Do you do STEM activities with preschool children? STEM (Science Technology Engineer Math) is in our everyday life. The more kids see them, the more they participate activities involving STEM, the more chance they will like them and be good at them. We have been sharing many STEM activities at iGameMom. Each time we try to share activities for a wide age range, from toddler and preschooler to school age. Today we focus on STEM activities for preschoolers and toddlers. After the STEM activity ideas, we also share the criteria of good STEM activities with desirable features for the projects.
STEM Activities for Preschool and Toddler Kids
You probably have seen a lot milk painting activities on the web. It is easy, it is magic. All you need is milk, dish soap, and food color. But I like this version adding actually painting on paper, so kids can have a keepsake for the fun activity.
Marble Run is another fun one young children can do. This one made of LEGO, but you can also make one with paper towel rolls.
An easy and quick engineering building activity for preschool kids is this building bridges with craft sticks. It practice fine motor skills and building skills. Kids actually need plan through the whole length of bridge while building it. It is in fact not as easy as you think for young children.
Write names with salt and water color not only teach science, but also can help kids learn letters and words.
Kids always like to play spy. Why not make some secret messages with them? You will need lemon or milk, and a candle. That is it.
Make music with bottles is a fun way to explore sound. You will need several glass bottles and water.
Do you preschoolers like cup cakes? You can do some cup cake matching games with them.
Play dough is fun to play, and it is even more fun if you add some color mixing into it. Color mix play dough is great for fine motor and kids will learn about color too.
Features All Good STEM Projects Have
The purpose of STEM projects is not just for fun. It is our goal that STEM activities help kids develop thinking, reasoning, investigative, and creative skills that are useful in all areas of lives. We also want kids develop teamwork skills through these projects.
Besides combining Science, Math, Tech, Engineering, a good STEM project also share these features:
1. STEM projects help kids connet to real-world problems. Like the bridge project, kids see bridges and know what bridges are.
2. STEM projects are hands-on. Kids are “making” something with a STEM project.
3. STEM projects encorage engineering design process. It is a workable problem solving process that real engineers use. The Marble run project listed above is a good one to use this process. You can download a free copy of Engineering Design Process by filling out the form below:
4. STEM encorage collaboration. It is ok to be an individual effort, but kids should feel free to discuss and share ideas at different stages of the projects.
5. STEM projects allow creativity. There is no “one” right solution. Each student can / should have a different solution. Do you have a favorite STEM project for preschool children?
For more STEM activity ideas, check out STEAM Kids. It is an eBook written by a group educators and engineers with well designed STEAM (Science Technology Engineer Art Math) activities for kids. There are 52 activities in the book, one for each week of the year. Each activity has extension ideas. The material lists and shopping lists are very helpful when you plan the activities. The step by step guides make it easier for parents and teachers.
For more STEM activities for kids, visit 11 activities to teaching kids coding without a computer and 150 Kitchen STEM Activities for Kids.