For some kids, talking about math and science is like telling an adult you want to talk about taxes. But as parents know, STEM learning is critical in today’s fast paced world. The problem is, most kids don’t want to hear about the amazing career opportunities in STEM!
Not to worry, parents. There are many simple ways you can incorporate STEM learning into your child’s everyday life without telling them it’s science and math!
In the Kitchen
Helping to prepare food is a great way to practice kids’ math skills and learn some science lessons. Measuring cups are great visual aids for kids just starting to learn about fractions. And watching the chemical reactions of food is always fun.
If you want to get really creative, check out these fun Edible Science Experiments. (http://www.playideas.com/25-edible-science-experiments-for-kids/)
Make Dinner Time a Counting Game
This one actually helped our son to be a better eater and improve his math skills! Ask your child how many pieces of (pasta, grapes, etc.) they have on their plate. Then say “how many will you have when you eat one?” The child will take a bite and count again. Eating AND Math in minutes!
In the Garden
The garden is a great place to learn how things grow! One really simple and fun activity is colouring a plant from the inside out. This activity explains how plants absorb water.
- Grab a bunch of plant leaves.
- Stick them in a glass filled ¾ of the way with water.
- Add food colouring to the water.
- Monitor for 3 days.
Over the course of the next few days, the coloured water will start to move through the tubes of the leaves and they will eventually change colour.
Take a Bath (with TOYS)
Fill up your child’s tub with bath toys. A bath is a great place to talk about buoyancy and density. Play the Sink or Float? game. Take an object – a rubber duck – and ask your child if they think it will sink or float?
Let your child make their prediction then test to see what happens. Try another object and so on. If two objects float, ask your child what they have in common.
Homemade STEM Toys
You don’t need to spend a fortune on STEM toys to teach STEM. Making a fort, or building your own marble run on the wall out of paper towels and toilet paper rolls, are just as educational – and fun!
At the Grocery Store
A quick trip to the grocery store is a great opportunity to practice quick mathematics. Make price comparisons. This cereal is $2.79 and this cereal is $3.29. What is the price difference?
Tell us: What are your favourite at home STEM activities?