So often we see STEAM and think activities should include cardboard tubes and glitter, but it is so much more! STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, and was designed to bring back some of the basics that kids were missing. Done well, STEAM activities can incorporate family members of all ages. Now, while everyone is at home, it’s the perfect time to engage in some fun STEAM family activities.
Remember, when designing STEAM activities there is no a right or a wrong way to complete the activity nor does there have to be a specific end. Choose a goal, but you may find that it changes as the activity develops. Be flexible enough to let your child guide in the direction they feel the project is going. Another option is to work STEAM concepts into everyday tasks. Are you making a grocery list? Work in a math example of how much money you will need or the change you might get. Taking a walk? Estimate the steps you might take to get to the next corner and then see how close you get. Both would be Math based STEAM activities. Engineering can be as easy as collecting sticks to make shapes on the ground. Who can make the most accurate shape or the most original? Many daily activities can be turned into a few minutes of STEAM without being elaborate. The key is to think outside the box. Like so many things in life sometimes the best memories are found in the strangest of places.
Explore some of these sites for ideas on how to explore STEAM concepts with your family.
- Discovery Education
- PBS Kids Design Squad
- Snoopy STEM
- Liberty Science Center
- Author Andrea Beaty
- PBS Kids Code
- Stay In, Play In
Try some of these simple STEAM activities for various age levels. Once you start, you'll be sure to think of more creative ways to play and learn together.
- Pattern necklaces with bead or pasta and yarn
- Paper chains
- Playdough Rulers and tape measures
- Building a tower with cups or blocks
- Paper airplanes
- Marshmallow towers with toothpicks
- Q-tip designs (make snowflakes!)
- Card games
STEAM at any age:
- Magnifying glasses
- Coloring of all different kinds