STEM activities incorporate science, technology, engineering and/or maths, and are fantastic because they are fun while providing educational opportunities for all ages.
At Genius, we believe the foundations of STEM have many benefits both now and into the future. STEM activities lay the foundations for social and emotional intelligence, increase a child's confidence, and foster opportunities to predict, plan and report. The possibilities are endless with these hands-on, practical activities all preschoolers can try.
You never know; your little learner might be the next scientist, mathematician or astronaut, so let's look at some crazily fun STEM activities to have a go at.
Egg Shell Gardens
A beautiful way to introduce your preschooler to science is with an eggshell garden. Growing seeds in an eggshell is an excellent introduction to science. They will watch in wonder as their seeds begin to grow and form into tiny plants to treasure and love. Eggshell gardens teach plant science and the responsibility of how to care for plants and assist in their growth. It's a great way to view nature, seed science, and growing cycles, all in mini! You can experiment by making several eggshell gardens and placing them in different places, one in full sun, one partial and one in the shade. Possibly indoors and outdoors. You can use a magnifying glass to watch the tiny seeds grow at different rates. To create these eggshell gardens, you will need eggshells, a small amount of soil and some grass or other seed you might have on hand. Fill the eggshell with soil, lightly press the seeds into the top of the soil and spray with water. Make sure your little learner keeps the dirt moist by spraying it when needed. Enjoy watching your seeds come to life.
What’s the best insulator
Children's brains are like sponges, and they love to learn and predict what may happen in an experiment. This technology-based experiment allows opportunities to predict and witness what material is the best insulator in protecting ice from melting. Teaching children what materials are the best insulators while learning to predict the outcome builds their confidence and curiosity. You will need a plastic bag or wrap, paper, balloons, a cloth glove), glass jars, zip-lock bags, and ice cubes. Keep your ice cubes in the freezer until they are needed so they don't melt. In each jar, place a different insulating material, either plastic, paper, balloons or a glove; you can use any insulating materials on hand. Then in four plastic bags (zip lock bags), place two or three ice cubes in each, seal and put one in each jar on top of the insulating material. Then cover each plastic bag with the same insulating material on the top. Seal the jars and place them in a sunny window. Predict which will be the best insulator, take pictures and notes as you go, and see if your predictions are correct!
Water Makes Sound!
This experiment explores water play and sound. If you have a little musical learner, they will love this activity, exploring how sounds can be made with water. You can use different shaped glasses and vases or use a set of glasses of the same size. Fill each glass with a different amount of water to create different sounds. Adding different food colouring to each glass of water turns this activity into a magical music experience. Then using a wooden musical mallet or wooden spoon, allow your preschooler to gently tap each glass and hear the different sounds these make. Your little learner might like to repeat the glasses' sounds by humming what they hear. You can record them creating a new song and playback it back, displaying their creativity. Before the activity is over, attempt to mix the coloured water together and predict which colours will be made.
Going on a 'shape hunt' is a great way to introduce shapes and squeeze in some exercise. Using a piece of cardboard, you can trace and cut out each shape, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, octagon, hexagon etc. The beauty of cutting out the shapes creates a window to look through to distinguish a shape. Write the name of each shape under its cut-out so they can recognise the name of each form. As you walk around your neighbourhood, encourage your child to look for different shapes and see how many they can find. It might be a stop sign, the window of a house, or a car's tyre. Happy hunting to you and your little learner.
STEM activities are practical and fun educational activities which can pave the way for positive learning later in life. Allowing your child to explore science, technology, engineering, and maths creates curiosity and confidence in their predictions. Enjoy exploring some of these fabulous STEM activities at home today!