Let kids play and experiment with STEM activities to encourage them to become the innovators of the future! In this article, we will share some of our favourite easy-to-do STEM activities for kids.
Why does every child need a strong foundation in STEM subjects?
Experimentation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics assists in developing innovative and enquiring minds that, in turn, cultivate critical thinking skills and solid mental routines which will contribute constructively to all areas of learning.
Give a child a project that involves a STEM activity, for example, ask them to design and construct an erupting volcano or design and build a device that can lift water from a container, and give them a materials list and time frames to present the design and you will see their natural project management skills come to life. A skill that will benefit them in any career path they choose.
The engineering design process
The engineering design process is a series of steps to guide kids as they develop problem-solving skills. It is an adaptable process that takes kids from identifying a problem or a design challenge to creating and developing a solution or creating a product.
Given the correct direction, they will learn to analyse their result and decide whether their plan was successful and make the necessary improvements.
Free STEM activities for kids
The internet provides a wealth of wonderful free STEM activities for kids that can be done at home to stimulate innovative thinking and develop project management skills. Encourage your children to complete these activities to help instil a strong understanding of the STEM engineering design process.
Easy STEM activities for kids
How to fold a paper aeroplane
Let’s look at a simple paper rocket activity that can be completed by children of all ages. For this activity challenge your child or children on who can fold the best paper aeroplane.
Pose the question – which paper aeroplane will fly the longest distance? Will it be a short rocket with a wide wing span or a long rocket with a narrow wing span?
Introduce the M for Mathematics by having them record the length of their rockets, the wing span and the distance each rocket flew.
The egg drop project
Every kid should attempt the egg drop project (mom and dad can have some fun on this challenge as well). In the egg drop project, kids are required to design a protective structure using various materials (usually household recyclables) to protect a raw egg from a high fall.
Kids can get creative and use their imaginations to create different structures to protect their eggs. If the egg survives the fall, then try dropping the egg from a higher point and measure how high the egg fell at each attempt.
This is a great way for kids to not only develop their engineering, creativity and problem-solving skills but it also helps develop important measuring and mathematical skills.
Rollercoaster for a ping pong ball
This activity spans any age group – the older the child the more complicated the design.
In this activity, you will need a cardboard box base, a bowl, straws, scissors, a ping pong ball and scotch tape. For this project challenge the child to design a rollercoaster for a ping pong ball.
What can you do with a plastic bag?
Plastic bags are one of the most invasive items of litter on the planet these days, and they’re difficult to recycle. As part of a creative design challenge, give the child a few plastic bags and ask them to create something new and useful.
This activity helps kids develop design and creative skills as well as teaches them about recycling and the importance of protecting our planet. Here are a few great ideas on how to upcycle plastic bags into creative art and practical uses.
Outdoor STEM activities for kids
Build a Solar Oven
In this activity, kids are asked to build a solar oven using household items. By building their solar oven kids can learn about the importance of renewable energy and understand the value of solar energy by building an oven that cooks food without electricity.
What kid doesn’t love s’mores! Let them enjoy their tasty treats while discussing ways we can harness the energy of the sun and why alternative energy sources are important.
DIY water filter project
Most people on the planet have access to clean, treated water but, in many parts of the world, people have to boil or filter their water before they can drink it. Teach children the importance of water purification and how to make a homemade water filter that will assist with removing impurities from water.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about these fun and easy STEM activities for kids. At CambriLearn, we believe in learning through doing. Through tactile experiences and learning through play, we can help build student motivation, self-confidence and instil a love for learning in all our students.