Preschool is a wonderful time of exploration, learning and growth. Although most parents picture STEM activities as bubbly science experiments or learning to code, many STEM activities can be done by preschoolers as well.
By putting STEM activities in the hands of children as early as possible, you can get a jump start in sparking their interest in the sciences, math, and other higher learning. Here are a few fun activities your child can do to learn more in these areas.
Does it float or sink?
Children love playing with water! Discovering which types of materials and items sink and float is a wonderful experiment for little ones that will naturally spark the engineering side of their brain. You can encourage your child by giving them a plastic egg and bucket of water – challenge them to make it sink.
Your child can experiment with putting different things in it to see if that will help it sink or float.
How do plants grow?
There are many great board books available that talk about the growth process, but there’s nothing quite like watching it in action. If you plant a seed in a clear cup so it can be seen from the edge, your child can watch the seed put out shoots and roots and grow into a big plant one day.
Children can also experiment with different planting mediums and locations. What happens if a seed is planted in sand? What if the plant is put in a dark closet? By comparing how these things affect the plant, children can learn more about plants.
How does wind move things?
Experimenting with wind is a fun activity that can provide a lot of learning opportunities. Kids can use the wind to catch streamers on sticks, fly kites, or use their own breath to push boats along water. By measuring how far each child’s breath can push a boat on water, children can be introduced to the concept of distance and measuring in a fun and simple way.
Why introduce your preschooler to STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Introducing these concepts at a young age can be of great benefit to your child. Young kids who are regularly exposed to STEM learning are better able to enjoy solving problems and help support early math and science development.
When your preschooler learns to ask questions and experiment to find answers, they’re learning how to figure out problems independently.
Many people think that preschool age children can’t do well in STEM activities because it is associated so strongly with older students. As long as STEM activities are kept simple and fun however, any child can learn and benefit from these wonderful learning activities.
Benefits of STEM in preschoolers
STEM activities can help improve language skills in preschoolers. New vocabulary is introduced to them in novel ways as they learn about different subjects, helping them gain access to new words. STEM activities can also help preschoolers learn how to work together to come up with an answer—or try learning on their own.
Both methods of learning have their benefits, and can help your preschooler as they explore the world. If you haven’t tried a STEM activity with your child yet, doing so can be both fun and beneficial for your child.