BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Bea Reviews Baby Steps to STEM: Infant and Toddler Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activities by Jean Barbre

Publisher: Redleaf Press
Source: Hoopla
Release Date: July 17th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo |* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Innately curious, infants and toddlers love to explore, investigate, and discover—making the earliest years a perfect time to begin teaching the foundations of STEM. This book defines what science, technology, engineering, and math education looks like for this age group, and why it is so vital for children to develop STEM knowledge. Expand your understanding of STEM to lay the foundation for children to develop skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

This book supplies fifty play-based developmentally appropriate activities for introducing STEM. All activities include extensions, inquiry questions, and tips on how to help parents strengthen children's learning at home.

Jean Barbre, EdD, holds a master's degree in child and family studies from California State University Long Beach, a master's degree in counseling from California State University Fullerton, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Pepperdine University. She has more than thirty years of experience working with children and families in a variety of roles and currently teaches early childhood courses in community college and California State University system as well as presents at professional conferences across the country.

My Thoughts:

When we treat children's play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that's to be found in the creative spirit. It's the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives. - Fred Rogers

"Baby Steps to STEM" is a good introduction to STEM education for infants and toddlers. The foundational chapters were a bit dry and repetitive but full of practical, useful information. The information wasn't new to me but I've been teaching toddlers for almost thirty years. It served as a quick, good refresher course especially as STEM is my weak area. The book is aimed at  edu-caregivers but could easily be implemented by parents or other caregivers.

The second half of the book is where things come alive. Simple, basic activities, based on STEM principles and featuring objects and themes relevant to infants and toddlers, are outlined. The materials are mostly found around home or purchased easily and relatively inexpensively. The goal of each activity is outlined in simple language, and a secondary activity to expand or extend the initial activity and deepen the learning is included. Suggested questions and prompts are provided and each activity is labeled with the intended age group. The activities and extensions have me psyched. I can't wait for school to re-open so I can work these into my curriculum. However, these can easily be done at home too.

Whether you are a parent or teacher, new or experienced, this is a good addition to your library.


  1. Oh I'm going to have to grab this one for Dante! He's eight months I'm guessing there's activities at that age already!? Thanks for sharing great review!

    1. Yes, and they are simple to do at home. Hopefully, Dante will have fun.

  2. The activities in this book sounds like they were really well done. It is amazing how early kids can start learning STEM concepts.

    1. It is, and STEM is sometimes simpler than people think, including myself.


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