Wild About Reading

Wild About Reading: STEM Videos

This year we replaced our typical Wild About Reading events in the park, with online STEM classes.  Follow each of the links below to access the classes.
We want to hear from you! This was a new adventure for us and we'd love feedback. Whether you or your children particpated in a class or not, please take a minute to complete this quick survey.


STEM Class #1: Make Your Own Play Dough

  • 1 cup flour                                                                     Step 1. - Put flour and salt in a mixing bowl
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water                                                  Step 2. - Add water to flour and salt mixture
  • 1/3 cup salt                                                                   Step 3. - Add oil to mixture and mix all together
  • 1 tbsp oil                                                                       Step 4. - When the batter is soft and not sticky anymore, divide it into desired number of lumps
  • 3-5 drops food coloring (optional)                                 Step 5. - Add food coloring and essential oil to each lump
  • 2 drops essential oils or vanilla extract (optional)         Step 6. - Knead play dough **You may need to add more flour.
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
If you're only making one color, you don't need to divide the play dough.
Store the play dough in a ziploc bag or tupperware container. If it gets dry, simply add a bit of water and mix again.

STEM Class #2: Build a Boat Challenge

Build Your Own Boat Challenge!

We want to see what type of boat you create using materials from around your house! Have a grown-up post a photo in the comments, or email shelby.otto@unitedwayswmn.org, and we'll have you stop by our office to pick out a free book!

We can't wait to see what you create. Let us know if it floats or sinks!




STEM Class #3: Ice Cream in a Bag

  • 1 pint-size zip-type plastic bag                                Step 1. - Fill large bag half full of ice
  • 1 gallon-size zip-type plastic bag                            Step 2. - Add the salt to the ice and seal the bag
  • ice (to fill gallon bag 1/2 full)                                   Step 3. - Put milk, vanilla, & sugar into the small bag and seal the bag
  • 6 tbsp salt                                                                Step 4. - Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully
  • 1/2 c milk                                                                 Step 5. - Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 3 minutes
  • 1 tbsp sugar                                                             Step 6. - Wipe off top of small bag, then open carefully and enjoy
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Making the ice cream in plastic bags allows the children to observe the process of the liquid changing to a solid.


STEM Class #4: Spaghetti and Marshmallow Shapes

This interactive lesson helps children explore 2D and 3D shapes and structures.
Grab some spaghetti noodles (or pretzel rods) and mini marshmallows and join in the fun! 

STEM Class #5: Fireworks in a Jar

This science experiment is simple to do and so fun to watch!