Childs Play

Teaching STEAM with the Musical Activity Cube

October 9, 2018

We’ve struggled for gift ideas for Bridget this year for Christmas – I mean, what do you get a child that is 3rd in line and has everyone’s hand me downs? Well, Smyths came to the rescue by asking me to review one of the toys in their new Big Steps Play range. The toy I had originally selected wasn’t available but actually, the musical activity toy worked out better. 

The Musical activity cube from Big Steps Play

The Big Steps Play range from Smyths is a selection of bright coloured, easy-grasp toys for preschoolers and we’ve been having a play with the musical activity cube.

Now, you’ve probably seen similar toys like this before. a cube with different activities on is hardly revolutionary – however, the more I watched Bridget playing with it, the more I realised it’s STEAM potential.
If you’ve not heard of STEAM, it’s a variation on the acronym STEM which stands for stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. The A in STEAM stands for arts.

With this particular activity cube, there are 5 sides:

Firstly, the mirror. Science.  Right from the very first glimpse of themselves in the mirror, our children are discovering. Mirrors create a whole host of possibilities. From pulling funny faces to writing messages backwards and looking at yourself in a spoon. There are so many fun things you can do with mirrors and they give a great opportunity to use some science vocabulary

Technology. The Drum. By hitting the drum, Bridget caused it to flash and light up different colours. (Ok, I’m reaching a bit far with that one but bear with me.)

Engineering. Cogs. The cogs on one side are a very simple look into engineering. So many day-to-day things that we take for granted use cogs to make them work and it was great to watch Bridget study the cogs as she turned them. 

Arts. The piano. The musical side of the cube comes from the piano and its different sound buttons. Bridget loves music and will dance to anything from ‘The Devil went down to Georgia’ to a ring tone on my phone. Having a way for her to make her own music and discover the sounds is great for sparking her creative side.

Bridget being encouraged by her big sister.

And lastly, Maths. The Shape Sorter. Shape sorters are great for developing maths skills and language in children. You can play with shapes, talk about how many sides things have, you can learn colours and do counting and sorting together.

We love the bright colours and the tactile features. It is perfect for curious little explorers and the little details really capture Bridget’s intrigue.  I’ve wrapped it back up for her for Christmas at the moment but I already know she is going to love it. The Big Steps Play Musical Activity Cube is available here from Smyth’s toys and retails at £14.99. It requires 3 ‘AA’ batteries, which it comes with and aids creative play, sensory development, motor skills and imaginative play
*We were sent this toy to review – All thoughts, pictures and opinions are my own*

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