Educating, stimulating and keeping kids busy without screen time

Nadine Bubeck

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Nadine Bubeck

*Disclaimer: the following contains some affiliate links and commissions are earned off purchases.

I’m all for anything that’s art infused, stocked with STEM, or simply fun for outside play. Now that spring has sprung, here are 10 things I’m eyeing that’ll educate, stimulate, and keep your kids busy as summer approaches.

The latest addition to our craft table is the smART sketcher® 2.0 from Fly Catcher. The award-winning “sketcher projector” makes your artistic dreams a reality. Out of the box, kids can engage in 60+ sketching and learning activities; step-by-step instructions guide small hands through the entire process. Download the free smART sketcher® 2.0 Projector Mobile App enabling kids take a photo, project it on paper and begin to sketch like a pro. In other words, have a photo you want to transform into a work of art? All you need to do is download it from your cell, project it on paper with your connected Projector, and sketch to your heart’s content. Recommended for ages 5+. Use code NADINE for $5 off.

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Fly Catcher

If your kids prefer STEAM over sketching, check out Fly Catcher’s smART STIX™ which lets kids engineer their own projects from start to finish. Measure, cut, bend, connect and play using bendable aluminum rods and smART connectors. Included in the engineer kit: a workbench, 30 ready-to-form aluminum rods and 150+ assorted connectors. Kids can build 3 different designs right out of the box or get creative and engineer their own project. STEAM skills learned include calculating, computing, and constructing.

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Artkive

And with all this cultivating, why not create a picture book of your child’s artwork? If you’re like me and hoard their schoolwork and drawings, you’ll love my annual obsession: making Artkive books for your kids. (Yep, I do one every year.) Give your home library an upgrade capturing your child’s artwork in a compact, presentable table-top book! Artkive takes your kid’s masterpieces and school projects, professionally photographs them, and puts together the loveliest books you'll treasure forever. Use code Nadine20 at checkout to save 20%.

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Play Brainy

Ever since my boys were little, my favorite toy has always been their assortment of building magnets... but boy, have magnets come a long way over the past few years. Enter Play Brainy, my go-to for all things magnetic. Safe, stimulating, and super fun, the Play Brainy Magnetic Toy Cars Set enhances developmental skills. Perfect for ages 2+, kids will work their creativity and building skills to concoct trucks, planes, helos and cars. Carefully constructed with no sharp edges.

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CreateOn

Another magnet-building option- and this one combines art- is CreateOn’s Doodle Tiles, available on Amazon. The set comes with 10 blank doodle tiles and 5 markers; kids can color all over them and wipe clean when they’re done. Your child will bring their artistic designs to life in 3D through building.

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Play Brainy

For curious kiddos ages 8+, the Play Brainy Microscope Kit provides an exciting and engaging STEM-inspired experience for little scientists. The kit comes with all the tools and accessories needed to study biology. If you want to get your child hyped about science, education, and learning, this is the perfect way to do it. With the microscope kit, they’ll study things up close, prepare their own slides, and practice scientific studies with things in and around the home. It even comes with pre-made slides with different creatures and materials, blank sides for custom-made ideas, and an easy-to-do shrimp hatchery kit for looking at live specimens.

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Föm

From studying specimens to sudsy silliness, enter Föm: a backyard essential for energetic kids. Want to create an instant foam party? With the press of a button, the Fömalanche makes piles and piles of light, airy foam! Simple to use, just add Fom solution and water to the reservoir and turn the machine on for fast, easy, foamy fun. And the best part... no clean up required because the foam dissolves! Each package includes a single Fömalanche machine and three packets of foam concentrate.

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Föm

As an alternative to the cliché water gun, Föm also offers a Fomilator. The Fömilator jets out streams of thick, fluffy foam up to 15 feet for the ultimate “foam fight.” Simply pour foam concentrate into the Fömilator reservoir, fill it with water and you're ready to aim and blast. Each package includes 1 Fömilator and a bottle of foam concentrate.

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Whirly Board

If you want an effective, compact, and fundamental avenue for kids to burn energy, snag a Whirly Board. The ultimate living room accessory helps kids develop stability and motor skills while having fun. The skateboard deck strategically propped to perfection helps people of all ages improve balance and agility, helping them excel in any athletic activity. Even though we don’t live near the ocean, my boys love trying to surf on vacation, so Whirly makes a great aid to work their core strengthening skills in the comfort of home.

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Loaded Longboards

After daily training on your Whirly, opt for the real deal from Loaded Longboards. For longboarding fans, Loaded’s Tan Tien model is the coolest way to cruise blending carve-oriented longboarding with advanced trick riding. A flexible deck, drop-through truck mounts, and usable kicks allow the Tan Tien to pack a lot into a relatively small package. The complex contours create a super responsive board that allows for increased confidence when leaning into turns, popping tricks, and powering through slides.

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Nadine Bubeck is a multi-media personality, mompreneur, author, keynote speaker, influencer and blessed boy mom times three. ​ The TV News anchor turned all things mama is a travel, parenting and lifestyle contributor on TV and writes for a handful of publications and websites. Follow Nadine: @mamaandmyboys on Instagram and TakeTheTripFamily.com

Scottsdale, AZ
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