Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
Teaching your kids through STEM activities is a fantastic way to foster a love for science and technology. The reason is that many of these activities are hands-on and feature multiple components sure to spark a diverse set of learners.
Plus, STEM activities are all about exploration, so there are no right or wrong answers. This concept really helps take the pressure off children who might worry about “messing up” or making mistakes. The key is not to force the activities but let them unfold naturally.
Try these three easy STEM activities to help your kids get interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. You can do them at home with little prep time required.
1. Gear Up For A Space Mission● Materials: Any items you can find around the house, including recyclables or things that would otherwise end up in the trash. Think things like aluminum foil, cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, rubber bands, plastic cups and water bottles, etc. Also, gather basic supplies like glue, scissors, tape, and markers or crayons.
Tell your kids that they are about to go on a critical mission to Mars. However, as budding scientists, it’s up to them to gather what they think would make their mission a success. Therefore, they’ll need to invent a few items to make the most of their expedition.
Talk with your children briefly about what the air on Mars is like. How long will it take to get there? How will they eat or sleep on Mars? Then, let their creativity and imaginations soar as they start to come up with their ultimate inventions to explore the Red Planet.
2. Make Your Own Lava LampIt’s time for a throwback to the 1970s…and 80s…and 90s. Let’s face it, lava lamps are still pretty cool, and they also make a great STEM activity.
● Materials: Vegetable oil or baby oil, water, food coloring, glass or mason jar, a second glass, effervescent tablet (Alka-Seltzer).
Fill the glass or jar about ⅔-full with the oil. In a separate glass, mix water and food coloring together. Then, add this colorful water to the glass of oil until there’s just a little space left at the top.
Break the tablet into four pieces and drop them in the glass one piece at a time. As the water and tablets start to sink to the bottom, the tablets will dissolve in the water, releasing Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
The CO2 will rise to the top, bringing the colored water with it in a gas bubble. When the bubble reaches the top and breaks the surface, the colored water will sink back down. The result of this scientific phenomenon is the classic lava lamp.
3. Post-It Number MatchHere’s an extremely easy and quick way to reinforce numbers and counting with your kids.
● Materials: Large piece of white paper or poster board, painter’s tape, sticky notes, marker, stickers (optional).
Place a large piece of paper on the wall with painter’s tape and put a series of number grouping on the paper. You can draw dots or use small stickers, etc., to create the different groups.
Then, give your kids sticky note pads with numbers written on each page. Depending on your kids’ number knowledge, you can start with 1-5, 1-10, etc. As they tear off a number, they stick it over the corresponding grouping on the wall. Easy!
Check out our kits and other resources for even more incredible STEM resources and games. You’ll find age-appropriate engaging activities for all of the young learners in your life.