Explore Nook: Where STEM Meets Nature Play
As advocates of play based learning, we could not be more thrilled to introduce Explore Nook. Exclusively available at The Tot, this eco-friendly wooden toy brand is doing BIG things for little learners when it comes to STEM and nature play.
When it comes to toys that are educational, eco-friendly and non-toxic, it’s actually not that easy to tick all the right boxes. That’s why when we find a brand as genius as Explore Nook, we have to talk about it.
Founded by an Australian early education teacher, Explore Nook keeps sustainability and your child’s health in mind when creating open-ended toys that inspire both STEM and nature play.
Want to learn more? In this article, we’ll answer:
- What is STEM?
- What is nature play?
- Why we love Explore Nook
- What are the best Explore Nook toys for STEM and nature play?
Scroll down to learn more!
What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. These four areas have been identified as critical disciplines for 21st-century workers, which is why schools and companies around the world have been working to create activities and toys that help teach these concepts.
One of the major benefits of STEM play is how it encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, communication and entrepreneurship.
What is nature play?
Nature play is essentially any type of play that involves an element of the outdoors. This could be water play, gardening, tree climbing, collecting sticks, rocks and leaves or simply doing yoga outside. It could also be a nature hike, sketching a landscape or using mud and water for a fun sensory experience.
Nature play is wonderful for encouraging mindfulness, learning about the environment and ultimately aiding in both cognitive and physical development.
Where STEM intersects nature play: Why we love Explore Nook
Explore Nook is a family-owned company that makes wooden eco-friendly toys specifically designed to introduce kids to STEM concepts while facilitating nature play.
While the point of their activities is to inspire play based learning and loads of FUN, their DIY rolls and waterways also help children hone their hand-eye coordination, strengthen their fine motor skills, learn to think critically and problem solve as well as facilitate tactile and sensory play.
All made from either sustainably-sourced timber or highly renewable bamboo, Explore Nook sets can be played with independently or socially and can even be used as part of a homeschool curriculum.
The thing we love most is how they encourage kids to gather things like rocks, sticks or items from around the house to help them set up their structure!
Shop Explore Nook from The Tot
At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that we avoid.
All Tot Tested and approved, here are the best Explore Nook toys for STEM and nature play!
Made from 100% sustainably-sourced timber, the Explore Nook Waterways Family Starter Set is designed to inspire kids to investigate and experiment with how water flow outdoors.
The set includes three wooden channels in three unique patterns, three chunky wooden blocks, one wooden funnel and four natural bamboo half top stands.
Made from 100% natural and renewable bamboo, the Explore Nook Bamboo Construct & Roll lets kids build their own ramps and slides both indoors and out!
The set includes eight natural bamboo ramp channels, six natural bamboo tube stands, four natural bamboo half base stands with wooden dowel pegs and four natural bamboo half top stands.
Made from 100% natural and renewable bamboo, the Explore Nook Mini Bamboo Roll makes small part play even more engaging and fun!
The set includes four natural mini bamboo ramp channels and three natural mini bamboo rolling rings.