Sunday, August 11, 2019

15+ Back to School Extras! STEAM Toys and Crafts Sets for Your Mini Artist, Chemist, Architect + more! + GIVE AWAY!

15+ Ways to Get Creative with Back to School Extras! 

Let's make play time totally screen free with my ultimate back to school toys list that will get kids totally back to school ready. We’re still in the middle of our summer break, so I’m thinking of ways now to get back in the swing of things! Here are the best STEAM toys to jumpstart back to school in a fun way! Mix pretend-play with the power of STEAM with these awesome kits for kids. Parents can get in on the fun too.

Back to School Gift Guide! 

For Your Artist

Self-expression is key, but doing so in a fun way is even better! Express yourself with back to school T-Shirts that are totally trendy this year. Marcello is busy at work right now. He absolutely love his shirt that he can modify again and again. I made my own tote bag for our YouTube video. This is the coolest idea ever!

Get ahead of the class with these cool shirts by Chalk of the Town! They are new shirts with a chalkboard already on the shirt that kids or parents can personalize with their patented Chalk of the Town markers. You can personalize with your own unique style or use their stencil kits. Get different shapes of chalkboards for different days like unicorns, squares, chat bubbles, hearts, and more will give each shirt a unique feel. 

Make sure you share your creations on Facebook and on Instagram by tagging @mychalkofthetown #mychalkofthetown for the chance for a feature. Coming in a variety of colors, there are so many styles to fit your kiddo’s fashion needs. With the opportunity to create quotes and images on your own shirt further personalizes and gives your kiddo some individuality and independence! They also have tote bags that you can personalize, which would be a great gift for teachers going back to school, too! T-Shirt kits are You can also pull inspiration from their website

Enter to win your own Chalk of the Town product of your choice below! Give away ends on August 20, 2019. USA, lower 48 states only, please. One lucky winner can choose one item of their choice from the website! I recommend a t-shirt Kit. Good luck!

Win Your Own Chalk of the Town T-Shirt Kit - One Lucky Winner's Choice Courtesy of Chalk of the Town!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Perfect for the artist or the kid who likes to craft is the smART Pixelator by Flycatcher, they are the same company who make the award-winning smART Sketcher. We reviewed the smART Sketcher a while back and you can check out our video and blog post. The smART Pixelator is different as it has the option to create 2D and 3D designs. You arrange the beads by following the lights according to the pre-loaded designs from the Pixelator’s SD cards and SD expansion packs. The image is mapped out for you to allow easy application. Once arranged, gently remove the board with your work, lay the protect sheet over your workspace, and with a quick press of the iron you have a cool pixelated version of virtually anything! I say anything because like the smART Sketcher there is Bluetooth capability and a free app to pair your smART Pixelator to that allows you to mirror any image and pixelate it! There are also expansion packs that include different materials to create like sequins, jewelry kits, and more! We have unboxing video coming soon along with a fun tutorial on how to make other cool images! 

Order it now from Amazon, and also in stores at Target, Michael's, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble to purchase your own. Once you start you will want to start pixelating everything! The app is totally free to use, and you can turn all of your favorite images into awesome pixel art or even 3D figures. My son has started to create little toys for his own toys. 

Calling at Y’Artists! Yes, Y’Art a fun, new way to create brought to you by the company Kahootz Toys. Y’Art is a cool craft that is mess-free, and mistake-free! You just need some safety scissors and some patience as each piece is carefully crafted to make a beautiful, totally frame-able piece of Y’Art! If you make a mistake with the yarn, just simply pull the yarn off of the canvas and reapply. Y’Art includes six colored yarns, the canvas with five designs to choose from! This set is so easy to follow, kids can follow the Y’Art by Number and match the areas to the numbered colored to create their Y’Art piece. Also,  little artists can channel their creative side and choose to mix up the colors to create their own individual piece. Each sold separately for $14.99 each, you can choose from a pug dog, a unicorn, a llama, a flamingo, and a narwhal. Perfect for on the go or for a craft at home, kiddos ages eight and up will love Y’Art! 

This holiday season lookout for the Starry Night version to add some dreamy imagery to your magical holiday decor. Kahootz Toys also make Colorforms, which we reviewed before on our blog and our YouTube channel. The Colorforms set that we reviewed was a beautiful book full of all of the colors you need to create your own world. Check it out for another mess-free solution to screen-free play! We'll have a tutorial up on our channel soon. 

