Did you know that, according to the US Department of Labor, 10 million people worked in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in 2021? Did you also know this number is expected to climb 11% by 2031? While these statistics are promising, as society becomes increasingly technologically advanced, we could use even more forward-thinking leaders to make strides in STEM. That all starts with stoking your kid’s interest and diligently nurturing their fascination with STEM as they get older.
If you’re on the hunt for simple and fun STEM activities for your child (especially around the preschool/kindergarten age) that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered. Here are four exercises to foster your kid’s STEM enthusiasm.
The Numbers Game
What You’ll Need: Sticky Notes, Stickers, Tape, and a Marker
Cultivate your child’s understanding of numeric values with this super easy activity. Have them match a sticky note number with the corresponding number of stickers on the wall to help them exercise their numeric muscles. If they’re pretty young, you can start with numbers 1-5 and work from there.
Cloud in a Jar
What You’ll Need: Hot Water, Ice, Hairspray, and a Jar
This next exercise allows your kid to create a cloud in a jar, strengthening their knowledge of condensation and how clouds are made. Start by pouring 1/3 cup of hot water into a jar. Then, place an upside-down lid on said jar with a few ice cubes on top of it for 20 seconds. Lastly, remove the lid, spray hairspray into the jar, replace the lid with ice still on it, and watch the clouds form.
What You’ll Need: Jellybeans and Toothpicks
This delicious activity couldn’t be simpler. Tap into your child’s basic comprehension of engineering with jellybeans and toothpicks. They can experiment with various shapes and the building blocks of structures. Plus, they’ll have something sweet to snack on when they’re done.
What You’ll Need: Plastic Cups, Plastic Hanger, and String
May the scales tip in their favor. Here’s a fun exercise to test your child’s understanding of weights. Simply hang two plastic cups from a hanger with string and have your kid place various items in said cups. Allow them to ask questions and experiment. How much weight can the cups hold? When do the scales start to tip?
The above crafts will undoubtedly stimulate your child’s excitement about all things STEM, introducing them to the fundamentals of how our world works. They’ll also keep your kids engaged and entertained while planting seeds for their future. What could be better than that?