There’s nothing quite like seeing the excitement and wonder in your children’s eyes as they learn something new. For parents, setting up and participating in STEM learning activities at home is a great way to spend time with your child while supporting their education. The best part? You can set up many activities for your children with things you already have around the house!
Today, we’re sharing three simple STEM learning activities you can share with your children at home.
1. Post-It Number Match
STEM learning activities are valuable to children’s early learning experiences. Studies have shown that early math skills, which students can acquire through STEM learning, lead to higher achievement rates among kindergarten to 5th-grade students.
Post-It Number Match is a lively and engaging activity that helps children understand the quantities that numbers represent. It supports children’s number sense development, which is their understanding of the world’s number system and how numbers work.
Some of the best STEM learning activities are the ones that encourage movement and discovery. With this activity, children will not only be learning about numbers and practicing their math knowledge and skills but moving their bodies as well!
Post-It Number Match is a simple activity for parents to set up in your home. This activity is perfect for children who are learning ot recognize numbers.
What you need:
- Post-It notes
- Painter’s tape
Start by using the painter’s tape to attach your paper to the wall. You can make the papered surface as large or small as you’d like. You might use a piece of printer paper or even larger pieces of construction paper.
With your markers, draw clusters of dots or shapes with different quantities all over the paper you’ve taped to the wall. Then, grab your Post-It notes, and for each dot quantity you’ve drawn, write the numeral that represents it. (i.e., for your cluster of five dots, write “5” on a Post-It.)
Then, hide your numeral Post-Its in your home or around the space you’ve set up the activity.
Your child’s challenge with this activity is to locate the hidden Post-It notes and, once found, stick them to the dot clusters that the Post-It numerals represent.
2. Rainbow Reaction
Chemistry is not formally taught in some education systems until junior high or high school. However, it’s never too early to help children explore chemistry concepts with STEM learning activities. In fact, there are many skills children can develop through STEM learning, such as:
- Collaborative work
- Critical thinking
- Language development
- Memory retention
- Hands-on exploration
With this activity, using accessible household ingredients, you can lead your children through a science experiment and explore chemical reactions. Your children will discover how different organic molecules interact and what happens when they do. They’ll have a blast doing so! This is perfect for children ages 2 up to 10 years old.
What you need:
- Dish soap
- Food coloring
- Baking soda
- Four clear cups
- A spoon and measuring cup
- A tray (to keep things tidy!)
Start by having your children pour vinegar into their clear cups. Then, they can add drops of food coloring to the cups, followed by a few drops of dish soap. Use the spoon to stir the contents in each cup very well.
This is when the reaction occurs! Encourage your child to measure and pour exactly one tablespoon of baking soda into their cups. Watch the amusement unfold!
Talk with your children about the reactions they saw and heard. When the organic molecules of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) combine, your children should hear the sizzle of carbon dioxide gas forming as they meet. The colors and dish soap make the activity all the more fun to create and observe!
3. Create a Code
Creating and communicating with a code will be an exciting challenge for children at reading and writing levels in their education. Of course, the concept of making their own language code is an entertaining one for children! But it’s also one of our favorite STEM learning activities because it supports the language skills essential to learning STEM subjects, among others, throughout their education.
Beyond the language(s) your children will learn and use to speak and communicate in their daily lives, they will also learn different languages used across various disciplines.
For example, engineers use terms and acronyms unique to their discipline, and mathematicians do the same. Developing the skills they need to learn and use different languages will support children’s learning through school and beyond.
What you need:
- A large piece of paper or poster
- Colorful markers
Help your children write out the alphabet on the large paper or poster. Then, they can come up with different colors and symbols to represent each letter. These are a few examples to get you started:
- A: blue circle
- B: yellow star
- C: green square
- D: red triangle, etc.
Using the code they’ve created, your children can start to experiment with writing and interpreting different words, phrases, and messages. They might start with writing their names in code and eventually even have brief conversations.
Explore STEM Learning Activities at STEMful
Visit our studio to enjoy hands-on, planning-free STEM learning activities with your children. We offer toddler and preschooler classes for you and your child to explore project-based learning and to discover our wide selection of educational toys and activities, school holiday camps and other programs!