Five engaging pre-school STEM activities!
With the growing interest in preparing children early on for possible careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) related fields, schools make it possible for kids as young as preschoolers to become familiar with the subjects. And at home too, it’s easy to conduct simple experiments and organise activities that delight and fascinate your preschooler. At this age, they’re full of questions about how the world works and the curiosity is endless. To keep their interest going, all you need are a few simple everyday objects and some DIY enthusiasm!
Here are five engaging STEM activities for preschoolers to do at home, and we’d love to hear more ideas from you!
Make your own rain cloud
This visually appealing and educational activity is also very simple to do. Using a glass filled with water and topped with a shaving cream ‘cloud’, have your child squirt droplets of coloured water on top of the cloud using a dropper or squeeze bottle. As the ‘cloud’ gets heavier, the coloured droplets will drip downwards into the jar, creating rain! This little experiment teaches children the concepts of evaporation and condensation. Read more here.
Make a musical instrument with water glasses
This activity needs a little more supervision since it requires glass tumblers and a small wooden spoon or rod to tap against the glass. Fill the glasses up with different levels of water and let your child tap each one to note how the sound changes depending on how much water is in the glass. Sound is created by vibrations and the more the water, the lower the pitch of the sound since the water slows down the vibrations. While your child may not understand the terms and exact science of it, it still intrigues and teaches! Read more here.
Count numbers with cereals
Make a simple game by writing numbers on one side of a paper and blank boxes next to each number. Ask your child to pick out a favourite cereal, nuts or other bite-sized snacks and place the correct amount of that snack in the box next to the corresponding number. For example, three almonds for the number ‘three’. It’s simple, fun and helps with counting skills and number recognition. If you like, get your child to also write out the numbers before beginning the counting. Read more here.
Grow seeds in a jar
A popular experiment for generations, this one lets kids watch how things grow and by doing this in a jar, they can carry it around with them and keep an eye on it! Choose plastic jars to keep them kid friendly and simply glue seeds or dried beans that sprout easily, onto a moistened paper towel in the jar. Add wet cotton balls to weigh down the paper, shut the lid and a few days later, the seeds should germinate. While this isn’t a long-term gardening activity, it does explain how seeds grow and the effects of water and light. Read more here.
Build jellybean structures
Using toothpicks and a semi-soft candy like jellybeans which can be poked (although make sure you’re around to help little hands do this), your child can build shapes and structures of all kinds. From chemical molecules to prisms to towers! This is a great way to discover the fundamentals of engineering and construction, ranging from basic 2D shapes to more advanced 3D structures. Read more here.
Do you and your preschool have some favourite STEM activities that you do at home? We’d love to know what they are in the comments below!