5 STEAM Learning Opportunities with Rusty Rivets

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Mumtastic and Nick Jr. 

Every now and then you come across a new kid’s TV show that really impresses. Now, as a teacher I have quite a critical eye when it comes to my kid’s TV viewing, and if they have opportunities to think and learn while they’re watching – I’m happy.

STEAM (an acronym for the subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is huge in schools right now – and Rusty from Nick Jr’s new show Rusty Rivets is quite the little engineer creating all sorts of gadgets and gizmos using a variety of tools and recycled materials. His friend Ruby is always by his side ready for help and work as a team!

So this week we got our thinking caps on and raided the shed to find all sorts of nuts, bolts and bits and pieces that we could use to do some STEAM of our own! Keep reading for a fun activity to do for each learning area (some of course will cover more than one!).

S- Science Activity

My first thought with what to do with all of these bits and pieces we collected was to sort, explore and play with them. Miss M arranged them onto these pattern templates which is a great fine motor activity. I then posed some scientific inquiry questions to Miss M such as – “Do you think this will stick to a magnet?”, “Do you think it will float or sink?”. And this was enough to get her excited and enthusiastic to find out the answers! We made predictions together and discussed the properties of most of the materials we found (they were made of metal, therefore we predict they will sink and they will stick to a magnet).

T – Technology Activity

Rusty Rivets is a little inventor and is always creating things from recycled materials. So we decided to do the same. I started keeping our boxes, cardboard tubes and plastic bottles and helped Miss M to plan and draw her design. This is a crucial step in any STEM activity. Then from your design you create your product, and finally reflect and improve on your original design. We made this cool robot!

E – Engineering Activity

We needed Dad’s help for our engineering activity, and better yet my toddler and preschool loved playing with it… It’s our “nuts and bolts sensory wall”. With some bits and pieces we found in the shed (and yes I’ll admit a few things from the local hardware shop) we attached them to a wooden vertical board. The kids love the door bell and light switch (even though it doesn’t do anything – the door bell works though!).

A – Art Activity

If you check out the Nickelodeon website not only are you able to watch episodes of Rusty Rivets, but there are lots of activity ideas too! I printed off some colouring in pictures (http://www.nickjr.com.au/rusty-rivets/create/diy-daily-rusty-colouring/) to keep Miss M busy – she loves to draw and colour in! Fantastic for fine motor control, pencil grip practise, early writing skills (and did I mention perfect for quiet time while her little brother is napping).

M – Mathematics Activity

I also found these fantastic Tangram picture templates (http://www.nickjr.com.au/rusty-rivets/create/diy-daily-rusty-rivets-tangram-activity-pack/) on the Nickelodeon website, and straight away laminated the tangram shapes for Miss M to play with. The simplest version of this activity is to colour in the templates in the corresponding colours to make it easier for toddlers to match and place the shapes correctly. Make it harder by leaving the template white, or harder still by asking them to create the picture simply by using the template as a guide, rather than placing the shapes on top. Tangrams are fantastic for learning about spatial awareness, transformation and symmetry and other geometric concepts.

So there you have it! It might be easier than you think to create educational learning activity from your kid’s favourite TV show!

This post appeared first on Mumtastic and is republished here with permission. 


  1. That Engineering Idea is sooo cool! I've been wanting to make a similar sort of board for my 13-month-old, but was worried about the cost/time/energy. Did you find it took you long to put together?

  2. What a wonderful list of activities! My son is just starting to get into learning woodwork skills, I think we'll try some of these activities in the school holidays. I had to laugh though when you said the door bell works....I hope it make a nice tune! (or you have ear muffs at hand! lol.) I think that would drive me crazy. I have been looking for a new TV show for the kids so we will be sure to check this one out so thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I love all of these STEM activities. My boys are big on 'experiments' at the moment, you've reminded me to do the 'will it float or sink' test with them! #teamIBOT

  4. Rusty Rivets offers a fantastic platform for STEAM learning! With this show, kids can explore engineering, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. It's a great way to inspire young minds and foster a passion for science and technology. Let's get building with Rusty Rivets!


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