Teaching kids STEM skills is important. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that; if you’re a parent, you also know that it’s never too early to start. We’ve talked before about our commitment to giving our daughters every possible advantage when it comes to developing STEM skills.
Part of that commitment involved making sure they found the school that was right for them. When it came time to send the quints to preschool, Danielle and I chose a STEM-focused program that focused on introducing them to fun, accessible skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. We’re also making sure that they stay active even when school is out; this summer, the girls will be attending science camp two to three days a week, where they can explore the world and keep their skills sharp at the same time.
That leaves us with one more question: how do we make sure our girls are learning when they’re at home? That part can be tricky, especially for us; finding toys and games that are fun and educational and appealing to each girl’s own passions and personality is often a real balancing act.
Our biggest successes come when we can find easy, engaging skill-building activities that overlap with the girls’ interests. For instance, Hazel loves activities that let her focus, like coloring and sorting, while Ava is really interested in matching and memory games, so sets of flashcards are perfect for helping them learn together. Other times, we focus on each individual girl; Olivia is our little dancer, so games that get her up and moving are always great, even when her sisters are off doing something else.
It’s pretty rare that we find one toy that appeals to all five quints. That’s why we’re so excited about Coding Critters. Since the Coding Critters came to our house, each of the girls has found something to love. Hazel loves dinosaurs and Parker loves dogs, so Bumble and Ranger were instant hits. Ava is in charge of laying out the coding cards, while Olivia can’t wait to dance along to the critters music and moves. The girls love the critters like real pets, while also building early coding skills every time they play.
The Critters are especially good for Riley, who’s already helping her big sister Blayke code with Botley. Since she’s a little ahead of her sisters, playing with Coding Critters gives her the opportunity to help them code their critters during story time while also building her own skills and confidence. With the help of Coding Critters, she’ll be ready for coding challenges from Botley and beyond.
Whether our girls wind up becoming scientists or not, we’re happy with our commitment to helping them lead lives filled with learning and curiosity. It’s not just an investment in them; it’s a way of ensuring that the future is a little brighter for everyone.
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