As a parent, you may have heard of using STEM toys and activities to help build and develop your child’s brain. If you have not, then don’t worry, we are here to help.
STEM is the abbreviation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. You may also have heard of STEAM, which is the same abbreviation with the additional A for the arts.
The term STEM conveys the application of these subjects into the everyday lives of your children in the hope of building their curiosity and knowledge in the field.
STEM toys and activities help to raise your child’s interest in the world of science and technology, by promoting an enjoyment in activities such as building blocks, connecting shapes and learning about construction or chemical reactions.
STEM toys: Lincoln Logs
One of the most popular and well known STEM toys are Lincoln Logs. These are small wooden logs, designed with notches and edges that can be built into structures and forts.
They are specifically made to look like real logs used in log cabins, with small notches to fit them together at different angles in order to erect buildings.
Lincoln Logs have been entertaining children for decades, as they were first invented in 1916. However, newer models can include a roof, chimney, doors and other accessories to create buildings and structures.
In this sense, Lincoln Logs are perfect for promoting a child’s ability to erect structures, solve problems, and fit shapes together. This is great for building engineering skills and developing creative concepts.
Lincoln Logs work as great STEM toys and there are a variety of activities that you can participate in with your child, to help build their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
STEM activities with Lincoln Logs
Lincoln Logs come equipped with small notches so that they can be laid together in right angles, which means that they are best used for creating square shaped structures.
One of the best sets of Lincoln Logs is the Centennial Edition Tin kit.
This kit includes logs for building structures, stables, log cabins and has small horses and figures to play with once your child is done building.
With a Lincoln Log kit such as this one, you can build cabins and buildings together with your child.
This kit also has different colored pieces to help your child learn about the color spectrum and achieve interest in the activity.
You can teach them how to connect the logs together to build a solid foundation, and keep adding to the structure until you are ready to build a roof.
You may teach your child about how buildings are made and what they need to be structurally sound and stand up by themselves.
With this kit you can build a roof, walls, fences, a porch and much more. This can help your child be creative and design their own buildings.
They can then enjoy creating different sized structures and stables to keep the horses safe.
As a reward for their hard work, they can then use their imagination to create adventures for the horses and figures to have whilst using their structures.
Another useful activity to help build your child’s learning skills is through the Lincoln Logs On The Trail building kit.
Building this structure will help teach your child about construction, engineering and trail safety.
In this kit, you can utilize the Lincoln Logs to create a log cabin. The cabin requires logs notched and fitted together, with a working door and windows for the figures to live in.
You may also build a campfire for the people to use, and teach your child about safety whilst camping and the importance of fires for warmth!
This is a great educational activity as you build a home, shelter and fire for the happy campers!
Additionally, every piece has its own notches and marks to fit them together, so you child can use their imagination and creativity to make their own structures and learn to stack the pieces themselves.
This can build their hand eye coordination and motor skills whilst also learning how to construct shapes for themselves.
To help your child understand structures, engineering and movement, you can use the Lincoln Logs Train Express kit.
This kit allows your child to create buildings with roofs, doors and walls, along with a buildable train track, engine and car.
Your child can create bridges, tunnels and a train track to push the train along. This is a great activity as it has step by step instructions of all the components to create a working train track.
Your child can then delight in hours of imaginative fun with the train, figures and horse.
Build Them Up
Lincoln Logs naturally fit together, and whatever kit you have, your child will be able to make their own structures using their inventive skills.
One of the best fun activities to use with Lincoln Logs is to build them up as high as they can go.
Lincoln Logs can keep stacking and stacking, so it can be fun and educational to see how many can be stacked on top of each other.
Once it falls, you can help your child and show them the importance of building a strong base or foundation, or even cross-stack pieces to create a strong foundation for the tower.
This can teach your children how to create buildings with strong structural integrity and the importance of balance and properly fitting the logs.
The possibilities are endless
The best thing about Lincoln Logs is that your child can have full creative control and confidence in designing, constructing, engineering and creating their own buildings, stables, bridges, barns, cabins or train tracks.
The easily stackable structures can be made into anything your child dreams up.
Lincoln Logs can help promote the development of your child’s STEM, creative, design, hand-eye, balance, motor, and many more skills to further their learning.
As a parent of a five-year-old inquisitive boy, I have gained a lot of experience finding fun activities and toys to help him understand science and understanding our world in general. On this blog, you’ll find an extensive amount of tutorials, guides, and toys about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based on my personal experience to help your child develop critical STEM skills.