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9 Must-Try Activities for Children to Spark an Interest in STEAM

23 September, 2022


          
            9 Must-Try Activities for Children to Spark an Interest in STEAM - Inspirely | STEAM Education

Getting your child started on a STEAM education early is a great way to stimulate their natural curiosity and cultivate a positive mindset.

Here are 9 suggestions for STEAM-focused activities that are educational, engaging, and most of all, enjoyable - so your little ones can be motivated to learn new and exciting things without sacrificing their fun.

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One of the most important things a parent can do for their children is helping them learn. Whether it be through sending them to school, engaging them with educational videos and programs, or teaching them crucial, character-building lessons that will guide them far into adulthood, every parent has a hefty responsibility to take on. When it comes to children, no parent wants to slack off - after all, laying the foundation for a young mind in the present is ultimately what will set them up for success in the future. 

That's why getting your child to take part in STEAM-focused activities is such a great idea. Doing fun things like model-building or art-making doesn't only intellectually engage your children, it also develops a love for learning that spans the variety of subjects and skills that STEAM covers. It encourages perseverance, fosters growth, and offers youth a solid foundation built on motivation and grit.

Because STEAM education covers all five core areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, there's also a virtually limitless range of activities to choose from! The activities oriented towards STEAM education are more than just an approach to learning - they're an all-inclusive experience that brings out the very best in our children's talented young minds.

What are some of the things that STEAM activities teach children?

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  1. They foster curiosity. STEAM's interactive, real-world approach to education is geared towards stimulating children's natural love for exploring the world around them. Because of this, activities designed with STEAM in mind have the benefit of being interesting, challenging, and engaging enough to encourage any child into experimenting with new knowledge. 
  2. They build grit.Grit, which often boils down to a mix of perseverance and motivation, is one of the most important qualities of successful youth. Having grit means having the power to leap over obstacles and continue on towards goals, and STEAM nurtures that power through the way it tailors and adapts itself to each child's unique needs. 
  3. They grow a genuine love for learning. STEAM prioritizes a learning experience that is fun, comfortable, and welcoming for young minds above all else. It does away with dreary repetition and blocks of text and instead focuses on a hands-on style of education that teaches children information through vibrant, exciting packages each and every time. 

Now that you've gained a good understanding of what STEAM education can do for your children and where it can take them, here are 9 ideas for exciting, kid-friendly STEAM activities that will challenge your child intellectually and allow them to explore new concepts while having fun. 

1. Tie-dye a T-shirt 

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To jump right into the middle of STEAM, the very first activity idea centers around the arts. Tie-dye is a fun, easy-to-do activity that's suitable for all ages and amazingly simple to prepare for: all you need is a white T-shirt (or any other article of clothing), a few rubber bands, and an assortment of dyes or paints in your child's favourite colors. 

Simply fold up and tie whichever piece of clothing you've chosen, then dip it into your prepared dye before letting it dry safely on a plastic bag or a hanger. Unwrapping it when it's done will reveal a beautifully colored, one-of-a-kind garment that you can wear with pride. Tie-dye doesn't only create unique clothing - it also teaches your child originality, innovation, and hands-on creativity to thoroughly exercise their artistic talents.

2.) Grow your own crystal snowflakes

This STEAM experiment is a classic way of teaching children about geology, rock formation, and basic chemistry. With just some pipe cleaners, borax powder, and food coloring, you can create sparkly crystal snowflakes that add a bit of shine to your wall. 

To make these, twist your pipe cleaner into six-pointed star shapes then dangle them into a mixture of boiling water, borax powder, and the food coloring of your choice. Make sure to keep your child safe when doing this! Leave them in the solution for at least 24 hours afterwards, and you'll slowly see them begin to grow into crystals over the next couple of days.

3.) Fold the furthest-flying paper airplane

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A great activity that can be done almost anywhere, folding airplanes challenges your child to think like an engineer to transform paper into swift and efficient machines that can cut through the air. There are a virtually unlimited number of designs that paper can create, and this can be thoroughly used to your advantage!

For a bit of a fun challenge, try marking down a starting point with duct tape. Ask your child to stand behind it each time they test out an airplane and see how far their creations can fly. This little game teaches your child about basic aerodynamics in an interactive way and lets them practice their problem-solving and connection-making skills. 

