Hello, fellow science lovers! Miss Julie here to tell you about a most unusual STEM kit… a box full of colorful tumblers from IKEA.

Actually, I’m just being silly. The library would never hand you just 6 cups and call it a STEM kit. Nope. We would give you this:

If you are confused, well, so was I when I first saw that Miss Laura had purchased these. After giving Miss Laura a series of strange looks, she countered with a lot of enthusiasm. The conversation looked something like this:

Finally, I agreed to take these home and try them out on my 3-year-old. Well, wouldn’t you know it… he built with these for three days straight! I was astounded. I mean, they are just cups, after all. Absolutely nothing special…to an adult. But for a kid? They stack! And they are colorful! And they can fit inside each other! You can count them and make patterns, and sort them over and over. Apparently, my imagination is not what it used to be, because my 11-year-old ended up playing with these, too.


And of course, the best part is that we have books to go along with this kit!

Crash! Boom! A Math Tale by Robie Harris is a story about an adorable little elephant who is trying to build a tower as tall as he is. Read along with your little ones as you watch Elephant plan, predict, estimate, and ultimately succeed at building an amazing tower with blocks.

Edible Colors: See, Learn, Eat by Jennifer Vogel Bass takes a tour of the brightly colored world of fruits and vegetables. Enjoy learning colors and identifying the food we eat with the wonderful pictures in this book.

Scroll through a sample of some of the pictures in these books:

So in closing, I wish to issue a huge, “I’m sorry”, to Miss Laura: you were right, and I will never doubt you again. As for the rest of the people reading this post, your littles will love building with this set. The cups are almost better than blocks, because they are big, balance easily, are super colorful, and are just…different. I think the novelty of playing with so many cups adds to the fun. If you need to keep your toddler busy for a few hours while you are getting some work done, or if you are just looking for a fun activity to do together, this one is a winner.

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