STEM is a big part of our homeschool. The science part I love, I can handle the technology, but you lose me on engineering and math. The boys, on the other hand, love it all! Finding STEM activities they can do together is a big plus.
I was excited to be offered the opportunity review the Focus Lessons in Paper Engineering from Pitsco Education. The lessons are thorough, fun, and engaging and the materials are excellent. The Task Cards that came with our Paper Engineering Lessons are on a high quality card stock that will last a long time so we can revisit these activities in a year or two when the boys are a bit older. It will be interesting to compare their progress!
Why I Love the Focus Lessons in Paper Engineering from Pitsco
The Paper Engineering Lessons Pack is geared for children ages 5-11. Mr. F is 4 and Mr. T is 6 so both are close to the lower end of the age range. I knew the tasks would take a little more explanation and involvement with Mr. F, but he loves to do the same things his big brother does so I knew he would catch on quick.
My favorite things about the lessons:
- I don’t have to search for STEM activities appropriate for the boys on Pinterest or try to think of my own. Having already designed activities is one less thing for me to deal with when I’m lesson planning.
- The materials list is simple and things we always have on hand.
- All the lessons incorporate comprehension, following directions, and problem solving. These are all skills we are working to solidify while the boys are very young.
- While we have been exploring the Paper Engineering Lessons as individual lessons during our relaxed December schooling, these projects lend themselves to being incorporated into your studies. For example, the boys are getting a simple machines set for Christmas and before we begin it in January, we are going to do the lessons on Exploring Levers. You could do the lessons on reproducing containers and create treasure chests while learning about pirates. The possibilities are endless!
- Each lesson has a box with “teacher hints” to make the project more interesting and help you gather supplies.
Joining Materials with No Tools
This lesson was really fun for me to watch. The boys each got 3 rectangles and 3 squares of paper card stock and scissors. They had to figure out how to join the pieces. Mr. F has been working on a potholder loom for the last two weeks (he’s a bit persnickety so it is a good fit for him) and decided to cut strips into one piece of paper and weave the other piece through it. Not bad for a 4 year old!
This lesson is really fun. The boys both enjoyed making Christmas Card pop-ups and I’m going to add a pop-up book to Mr. T’s narration schedule for the next quarter of our homeschool because he really liked making it “pop”.
First, the boys cut out their printed clipart. Next time, we will print them on card stock. They popped, but not as much as they would have if the paper was more sturdy. I grabbed these graphics off Canva and printed them on a letter sized sheet of paper. Next they followed the directions to create the “pop up” part.
Then the boys decorated the Christmas cards. Mr. T drew on the front and back and Mr. F drew on the front and inside. When they were satisfied with their creations, we opened them up and taped, moved, and re-taped until the pop-ups were in the right spot. The instructions said to use glue, but I don’t let Mr. F use glue very often. It gets distributed all over the house and us. So we used tape and it worked great.
About Pitsco Education
Pitsco Education has an entire section of their site dedicated to Homeschool! And to be honest, we have a wish list that is quite lengthy and includes the Medieval Trebuchet and Catapult Pack and a Van De Graaff Generator. There are really so many fun learning packs that you could find something for every interest. Go take a peek and let me know which homeschool product would spark your learners creativity!
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