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Family STEAM Challenge: DIY LEGO Compatible Fish Tank
This post is included in part of a week long series featuring STEAM learning activities the whole family can enjoy in collaboration with the popular Instagram account @steamkidschallenge.
Kids LOVE playing with water! Most kids also love LEGOs. So we have gone big and combined the two with this unique DIY LEGO Compatible Fish Tank! What would your family engineer under the water?
- Creative QT Peel 'n Stick Baseplates, we used a Tan 4-pack, 10" x 10," $29.95 (project only requires two baseplates)
- Craft knife and chopping board
- Fish tank- we used the size 10 glass aquarium made by Aqua Culture from Walmart, costing $14.99
- Selection of building bricks
- We also added HEXBUG AquaBots, $19.99 for 5
- A bucket, a small jug and water to fill the tank with
Making your LEGO Compatible Fish Tank is super easy. Here's a video with the details, as well as some fun play footage!
The first step is to check that the glass edges on the tank are not sharp. As we were using a relatively cheap fish tank, it did require a little time to smooth off the edges with sandpaper.
Give the bottom of the tank a wipe and then cut the baseplates to size using the craft knife. If you need any tips, here is an entire post that talks you though this process. Then, it is as simple as peeling off the red backing and sticking the baseplates to the bottom of the fish tank!
Once the baseplates have been adhered, we recommend leaving them overnight before adding any water. This helps to ensure that the adhesive works to the best of it's ability.
Now comes the really fun part! Gather your building bricks and spend an afternoon designing your fish tank interior together. Whether it is the whole family, or just Dad and son, this is a great way to bond over some seriously fun play! Our little four year old and his Dad loved working hard together to build a futuristic underwater world. They built a submarine and below sea level stations, as well as several other structures.
The novelty of building inside a fish tank is so much fun! It's also great for developing fine motor skills. You can discuss the concept of building strong and stable structures to withstand the weight of the water. Another fun STEAM learning link is to challenge each other to build boats that will float. You can discuss what makes a boat float and what makes it sink.
It is such a great way to spend quality time together. Sharing a joint building goal really helps to focus efforts and gives a great sense of achievement when the creation is complete.
Once you are happy with the design of your fish tank, fill it with water. We recommend filling the tank gradually with a jug to avoid all of your creations being dislodged!
Your kids will absolutely love watching their buildings and boats being submerged under the water!
Enjoy rolling up your sleeves and getting hands on with your kids. Explore the depths of the deep dark sea and share creative adventures together!
This is such a great set-up for role play and storytelling. Encourage your kids to add to their underwater world whenever they like to extend their adventures even further.
One way to freshen up your fish tank play is to add some technology to really bring the activity to life. Adding some HEXBUG AquaBots will blow your kids' minds! They will love watching them race around tank!
This is definitely one of our most creative Peel 'n Stick Baseplate projects to date, but it was so worth the effort! Our family loved this engaging sensory experience. It prompted so much imaginative play, and gets all the family enjoying some quality time together. Would your kids build an underwater world too? Or would they prefer a seabed laden with coral and sea creatures?
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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