STEAM projects from coding to chromatography can help your kids learn through play
You already know that kids learn important skills, including creativity and problem solving, by working on STEM projects at school. So why not enforce these skills by creating some fun STEM projects your kids can do at home? All kids are different, but we’d be willing to bet that no matter what their interests or abilities, you’ll be able to find at least one STEM activity they will enjoy.
Here are five STEM projects you can work on at home with your future scientists, engineers, and changemakers.
1. Help your young kids think in code.
Like reading and math, coding is a basic skill that many kids will find necessary in their future jobs. To help them better understand the basics, play a simple game. To play, you’ll need multiple sheets of plain printer paper. One page should have an image of a treasure box printed on it. Arrange the papers in a pattern on the table or floor — making sure you include some empty spaces and some rows that are longer than others. Ask your kids to direct each other (or you) to the treasure. For older kids, practice using directional words like “north,” “south,” “east,” and “west.”
2. Find the fastest ways to move toy cars.
Physics principles are best taught to kids in ways that make practical sense. Gather matchbox cars and various supplies (like magnets, straws, paper, and string), and arrange them on a level table. Ask your kids who can propel a car to the other side of the table the quickest. They can race the cars against one another, or you could use a timer to challenge them to beat their own records.
3. Build a bubble-blowing bot.
Kids are into everything these days, and STEM can be applicable to everything from playing with blocks to blowing bubbles. Yes, even blowing bubbles can be scientific! Just look at our Bubble Bot kit, which encourages kids to use Bits like a bargraph, slide dimmer, and mounting boards to create their own bot that blows bubbles on its own. The best part? Seeing who can create the biggest bubbles with their invention.
4. Create plastic from ingredients in your house.
Did you know you can make your own plastic from milk? We’re betting you didn’t, which means your kids will be surprised too. Casein plastic used to be more popular before synthetic plastic became the norm in the 1940s. To make your own plastic you’ll need items you probably already have at home — including milk, white vinegar, and a strainer.
5. Connect art and science with chromatography.
Add some “art” into your STEM projects (to make them STEAM!) with an extra dash of creativity. Chromatography is defined as a process that separates a mixture, but luckily it also looks really pretty! In this activity, you’ll use canvas tote bags, markers, and rubbing alcohol to show off the artistic results of science.
What are your children’s favorite STEM and STEAM projects to explore at home? Share your innovative ideas on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!