When my kids were toddlers, Christmas was so much fun. My husband and I would spend a December evening at Toys R Us, filling our buggies with toys, toys, and more toys. On Christmas morning, the kids would wake us up around 6 am and with each neatly wrapped gift they wiggled with joy, tearing off the Norman Rockwell-style Santa paper. Those are some of my most cherished moments. They'd play with their toys for a week or two and by January the toys were long forgotten. Our basement was overflowing with bins and baskets. Ugh...what a mess! We don't have the toys anymore, but at least we have the Christmas morning memories!
As the holiday season approaches, the stores are stocked with STEM activities. But before you start loading your cart with toys and games promising architectural glory, you should check out this book. It might save you a little money and time!
Dreaming Up; A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale is exactly what it says. A celebration! Using their imagination with everyday things-couch cushions, toothpicks, sand, tin pie pans, sticks, paper-towel rolls, a deck of cards-kids dream up amazing buildings. These structures are then connected to photos of buildings from around the world. The photographs bring to life the possible images in the child's mind. Young readers can take their creativity to new heights after reading this book. And everything they need is probably already in your house. I'm not saying to wrap up tin pie pans or toothpicks to place under the tree for Christmas morning. But perhaps think twice about the items you'd otherwise recycle or throw away. They might be just what your child needs to tap into her potential as an architect.
Another reason why I love this book is because a piece of Pennsylvania is represented. The Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater House, near Pittsburgh, is featured in one of the photos.
Christmas morning at our house is a little different now that the kids are older. They don't wake us up as early or have that toddler way of showing excitement. But we still LOVE Christmas together and this book is a reminder that sometimes when you build something using simple things-sticks, blocks, kind words, hugs- it can turn into something amazing!
Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for STEM book 3 of 10.