Both in and out of the classroom, STEM lays the foundation for deeper learning. As parents, we have the opportunity to teach our kids about concepts like math and science and help them grasp some fundamental concepts about the world around them.
If you’re looking for a fun way to engage your child with STEM, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered a list of 10 of our favorite fun and educational STEM space activities for kids.
What Is STEM Learning?
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It’s a teaching approach that puts an emphasis on preparing children to be successful in their future careers.
STEM education starts as early as elementary school and continues throughout high school, building on skills that will have value in the workspace. Outside of school, children can take part in STEM learning through summer camps, hands-on workshops, and after-school programs.
Why Is STEM Learning Important?
STEM goes beyond the concepts you find in science and mathematics. The world is constantly changing, and STEM allows our kids to meet its ever-changing needs by helping them develop these important skills:
- Problem solving
- Encouraging discussion
- Developing an appreciation for collaboration
- Gathering and evaluating evidence
- Making sense of information
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
9 Tips to Get Kids Excited About STEM
Wondering how to get your kids excited about STEM? Take a look at these 9 tips:
- Widen their access – Give your child access to STEM beyond the classroom. Some ways to do this include after-school STEM programs, classes or workshops at your local community center or library, science camps, STEM competitions, online learning programs, or at-home activities like the ones we share below.
- Experiment together – Incorporating science and math into your child’s playtime is a great way for them to learn about different concepts. When they’re having fun and being silly, STEM doesn’t seem so grown up. Start by taking a look at our list of STEM toys for kids of all ages.
- Promote gender equality – Gender should have nothing to do with a child’s access to STEM or their goals to pursue a career in the field. If you have a daughter that is expressing an interest in STEM, focus on instilling confidence in her abilities by signing her up for classes and camps and expose her to the work of women in the fields of math, science, and technology.
- Incorporate STEM with screen time – Nowadays, screen time isn’t just about playing games and watching movies. It’s also about learning. There are plenty of TV shows, apps, online games, and interactive e-books available that encourage your child’s fascination with STEM.
- Connect with their favorite thing – A great way to get your child excited about STEM is by connecting different concepts with their favorite activities including dance, music, art, sports, cooking, or baking. For example, measuring out ingredients while baking and experimenting with ingredients encourages math as well as science skills.
- Bring STEM to life – Help to bring the concepts of STEM to life by getting your child involved in hands-on activities and projects. Find ways for them to develop real-world skills and experience by enrolling them in science programs or competitions.
- Support diversity – For children who are part of a minority group, finding themselves represented in STEM careers may be difficult. Show your child they can follow their passion by sharing with them what others like them have done in their fields.
- Find real-life experiences – Everyday situations present plenty of opportunities for your child to practice their STEM skills. While grocery shopping, they can calculate how much change you’ll receive or estimate what your final cost will be. In the car, they can calculate how much distance and time there is between your home and your destination.
- Get outdoors – You can spark some curiosity by simply heading outdoors. Exploring nature feels like an adventure, and it’s an opportunity to study the world around them. It’s a great time to ask questions and solve problems.
10 STEM Space Activities for Kids
- Map of the Night Sky | Homeschool Scientist – Your kids can create a star map to help them find their way around the night sky. They will learn about constellations and how to identify them.
- Cardboard Rocket Ship | One Time Through – Spark an interest in space exploration by building a rocket ship out of cardboard. It’s a great addition to playtime.
- Shooting Star Spinner Toy | Teach Beside Me – This spinner toy doesn’t require batteries. Instead, it teaches children about the power of kinetic energy.
- Solar System Math Activity | JDaniel4’s Mom – Who knew a simple egg carton could teach your child math facts? They’ll have a blast creating planets out of ping pong balls.
- Straw Rockets | The Homeschool Scientist – Bring Newton’s Laws of Motion to life by building a straw rocket. This simple experiment gives them a chance to make predictions and record the results.
- Erupting Moon Rocks | Learn, Play, Imagine – Create sparkly moon rocks out of dough, then watch them erupt with a splash of vinegar!
- LEGO Spaceships | Kids Activities Blog – Use LEGO bricks you already have at home to create these colorful spaceships. Then take it one step further and build space cruisers and simulators.
- Glow in the Dark Moon Rocket | Simple Play Ideas – A few craft supplies and some tools around the house help to create a glow-in-the-dark rocket. The secret ingredient? Glow sticks!
- Pipe Cleaner Constellations | The Homeschool Scientist – Kids can connect with the constellations with this hands-on activity. Simple craft supplies transform into constellations they can hold in their hands.
- Atmosphere Layers | Line Upon Line Learning – Liquid density helps to bring the layers of the atmosphere to life. Kids will have fun using materials found in your kitchen to build each layer from the exosphere to the troposphere.
We hope these 10 STEM Space Activities for kids spark a little curiosity!
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