Did you know that the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) are all around us? You don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of these subjects to introduce them to children. Families can naturally embed these concepts in everyday life. A foundation for STEAM is laid by helping children increase their awareness of the world and by encouraging them to think creatively.
Introducing these concepts can seem intimidating—but you don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy fun homemade experiments! Use all senses to explore. Children learn about the world around them through all of their senses, and STEAM is an excellent way to fully explore their environment. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy STEAM activities that are safe, age-appropriate activities.
Examples of meaningful play experiences, using every day household materials:
- Science. Try activities such as: grow seeds in a jar or in an egg carton, balloon static experiment, observe how ice cubes and salt interact, play with magnets. Examples: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments.html
- Technology. Use tools such as scissors, gears, wheels and pulleys to explore technology skills. Examples: https://handsonaswegrow.com/kids-using-technology-activities/
- Engineering. Make simple machines using boxes, paper towel tubes, string and tape. Examples: https://www.rubegoldberg.com/
- Artwork. Create masterpieces using common materials like sponges, tooth brushes, fruits, cheerios, leaves, rocks, coffee filters. Examples: https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/15-best-creative-activities-for-kids/
- Math. Sort socks, make patterns using beans, counting, measuring tools. Examples: https://www.naeyc.org/math-at-home
Start your family’s STEAM learning today and help give children additional tools and methods to explore new and creative ways of problem-solving, displaying data, innovating, and linking multiple fields together!
This article was written for the March 2019 edition of Parent Source.