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STEM and Inquiry Learning Tubs

Inquiry Based Learning is student centered and encourages kids to ask questions and explore the world around them.  Students are actively engaged and able to explore curiosities with hands-on activities.   You can create inquiry tubs for play or for use during math, reading, and science, etc.  Inquiry tubs promote critical thinking skills and add an element of play which is so important for kids.

Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children.   Play helps kids learn skills they need for life such as relationship building, cooperation, communication, problem-solving, and more!   Inquiry tubs can also be used to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and the engineering design process.

These are some of the inquiry tub ideas I've used in my classroom.   Kids love them so much that parents often ask me where they can buy them.   I usually put my activities in plastic tubs.   For my classroom, I add a label to the tub stating the objectives or benefits of the activity.   The labels are available in the unlimited resources collection called My Collection of Resources and Charts.   There are pre-made and customizable labels.

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Magnet Shapes

Kids can build whatever they can imagine.  They can even add cars or farm animals and let their planning and engineering begin.

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Customizable and pre-made labels are available in My Collection

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City Engineering and Design

Provides kids with the opportunity to develop skills such as problem solving, engineering, sequential thought, critical thinking, creativity, and spatial relationships

Find the City Engineering and Design Building Set

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Cupcake Gears

Help children develop engineering, critical thinking and problem solving skills while engaged in play.  Also enhances fine motor skills.

Cupcake Gears available at Walmart 

Find Other Gear Design Kits

3D Geometric  Shape Puzzle

Kids of all ages love these puzzles.  Use the challenge cards to build or create your own masterpiece.  Learn spatial thinking, critical thinking, 3D geometry construction, and more.

Find 3D Geometric Shape Puzzles


Find Playstix 

Find Playstix vehicles

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Magnetic Blocks and Tiles

Hands-on activities that allow children to use creativity, spatial, tactile, math, science, and engineering skills.  Elementary students love these.

Find Magnetic Blocks and Tiles

Connector Blocks

Hands-on STEM activities that allow children to use critical thinking, fine-motor skills, and engineering skills.  

Find Connector Blocks

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