STEM Imagination Guides helps build skills


Reading with children is one of the most effective and educational activities you can engage in.  

Children learn concepts of print, letter and word recognition, comprehension, and storytelling. To help you incorporate reading into your daily routine and bring in some exciting science concepts, check out Nebraska Extension’s 2023 STEM Imagination Guides.  This year’s focus is on friendship, kindness, unity, and diversity.   

In our world today, emotional intelligence is vital to building relationships in both early childhood and adulthood. This year's STEM Imagination Guides theme is All Together Now and it helps children begin to build the skills needed each and every day with each and every interaction. 

Each guide features an exciting book and includes a fun science experiment or activity you can do right at home.  Additionally, we have included a nature activity, a creative arts element, and an infant/toddler specific component.  The reading guides aligned with Nebraska’s Early Learning Guideline domains.  We are especially excited that our guides are translated into Spanish as well!  To access these guides for NO COST, visit   

The eight books that have been selected and paired with conversation starters and activities which will provide opportunities for exploration and play include:

•Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora

•Sorry Really Sorry by Joanna Cotler 

•My Mouth is Volcano by Julia Cook

•Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder

•Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? by Coll Mur

•The Monster Parade by Wendy O’Leary

•I am a Kindness Hero by Jennifer Adams

•Sweet People are Everywhere by Alice Walker

All of these books tie directly to this year’s Collaborate Summer Reading s theme that is incorporated in libraries across the state, All Together Now.

These aren’t the only STEM Imagination Guides that are available for parents, early childhood professionals, grandparents, teachers, really anyone who loves to read with young children to download.  There are also books and guides specifically related to oceans, animals and their habitats, and books and guides for some of your favorite fairytales, too!  All of these are online at  

The purpose of the STEM Imagination Program is to provide all caregivers (early childhood professionals and parents) with books, guided questions, and expanded learning resources to support literacy development, enhance relationships, and to make a connection to local libraries.

Know that each STEM Imagination Guide can be customized to meet the needs and interests of the children that you are reading to.  The shared reading experience and creative play opportunities are sure to foster a joy for reading.  

Check out for access to the guides.  

If you have questions or would like additional resources, please contact Jackie Steffen at or Sarah Roberts at