Got a minute, or maybe 20? When you have a pocket of time, you can still squeeze in a quick and easy STEM activity, something that incorporates science, technology, engineering and math. We rounded up a few that need just a few supplies, are easy to start and quick to clean up.
Science: Exploding Sandwich: What better way to illustrate the expansion of gas than trapping a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in a plastic baggie? Easy fun in the backyard or kitchen sink. (Spoiler: It pops!) Steve Spangler Science explains it all.
Technology: The If-Then Game: No computer is needed, but here’s an active game that illustrates how one computer coding concept works. Just in case you’re not a coder, there’s a basic command of “if-then.” That is, the program tells the computer that if X does this, then a command needs to kick in and perform Y. One child can be the programmer while the other kids are the computers responding to the program’s commands. For example,“If I hop on one leg, then you do windmill arms!” Discover more in the blog LeftBrainCraftBrain.com.
Engineering: Strong Shapes: You may have heard the triangle is the strongest shape. With this quick activity from CreekSideLearning.com, all you need is some copy paper, tape and a stack of picture books from the shelf. Alternative: Grab that box of straws and some painter’s tape, and see how well triangles hold up next to squares. What happens if you build triangles within a rectangle?
Math: Strike It Out: This simple game helps them brush up on math facts (addition and subtraction), but also throws in a critical thinking component. On your mobile device, just bookmark the rules as posted in TeachMama.com. The next time you have a few minutes to spare, just pull out pencils, a sheet of paper, your thinking caps and you’re good to go!
Bonus Science: Bubbly Hot Chocolate: Serve up this experiment at snack time, but instead of the winter treat they’re expecting, they’ll get a bubbly surprise. Lay down some old towels to catch the spills, and they’ll have a blast putting it on repeat, thanks to a great idea featured in the blog FantasticFunAndLearning.com.
Don’t underestimate the importance of engaging in STEM activities with your kids. Getting hands-on with STEM helps kids build a link between those abstract concepts they learn at school and real-world applications.
Help your kids get even more exposure to hands-on STEM activities in their free time and sign them up for a Bricks 4 Kidz after-school program. Using our unique models you won’t find in any toy store, kids get hands-on fun with STEM concepts while reinforcing what they’ve learned in the classroom.