This mom creates amazing and educational DIY activities for her kids
By Chelsea Frisbie for WYFF4.
Andrea Yi studied engineering in college, then spent a decade working with fashion designer Donna Karan. After having her fourth son, she realized there was a gap in the marketplace for fun, educational activities that incorporated both the left and right brain.
About a year ago, she was having so much fun creating activities involving both sides of the brain with her boys Nate, Dylan, Oliver and Alexander that she decided to share them online. She created “Raising Dragons,” a website dedicated to helping other parents and educators come up with fun science, technology, engineering, art and math activities.
Most of her science experiments are modern updates on the classics, like the baking soda volcano. The materials she uses are usually items she finds around the house.
Her kids still use technology, like tablets and other gaming devices, but she says they’re only allowed a little bit of screen time each day. “Yet another reason why I like doing these STEAM activities — to give them other options than screen time.”
Out of all of the projects, Andrea’s kids like the science experiments the most. “One of my sons asks me to make potions every day. He loves to mix different liquids and powders and see what happens,” she said.
Andrea enjoys sharing her family’s ideas with others, but they’re not all winners.
“I try to feature simple activities I think most people would be able to pull together in a few minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a cool craft or activity, and by the second step, I’m like, ‘Nope, too difficult.’ I try to keep mine super simple so busy parents will say, ‘I can do this,’” she said.
Doing these homemade STEAM activities has even helped kids in the classroom. “It’s gotten them much more interested in science, and for my five-year-old, it has definitely helped him learn his letters and numbers,” Andrea said.
Since the creation of the blog, Raising Dragons has amassed nearly 500,000 followers. Their videos have been viewed more than 50 million times by over 100 million people. Andrea recently published a book called “STEAM for Babies,” which became the No. 1 new release in the STEM category in its first week on Amazon.
We can’t wait to see what Andrea and the kids come up with next!