If you’re a parent or educator, you already know how important it is to introduce children to basic STEM concepts as early as possible. Not only does a STEM kids education prepare our children for the kinds of jobs they’ll have in our new information-based and highly technological society, but it also instills valuable life skills like ingenuity, problem-solving, experimentation, resilience, teamwork, and knowledge application. Unfortunately, getting kids ages 5 to 8 to sit down and learn about anything can be pretty tricky. Getting them to sit down and learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can be downright impossible if you don’t find a way to make the subject matter fun and engaging. Luckily, there’s an independent publishing house called Gil Harp Books that specializes in children’s picture books that do just that. And their latest offering, The Blocks Come Out at Night, is already receiving huge praise forward-thinking parents and educators around the country.
Written by Javier Garay and illustrated by Keenan Hopson, The Blocks Come Out at Night is the first book in a new series aimed at introducing basic science and engineering concepts to children in grades K to 3. In it, Samantha and her brother Roger wake up one morning to discover that their building blocks have come alive, and that they’ve secretly traveled to Paris in order to study the City of Light’s most famous structures and recreate them in the children’s bedroom.
Before long, Lloyd the Block and his friend Sonia are teaching Samantha and Roger all about the properties of various materials, the strength of shapes, thermal expansion, not to mention geography, language, culture, and art. Then, at the very end, there’s a fun engineering experiment that encourages kids to test their theoretical knowledge and learn things for themselves.
Books are usually the best way to introduce new ideas to young children. The Blocks Come Out at Night is no exception. It uses fast-paced and engaging storytelling to teach kids cool facts and instill a broader appreciation for imagination and creativity. It also demonstrates that STEM and non-STEM subjects can be taught together in perfect harmony.
So far, The Blocks Come Out at Night has received nothing but praise:
“My children, ages 5 and 3, loved the book. Both the content and the characters captured their attention. My wife and I even learned a thing or two along the way. I’d highly recommend this book for your children, especially if they’re budding builders like mine.” –Catherine M.
“My students absolutely loved reading about Lloyd the Block and his adventure. I love how this book ties in geography, famous landmarks, math, science and more!! This is a great book to inspire STEM challenges and even includes one on the last page! Highly recommend this book for any classroom setting!” –Dena O.
“Our bookshelf is filled with princess, fancy and superhero books. The Blocks Come Out At Night is a welcome addition. The kids are engaged in the story, learn about geography and engineering and have a (really) fun exercise using household items. There really should be more books like this. Thank you to the author (Javier Baez) for putting together a thoughtful book that parents and kids can both enjoy!” –Jeff
“In a world of gimmicky STEM products, this book stands out for both its academic potential and relatability. Garay has a knack for presenting engineering topics in a way that is accessible to young children. His quirky character, Lloyd the Block keeps it light and inspires children to create on their own. Between that and the blocks' travel notes, there is something for everyone. My kids loved it and are looking forward to book #2.” –Blerg
If you’re looking for a fun way to get kids interested in basic STEM concepts, something that will inspire creativity and wonder as well a pragmatic experimentation, order your copy of The Blocks Come Out at Night today.
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