With many children being schooled at home, it might be even more apparent how important STEM activities are for your kids. STEM Day is November 8, which makes it the perfect time to add some new activities to your child’s playtime. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune on all new toys and learning resources. You can actually add some STEM ideas to your day without spending a penny. So, on November 8, don’t forget to spend some time celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics so your child will see the importance and fun in these critical fields.
1. Recyclable Bridge
If your child loves to play with cars, then building a bridge might be a wonderful way to help your child learning more about STEM topics while having lots of fun with their toys. Even if your child isn’t into cars, they still might get a kick out of building their own bridge or other structure out of recyclables. One of the best ways to begin this task is to go through the recycling bin at home. Toilet and paper towel rolls are going to be some of the best items you can use. However, you can use so many other items too. Once you have your supplies let your child’s mind see what works. It might take a minute, but before you know there will be some sort of structure being built. Your child might even get really into it and figure out how to make a drawbridge and other cool add-ons.
Believe it or not, cooking is a great way to bring some STEM to your child’s day. Cooking involves so many different elements that your child will really be able to pick up on knowledge quickly. For starters, cooking relies heavily on measurements, weights, and so on. It also teaches children about chemical reactions and more. On top of that, your child will learn a basic life lesson, which is one of the most important things of all. If you want to add even more fun to the task, then check out some sensory recipes. You might be surprised how many options are out there.
3. DIY Rocket
Most kids are fascinated with outer space and rockets. So, adding a little fun to the day by allowing them to make their own rocket will truly make STEM day unforgettable. You might start by digging an old soda bottle out of the recycling bin and having your child decorate it. When the rocket ship is ready to go, simply add Alka seltzer and water to the inside and let it soar to outer space. Your kids will learn from the reaction, but you can also allow them to try out other methods. For instance, mentos and soda might also let the rocket blast off. There are lots of ideas online so make sure to have fun with it.
4. Oil Spill
Unfortunately, oil spills and other forms of pollution are a common reality in today’s world. However, it is actually very hard for many children to understand exactly what an oil spill is and how damaging it can be to the planet. So, one easy way to show them is to mix some baby oil into the water. Kids might not be able to see the spill, but they will be able to feel it. Once you have the oil ready to go, add in some feathers or other items for kids to pull out of the oil. After rescuing the feathers, have kids try to clean them with a variety of different things. This will show children just how hard it is to clean up the oil. This lesson is great for pollution but will also help children learn about chemical reactions and more. This might even help open up a deeper conversation about the environment and how your family can help protect it.
5. DIY Crystals
Who doesn’t love things to be sparkly? If your child is interested in crystals, then growing your own can be a whole lot of fun. There are lots of ways you can go about this, so you might even consider trying a few different options so your children can learn even more. If you’re worried about the project, then you can purchase kits to help make sure you have everything you need to get started. However, if you want to completely DIY the task then you can get a list of supplies on each of the tutorials you choose to work with. You can also watch a variety of videos to help get you started on the project, too.
6. Homemade Slime
If your kids aren’t already talking about slime, then they will be soon. This is one of the most popular activities right now and it is a wonderful STEM activity. There are a lot of ways you can go about making slime too. One of the first things you should do is consider looking up recipes because this is going to be the quickest and cheapest method to get slime. All you really need is contact solution, glue, food coloring, and water. However, you can find a lot of other recipes online too. If making the project isn’t working for you then you might also consider buying some, as kids will still get the sensory element out of it. You can also add fun stuff to slime to make it even more rewarding for you and the kids. Of course, you can make it magnetic too, which will add even more STEM lessons to the fun.
7. Play Blocks
There’s no doubt about it, blocks are one of the best STEM activities out there. If you have blocks in the home, then you’re already set. It doesn’t matter what kind of block either. You can choose from plastic, wood, or even magnetic. Once your child has the blocks to play with then let them enjoy some unstructured play. You might be surprised by what they design without any help from you. Blocks are one of the best toys when it comes to engineering knowledge, but you might also find that your child learns more than this as they play. Your child will adapt to different blocks as they grow too, so you might consider looking for sales whenever you can.
8. DIY Machine
If your child is older, then building a machine is also a great option. Of course, this doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. To begin with, you can start with a simple machine like a pulley to teach children the basics of machines. As your child learns more and progresses then you can easily look around for other ideas. Some students might be able to build an actual electronic machine if they put the work into it. There are lots of resources to choose from so make sure you look around. There are even contests to join if your student is looking for new ways to build while still maintaining a budget.
9. Cloud in a Jar
The weather is one of the most important things you can learn about as understanding it adds to daily life. A great way to give kids an idea of the weather while still allowing them to ask questions and learn is a cloud in a jar. This is actually a surprisingly easy thing to make at home using just a few items that most people have lying around. If you’re struggling to get the project going, there are lots of tutorials online. Some students even decorate the jar so it looks more like an ecosystem.
10. STEM Apps
If you don’t want to put money into tangible projects, then you might get a kick out of the numerous STEM apps available to you and your child. These apps are largely free and can easily be used to boost your child’s knowledge. Best of all, you can download based on age group, which will truly help your child get the most out of the programs. There are numerous recommended apps if you don’t want to download just anything, so you might do a little research to see what you can find.
National STEM Day is the perfect time to add a few STEM elements to your day. These tips will allow you to enjoy STEM activities with your kids without having to spend money on them. So, take a moment to plan out this holiday because your kids might be begging you for more STEM ideas in the future.