For Your Architect 

Magformers are a great tool for learning and creating. Build according to the instructions or build from your imagination. With fun and engaging titles in their Amazing line, you can to choose to build with that are all reasonably priced at $29.99. The Rescue set to features a rescue vehicle, 24 magnetic pieces, two characters to save, and everything else to keep the city safe! The Police set includes magnetic pieces to create a police tower, vehicle, and it even comes with a bad guy and a getaway car. The Construction Set gives your child the option to create buildings and contradiction vehicles. 

Recreate manmade landmarks with the awesomely cool set Architectural Engineering! This STEM experiment kit takes model building to the next level. The 44-page full-color manual will guide you along 20 guided model builds where you can construct stadiums, a Ferris wheel, skyscrapers, bandshells, and more. The more complex the build the more engaging the experience will be, and will help give mini Architects the confidence boost they to tackle bigger model builds. Geared for explorers ages eight to 14, the Architectural Engineering STEM kit is the perfect set to promote the power of model building, and how much can be learned with each build session. This set is $49.95, and comes with a variety of pieces, and exercises to full engaged your future Architect. 

For Your Geologist 

Discover and explore rocks in a fun way with Kids First Crystals, Rocks, and Minerals where you can learn the secrets of geological formations. Kids ages eight and up will learn to identify igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. This set will ignite a love for rocks in a whole new way. With its 18 hands-on experiments, this set will keep kids busy and curious about an often overlooked part of science. This set is for mini Geologists ages eight and up and is $44.95.

Ever wonder what growing your own crystal would be like? Now you can with Grow a Crystal, which is a cool set that gives you all of the tools to grow your own crystals, safely, at home. This is a wonderful hands-on experiment that kids can do with little guidance as the solution to grow your crystal is from a safe solution of potassium aluminum sulfate. Mixing the power of science with that mysterious factor makes this set a lot of fun, too, as they come in a variety of mystery colors like pink, blue, green, and more! Available for explorers ages eight and up and only $5.95 each. 

For Your Engineer

Terrain Walkers by Thames and Kosmos is an awesome set for mini engineers that mixes the power of STEM learning with lots of fun! This is an 8-in-1 set where you can build mini robots that can do interesting things, and each bot has its own, unique characteristic to help it move. The Kangaroo-bot can hop on two legs. The boar-bot has the help of four short legs to move. Whereas the leopard-bot has four long legs to move. The process to build your bot, see the mechanics of how it works, and then dismantle and rebuild a different bot provides gives great insight to engineering concepts. With this repetitive learnings, kids will then be able to take everything that they learned to create their own bots! Geared for kids ages six and up, and $29.95. 

Robot Safari by Thames and Kosmos will take you on a journey through your imagination with the opportunity to build a collection of adorable animals with this awesome set! Take inspiration form the beautiful illustrated 32-page storybook about the adventures of the Omega family, a family of tinkerers and engineers chronicled in other Kids First engineering STEM kits. Remus is the Omega family’s robotic bear, and the story takes us on a wild adventure through the safari. Kids can follow the storyline and build a polar bear, cat, narwhal, crab, fox, baby llama, unicorn, and even a sea otter. Kids ages five to seven will delight in recreating scenes form the storybook, and be the master of their own creation! This set is nicely priced at just $29.95, and is the perfect back to school gift or should definitely be added to your kiddo’s holiday list. 

Build your own robotic pet that responds to sounds. The My Robotic Pet - Tumbling Hedgehog by Thames and Kosmos includes 172 building pieces to create an adorable hedgehog that can tumble, spin, roll, bristle its spines, and scurry around the room. Clap your hands in a pattern to see him do different things- clapping once will make him roll in a ball and rumble. Clapping multiple times will trigger him to tumble as many times as you clapped. He also has LED lights for eyes. Kids will be able to fill interact with their own robotic build providing great education and fun playtime experience! For kids ages seven and up for $39.95. 

For Your Chef with the Sweet Tooth

A body in motion must stay in motion, and that’s the goal—to keep your gumballs in motion to get to the end of your creation. With the Gumball Machine Maker by Thames and Kosmos, kids can create tracks and slides to keep gumballs rolling, sliding, and even bouncing. Kids will learn the fundamentals of physics with this set all while creating a wacky and fun way to retrieve gumballs. You can Lee playing with this set with the gumballs as they land in a cup, and you can return them to the globe without touching the gumballs, or enjoy your hard work about learning about Newton’s Law, force, gravity, motion with a sweet, yummy gumball! Gumball Machine Maker is $39.95 and for ages six and up. 