4.) Design a challenging DIY maze 

Doing a maze has always been a classic form of entertainment on road trips and car rides. Why not challenge your child to come up with one for themselves or their family members - including you - to let them practice the creative design and critical thinking skills that are essential for STEAM?

With common, everyday materials like a box lid, popsicle sticks, and straws, children can get right to making their very own maze. Make sure they have an engaging audience ready to try out their maze when it's done and give feedback and suggestions for improvement. To incorporate a bit of the arts as well, let your child decorate their maze with construction paper, glitter, and stickers of their choice! 

5.) Create a cool geometry-inspired pattern

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For kids that love both art and math, designing a unique geometrical pattern with the help of tessellations is a great way to exercise their brain. You can teach them the basic concepts of translation, rotation, and reflection while letting them have fun with a creative STEAM activity. It's convenient and flexible as an activity, too - all you need is a big sheet of grid paper and an array of your child's favourite markers. 

To make your pattern, start by drawing out the basic shape that'll be repeated over and over to form your tessellation. Make sure it's something simple enough to outline but also stylish enough to look cool! You can also cut the shape out of paper for tracing to make the process easier. Then, create your pattern by repeatedly drawing the shape over and over until it's filled up the page, and color it in to finish your art off. 

6.) Turn your name into a binary code bracelet

This is an amazingly unique STEAM activity that'll instill a love for coding and programming into your kids in an easy-to-understand way. All you need are colored beads, string, and a bit of basic code knowledge, and your child will be well on their way to creating a personalized piece of jewelry while learning about one of the core concepts of technology. 

Start by helping your child find the right binary code for each of the letters in their name. Then, have them pick out three different colors of beads: one to represent ones, one for zeroes, and one for spaces to separate each letter. With your guidance, your child can then string the beads together to write out their name in binary code, and the finished product will be a colorful DIY necklace with a special hidden meaning! 

7.) Build a drinking straw tower

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Building models are a tried-and-true way of getting your child started on engineering and STEAM at an early age, and drinking straws are one of the simplest and easiest to find materials for doing so. With a handful of straws and some tape or play-dough to connect them, your child can practice their critical and creative thinking skills while building their own tower. 

Try incorporating a fun challenge by picking an object with a bit of weight - like a small pouch of coins or a cup of yogurt - and encouraging your child to build a structure that can successfully hold it without breaking apart. With some construction paper and colorful popsicle sticks, the straw tower can also be adapted into a unique art project! 

8.) Make a balancing toy

A classic balancing toy is simple to make, fun to play around with, and most of all, it combines elements of STEAM education by mixing basic physics knowledge with hands-on building skills. All you'll need is a few bamboo skewers or wooden sticks, some clay or play-dough, and a roll of tape.

Challenge your child by giving them these materials and asking them to create a three-pointed toy that can be balanced on your finger from one point in the middle. It shouldn't be too difficult - some clever adjustment of the clay balls on either side will be more than enough for them to succeed.

Once they've gotten the hang of it, encourage them to decorate their toy using things like construction paper and ribbons to let them express their imagination as well!

9.) Experiment with a STEAM DIY kit

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To finish off the list, here's a reminder to parents to not be afraid to look for outside resources as well. It's always great to be resourceful enough to find STEAM activities for your kids from the materials in your home, but it can also be taxing and difficult to prepare.

That's why well-designed DIY STEAM kits that come ready in a neat package are great ideas as well - they can challenge your child in an even more effective way with specially designed tools and parts that stimulate their creativity, apply their knowledge, and let them exercise their abilities through practical experiences that boost their motor and thinking skills. 

DIY kits like the ones we offer at Inspirely | STEAM Education are great examples of these activities. At Inspirely, we're committed to empowering young minds through an approach to education that is both fun and engaging, with the ultimate goal of helping parents educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and artists in the most efficient way possible.

If you're looking for an all-inclusive learning experience that broadcasts the best aspects of STEAM to your children, our 100% online programs are always available as well - so that your children can be educated and entertained from the comfort of your home while saving on the hassle. 

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