fun break from the textbooks and we’re certainly still learning!
The first activity was a House of Cards Challenge. We began by using the QR code that linked us with all sorts of fun history about cards. Did you know that the Jokers were added to a deck of cards after the Revolutionary War? Have you ever noticed what is unique about the King of Hearts?
(It’s the only one without a mustache)
Another fun one was the Balloon Tower Challenge. The challenge was to build a free standing tower with balloons and masking tape. It was quite enjoyable to see my kids compete for the tallest one. A living room full of balloons also provided fun after the project was finished.
The jellybean tower was our project this week. Anything with jellybeans involved has got to be fun, right? The only materials we needed were toothpicks and jellybeans to provide an afternoon of fun. In order to use all the beans and toothpicks, our design definitely needed some tweaking. It buckled only after 25 beans with the design we used. The Wonderopolois article as to how jellybeans are made was also interesting .
Last, but not least, my daughter made foil hats for the cats. The real challenge here was getting them to keep it on their head long enough for a picture!
What we thought about Tied2Teaching STEM
We thought the activities were great! The articles held their interest, although the comprehension questions were easy (if they were paying attention). My kids are on the slightly beyond the recommended age of grades 3-6. I feel like the activities we tried were appropriate for a wide range of ages as well as a wide range of settings. STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading can be used in 4H groups, co-ops, afterschool programs, or just for fun. We will definitely be using these occasionally throughout the year.
See the cool projects from other crew members in the banner below! Tied2Teaching can also be found on