Perfect for Back to School as a treat or to get in the Halloween spirit, Gummy Candy Lab by Thames and Kosmos is a fun way to learn the science of natural polymers! Make bug-shaped candy with yummy flavors like mixed berry and green apple. If you like sour candy, add citric acid! Make it a fun challenge to mix up the candies in crushed Oreo cookies. Use a food safe, kid-friendly tweezers to dig and dissect the dirt, and have a taste test challenge! There is a mold that is in included to create bug-shaped spiders and worms. The candy is made from a natural gelatin-like ingredient that comes from seaweed. For ages six and up and $19.95.

For Your Physicist 

Winner of the Parents Gold Choice Award are Simple Machines by Thames and Kosmos is a really cool STEM kit that promotes the education of mechanical physics through their 26-model building exercises. Kids can choose to keep their model assembled or disassembled to build it to something bigger and better than before. Mechanical physics sounds pretty daunting but Simple Machines focuses on just that: simple machines, and how the power of simple machines plays a vital role in our every day lives like a seesaw at a playground, a wheelbarrow in the garden, or the flagpole at school. Learning about simple machines first will benefit higher learning into more complex mechanics. Geared for kids ages eight and up, Simple Machines will give kids the confidence to keep pushing onward to more complex parts of applied sciences. Grab this set at an amazing prize of just $29.95. 

Experiment with the physics of air pressure with Air-Walkers by Thames and Kosmos! Four-legged robots that are simply designed, but intricately powered. They travel along smooth surfaces vertically! Kids will be amazed at Air-Walkers as it uses the power of air and pumps to come to life. Step by step instructions will help your kiddo with their build and a full color space-themed comic book will bring the Air-Walkers robot storyline to life. For kids ages eight and up for $39.95.

For Your Chemist

Kids love slime, and enjoy making it as much as they do playing with it! Ooze Labs Slime Kits come in a variety of styles from mini slime kits to mage magnetic slime, magic sand slime, glow in the dark slime, and more for just $4.95 on Amazon and Nordstrom. 

You can get the larger Ooze Labs Slime Chemistry Station that includes 20 chemistry experiments that of course includes slime but in a fun and safe way. Kids can fizz and bubble their slimes in a whole new way using realistic tools like beakers and tubes to create a working lab. This set is $39.95 but includes so many components to create a truly educational experience while making this tactile toy. The Ooze Labs Slime Chemistry Station is a Parent’s Choice
Silver Award Winner! 

Enjoy the wonders of Area 51 at home with Ooze Labs: Alien Slime Lab! Kids can explore the wonders of slime making with the phenomenon of alien research. Are they really out there? Run tests on your slime, dissect the slime with pretend lab tools, add different components like glitter, glowing effects, and different colors to help classify your alien slime. Identify the alien species and catalog it like a real working lab. For ages six and up and $29.95. 

The power of pretend play and chemistry are included with the Ooze Labs: Soap and Bath Bomb Lab. Give your kid’s a STEM scenario — they are now the head of a chemistry lab for a well-known bath and body company. Their mission is to create a new soap and bath bomb line for kids! The set includes enough to complete 10 fizzy and bubbly experiments. You can surely use your own products from home to add some fun to your bath bombs. The lab has realistic tubes and beakers to create a fun pretend play experience all while learning the inner workings of chemistry. This set is for ages six and up for $29.95

Many of these sets will be unboxed on our channel soon! Bookmark this page as I will keep adding more back to school products that will enhance playtime and promote more screen-free play. Big thank you to Thames and Kosmos for sending us awesome sets for our review. Thank you to Kahootz Toys for sending us Y'Art. Big thank you to Chalk of the Town for hosting a give away for us, and for sending us fun shirts for Back to School. Big thank you to Magformers for sending us Amazing sets to build! Many thanks to Flycatcher for sending us the smART Pixelator for our review. 

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  1. Great for kids! They will love creating on these.

    1. I agree! I can't wait to post the videos. SO many wonderful ways to keep kids' minds active and off of the tablets. Thank you for your comment!