This month’s “Off The Shelf” column is written by Lisa Brummett, staff member, Matthews Public Library
Calling all young explorers: STEAM fun is here!
Matthews Public Library wants to help your kids get STEAM-powered with five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) Kits To Go!
Library cardholders from around Lebanon County are welcome to borrow these fun and educational kits:
- Birder beginner
This kit is perfect for the budding bird-watcher in your family—binoculars to help spot backyard birds, field guides to help identify them, and guided activities to record sightings and recognize songs. (Recommended age/grade: 6+/1st+)
- Stargazer beginner
Are your kids interested in exploring the night-time sky? Use the included binoculars and The Backyard Guide To The Night Sky and other activities to look up, up, and away! (Recommended age/grade: 6+/1st+)
- Rhyme Time
Make time to rhyme! Read Dream Flights on Arctic Nights and Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!, and then play with the Rhyming Sounds Phonics Train and the I Spy a Mouse in the House game. (Recommended age/grade: 4+/Pre-K+)
- Exploring Color
Help your child explore and identify colors with Dr. Seuss, a sorting game, a scavenger hunt, the Color & Light Can Do! Science Kit, and the Prism Exploration Center. (Recommended age/grade: 4+/Pre-K+)
- Coding Basics Unplugged
My First Coding Book, the Find Mr. Robot game, and the Let’s Go Code Activity Set help young children develop skills in problem solving, self-correcting errors, critical and analytical thinking, if-then logic, and distance and spatial concepts. (Recommended age/grade: 5+/K+)
You can see them in action on the Matthews Public Library’s Facebook page (click the Videos link). Then you can request a kit through the online catalog or at your local library. Kits may be borrowed for three weeks (and yes, there’s a list so you can make sure everything is in the kit before you return it).
Matthews Public Library staff member Angela Michael says that inspiration for the kits came from a book vendor’s STEM kits. She expanded the idea and customized the choices with the community in mind.
“The first kits were curated and went into circulation during the 2020-21 school year when a lot of schools were doing hybrid models and many parents were coping with schooling their kids at home due to the ongoing pandemic,” she says. “We wanted to offer families kits that contained a couple books as well as several hands-on activities that explored specific themes.” She adds that the kits have been popular in the community and circulate regularly.
Request or drop by and check out a STEAM Kit To Go, and unpack the power of learning that’s fun!