Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are you looking for a fun Easter STEAM project to do with kids? Today I am sharing a great poetry book for kids and a STEM engineering challenge that we did as a family – Lego Egg Racers
STEM Challenge for Kids: Design and Build a Lego Egg Racer

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Books About Transportation

Cars Trucks and Things that Go
The topic of Plains, Trains, and Automobiles is always associated in my mind with the book that was immensely popular in our house in toddler years – Cars, Trucks, and Things That Go by Richard Scarry. I swear that all early language advances of my Smarty and her love of mechanics come from reading this book over, and over, and over again for a year or so. Now this book went into a very special box where we keep books for our future grandchildren (one can hope, right?)
Poem Mobiles
Because of our love of Richard Scarry, I was quite excited to find a “perfect book” for our little engineer – Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems written by Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes. We admired inventive text and elaborate illustrations in this poetry book and were kind of sorry that the book ended so soon. We got our copy from the library, but Poem-Mobiles would make a terrific gift for a young car enthusiast, and I am seeing us purchasing it to give as a present very soon.

An Engineering Challenge for Kids

Egg Drivers
I kept some empty egg shells from making Mexican brownies before Easter, and we made several egg people. Smarty really enjoyed making her character all girly with a beautiful bow. When we were done giving character to our eggs, I suggested an engineering challenge – create a safe and fast Lego car for your Egg driver. Our Master Lego Builder (aka my husband) took on this challenge as well, and we all headed upstairs to our sizeable collection of loose Lego bricks.

Lego “Egg-Mobiles”

Lego Building
Smarty dived into her project with abandon and built her standard “box car”. Obviously, her egg driver is using the sixth sense to navigate.
Egg Racers Mama Daughter
I used a Duplo platform and went with an “Egg Motorized Carriage” motive.
Egg Racer Papa
Our Master Builder was the only one building an aerodynamic car. The top was built after this shot to keep an egg driver safe.

Testing Our Lego Egg Racers

Lego Egg Racers Challenge - Planet Smarty Pants
Once our Lego egg racers were ready, we put them to test by trying them against each other. Smarty (and I) learned a few things about Lego cars from this test:
  • Duplo plastic wheels are very slow – my racer was dead last.
  • You need to make sure to align the wheels and pick the best possible wheels – Smarty’s car kept veering to the side.
  • The size of wheels does matter, Master Builder’s car easily won the race with its bigger back wheels.
  • Building Lego cars to race is a blast, and we should definitely do it again!
And here is the winner!
STEM challenge for kids - build a fast and safe car for egg drivers

More Engineering Fun for Kids?

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Have you built Lego cars from loose bricks and tested them against each other?


Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

So much to love about this! I definitely want to check out the crazy car poems book. And legos for racing eggs? Just too awesome!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I LOVE your racing eggs. What fun!

Ticia said...

We did Lego egg cars once a few years ago.... Our eggs did not survive.

And I LOVE your activity here!

Brain Power Boy said...

Coming over from G+ to further check out your idea. I really like this! Thanks so much for sharing it. Followed your LEGO pinterest board :) ~Sheila

Anna said...

You do such a great job with challenging your daughter in science. I have much to learn from you!

Jill R. said...

Legos are sure to make poetry more exciting for the kids that think poetry is "boring".
The egg racers are just too cool by the way!

Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

raventhreads said...

This is a great idea! I think I'm putting it into my rainy day file for my son!

Mary Prather said...

These are such a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

none said...

Did you put the racers on a gentle slope and use gravity? I don't think these are motorized?

Jorge Luis Loza Carlos said...

Excellent ideas!