Today, I am showcasing five STEM-themed board books. These beautifully illustrated, sturdy books all find unique and quirky ways to incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for little ones to enjoy.
How Many Beads? by Nicola Edwards
This ingenious board book really does teach maths through play! It comes with an in-built set of ten square counting cubes, attached by a short piece of string. Each page invites you to use these blocks to count, measure and compare animals as we are transported between natural habitats. From the garden to the ocean and beyond.
Unsurprisingly, my three-year old loved the oceans page the best and we talked about which creature was the longest and the shortest as well as the colour of the coral.
My one-year-old loved the beads too. She pushed them along the string. It is a good way to practice the pincer grip (parents who have had the one-year-old health visitor check will know what I mean!). The book itself is a great size for a board book, and not too heavy. It is sturdy and despite having beads and string, I didn’t feel it posed a safety risk to children playing with it. However, I would still say it is best for an adult to supervise very young children when they’re reading it.
I think How Many Beads? would be a great for children aged 1 – 5, with younger children working on their dexterity and older children moving beyond counting to measuring and making mathematical calculations.
Published by Little Tiger Press, 7 January 2021. This is part of My World series.
Let’s Look at Shapes by Marion Deuchars
As a big fan of Marion’s books, I was delighted to share this board book on shapes with my one-year-old.
Marion has turned each shape into an animal and I particularly liked that she has drawn each shape-animal twice: one with their eyes open and the other asleep. It adds another little level to this starter board book. The oval koala was our favourite. I’d recommend this for children aged 0 – 1.
If you love the idea of shape-animals as much as we do, then I highly recommend Marion’s craft book Let’s Make Some Great Art: Animals which shows children and grown-ups(!) how to create their own shape-animals.
Published by Laurence King Publishing, 4 March 2021
My New Haircut by Jeffrey Turner
This is another shape board book my daughters enjoyed – my three-year-old thought was hilarious.
A poodle tries out a number of new hairdos which are all different mathematical shapes! There is also a great facts page at the end.
This book stretches the shape vocabulary and facts a little further than Let’s Look at Shapes. So, I would say it is suitable for children aged 0 – 2.
Published by Schiffer Publishing, 28 March 2020
Day and Night by Harriet Evans and Lirios Bou
This book was an instant hit with both of my girls and me! It is part of Little Tiger’s Switch-a-Picture series and each page literally switches from day to night by the pull of a lever.
Together, we delighted in seeing the jungle transform. The monkeys swinging happily in the morning and the bats coming out at night. The tabs themselves are packed with extra facts about the wildlife, including facts about the five senses which is a lovely touch.
We will definitely be looking out for other books in this series! I would recommend it for children aged 1 – 4. It is perfect for animal lovers!
Published by Little Tiger Press, 4 February 2021
Let’s Look At Numbers by Marion Deuchars
Finally, I wanted to highlight another brilliant board book by Marion, this time showcasing numbers using birds made from thumbprints!
Marion’s artwork is instantly recognisable from her Bob The Artist picture book series. Each page is playful and brought a smile to our faces.
This board book is brought to life by her thumb-print illustrations and really engaged both my one-year-old and my three-year-old. With the help of Marion’s, Let’s Make Some Great Art books, we made our own thumb-print animals and counted them. Collectively, Marion’s picture books and board books offer a brilliant range of STEM activities for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. I highly recommend her books.
Published by Laurence King Publishing, 9 March 2021
If you are looking for a great STEM book for children aged 5+, I would recommend:
Math Games Lab for Kids by Rebecca Rapoport & J.A. Yoder
This book is filled with entertaining maths-based activities that can all be done during lockdown and social distancing.
In you are looking for fiction picture books with STEM themes, I recommend:
The Shape Trilogy by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Written in a truly unique and quirky style, these three books are packed full of wry humour, both in words and illustrations. Jon Klassen has cleverly designed every page so it is full of shapes.
I am very grateful to the publishers for providing me with a complimentary copies of these books. This voluntary feature contains my honest opinion.
The beads one is a great idea. We have the numbers and shape ones (I think it was your twitter I spied them on…?) and the shape one especially has gone down well. Peapod is 2.5 now and just learning some shapes so he likes looking through it and naming them.