Little learners have such wide curiosity about the world that anytime is the right time to explore STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. With STEM careers making up so much of our future, it’s important that you children understand these kinds of basic concepts. But finding STEM projects for kids the average parent or teacher can facilitate is not always easy. Check out some of our favorite experiments and engineering challenges with these fun hands-on activities! All of the materials are easy to find in your home, most activities will take an hour or less, and the STEM learning opportunities are limitless.
1. Science - Orange Buoyancy
Kids will love learning why things sink and float in this easy, hands-on experiment! Grab a tall clear glass or vase and fill it ¾ with water. Then ask your kids if they think an orange will sink or float in water. Next, peel an orange. Place both oranges, peeled and unpeeled, in the water. Your kids will be amazed to see that the peeled orange floats and the peeled orange sinks! A peeled orange sinks even though it is lighter than an unpeeled one because the peel of the orange helps displace water. The peel is also full of tiny air pockets! If your little one loved this awesome activity, make sure to check out our Chemistry Club class!
2. Technology - Binary Coding
Did you know that you can write your name in binary (the language computers speak) using the ASCII code that computers read? Computers assign a string of 0s and 1s to different letters, symbols, and instructions, and this is called binary code. Coding is an incredibly important skill for children to have, which they can learn more about in Cracking the Code. Pick one color of bead to represent 1, another color to represent 0, and a third to represent spaces. Check out this ASCII chart to get started. It can also be adapted to Morse Code, using different colors for dots and dashes. This is a great way to introduce kids to how computers work!
3. Engineering - Paper Building Blocks
Does your little one love hands-on building? Try Construction Funsctruction, as well as this exciting activity! Setting up this challenge is simple! All you need is a set number of straws per child (we recommend 10), and some washi or Scotch Tape. After presenting the challenge to your children, allow each of them to connect their straws in a design they think will make the tallest tower. After they’re done, get to measuring! How tall of a tower did you make? Using the yard stick, measure the tower and then compare them to each other. Try varying up the number of straws for another challenge next time!
4. Math - Bead Counting
Counting beads on pipe cleaners might seem simple enough, but it is the perfect activity for children who are at the early stages of developing their numeracy skills. Our Math Academy helps your child develop these skills and will lay a great foundation for their educational journey. Fold a piece of paper with a number written around one end of each pipe cleaner and fix it in place with a swipe of your glue stick. Then have your child place the pipe cleaners in numerical order, and thread on the beads to represent the number attached to the end of each pipe cleaner. You can also encourage them to use patterns with colors! This activity even develops fine motor skills.
5. All in One - Lego Structure
One fun way to bring books to life is to literally bring them to life with Legos! Have your kids read their favorite books, then challenge them to make LEGO creations based on themes from the book. Their creativity will surprise you! Sometimes kids may not know what to do with LEGOs after making the directions on the original sets, but with these books as inspiration, their creativity can soar. This activity incorporates all of the different principles in one, with an extra dash of creativity thrown in! Looking for more Lego fun? Our Legos and Songs class is perfect for kids ages 3-6 where they can build structures and creativity through song and Legos!
STEM activities need to be introduced early on because in today’s age of information, the ability to innovate, be technologically fluent, and understand how and why things work together is incredibly important. We offer countless STEM classes that your little one is sure to love; Sticky STEM, Space Camp, Chef Math, Math Wizardry, Mushy Math, Magnatiles Architects, and more! Your child’s curiosity about these topics may begin to fade away as they get older, so it’s incredibly important to nurture their curiosity. Fortunately for you, we’ve taken care of the guesswork! We hope you try out some of these STEM activities that your kid can try out as early as preschool.