STEM-Inspiring Gifts Under $20 for your Little Valentine
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not skip all the candy and stuffed animals and foster a love of science in your little Valentine? I’ve included a list of products under $20 as I know most parents are always looking to save a bit of money.
This post include affiliate links.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
All three of my kids love Snap Circuits. They are a great way to encourage STEM play and enjoyed by a wide age range.
Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
Lego and STEM- need I say more? My oldest got this for Christmas and we’ve been LOVING it.
Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set
Why not give them science tools made for their little hands?
Extract DNA from fruit! Build a double Helix! Help your kids to learn the basics of molecular biology in a fun, easy to understand way.
I love eco-friendly toys! The kit can make up to seven different toys, including a race car, a gravity-powered walking robot and a tornado inside a bottle. All for under $10!
Ok, you knew I had to throw it in the mix, right? If you don’t know about my book yet, here’s the premise:
Nellie appears to be a normal nine year old girl. But Nellie is not normal. Nellie is an amazingly gifted scientist who lives in a family of amazingly gifted scientists. One day, her brother, Niles, who is eleven, teases her (as all respectable big brothers do). This time, however, Niles goes too far when he tells Nellie that girls are silly and no woman has ever changed the world. This sets off a spark of an idea in Nellie’s most amazing mind and sends her down the path to create a time machine and meet wonderful women who made a mark on the world. First stop, Amelia Earhart! With a few bumps along the way and a government agency out to steal her technology, Nellie and Niles are in for an incredible adventure!
If you don’t have a copy yet, it is a great way to encourage kids, especially girls, to love science.
STEAM: Preschool Activities for STEM Enrichment
This book looks great for the five and under crowd!
This looks great for little engineers over the age of seven!
Dear Tired, Busy Mama
Life isn’t easy for me.
I have three kids with differing special medical and dietary needs. This includes everything from intractable epilepsy to autism to 16 combined food allergies.
Until a few weeks ago, my oldest child, who is nearly nine, had never slept through the night. NEVER. No one in my family has slept well his entire life.
My husband lost his job last May, which resulted in a 12oo mile move to a new state where we knew no one.
Within a few days of closing on our house in our new state, my dog, my best friend of 10 years died.
A month later, my son had a terrible seizure that lasted 3.5 hours and landed him in the hospital. We were in Nashville – on a layover from visiting family in Seattle-when it happened. We had several months of awful medical struggles afterwards.
During all of this, I was homeschooling my kids and trying to finish my first book, “Nellie Nova Takes Flight.”
I am not telling you all of this so that you can feel bad for me. I am telling you this because I want to you to understand where I am coming from before I tell you this:
Dear Tired, Busy Mama,
You may think that your dreams have to be pushed aside. That there’s no time in your schedule for you.
You’ve convinced yourself that whatever it is your heart desires will have to wait for another season.
But, Tired, Busy Mama, it’s not true. You are still your own person, in spite of all of your responsibilities.
In spite of – and because of- these responsibilities- you need to have an outlet. You need to leave a portion of yourself for you.
Mama, you matter. Your dreams matter. Your soul matters. Your happiness. Your success. Your joy.
It all matters.
Whatever it is that you’ve been pushing aside- go for it. Don’t make yourself a martyr to your circumstance.
You can do it. You can go back to school. You can write that book, paint that painting, get that job, volunteer for that amazing charity you support. Whatever it is, Tired, Busy Mama, that lingers in the back of your mind, whispering,“What if.”
Please leave room in your life for yourself.
If I can do it, so can you.
Another Tired, Busy Mama
Art and Working with an Illustrator
It’s been a really interesting process to work with an illustrator. I had this vision in my head of what Nellie and her family looked like. It’s been really fun to work with an artist, Elie Dagher, to bring them all to life.
The first character we brought to life was Nellie.
After a few rough sketches, we’d found her.
I have to say, this was one of the most exciting parts of this process for me. Nellie came out of my mind and onto the screen.
There was also similar work done with other characters- here are early sketches of Niles.
Here are some sketches of Niles and Nellie’s parents, Fox and Annie.
And an early draft of the cover.
And here it is, just about finished! Seeing this just makes it all so real. My book will truly be ready soon.
And a few of the illustrations from the book.
I mean, lunch with Amelia Earhart?! How cool is that?!!
I can’t wait to share this book with you all!
Coming Soon, “Nellie Nova Takes Flight.”
Can I just say how excited I am right now?
I have been working on my first book, “Nellie Nova Takes Flight” for over a year. Writing a book when you are homeschooling kids with special medical needs can be difficult to say the least. But I did it, and it will be available for purchase soon!
Let me tell you a little about the book!
“Nellie Nova Takes Flight” is the first book in the Nellie Nova series.
Nellie appears to be a normal nine year old girl. But Nellie is not normal. Nellie is an amazingly gifted scientist who lives in a family of amazingly gifted scientists. One day, her brother, Niles, who is eleven, teases her (as all respectable big brothers do.) This time, however, Niles goes too far when he tells Nellie that girls are silly and no woman has ever changed the world. This sets off a spark of an idea in Nellie’s most amazing mind and sends her down the path to create a time machine and meet wonderful women who made a mark on the world. First stop, Amelia Earhart! With a few bumps along the way and a government agency out to steal her technology, Nellie and Niles are in for an incredible adventure!
All of the wonderful artwork created for “Nellie Nova Takes Flight” was made by Elie Dagher.
I can’t wait to share more about my book!
Thanks for reading!