12 fun STEM activities for Kindergartners

Are you a parent to a young kindergartner? Have you noticed how curious the little ones are about everything? If you can nurture and encourage the creative spark in them, you can take teaching to the next level. 

At preschool levels, the kids get a lot of time to tinker around, and as soon as they get to elementary school, it is time for more structured academics. The trick is to make them learn more serious stuff but in a playful way. 

 

stem activities for kindergarten

 

STEM-based activities provide excellent opportunities for young kids to hone their natural instincts of questioning, building, and problem-solving. 

 

What Is STEM? 

Have been hearing a lot about STEM. It is creating a lot of buzz these days. Do you know what STEM stands for? It stands for 4 disciplines:

· Science

· Technology

· Engineering

· Mathematics

STEM is all these and much more. A curriculum based on these 4 specific areas of learning in an application-based, interdisciplinary approach is the future of learning. It is cohesive learning with a real-world application which makes it a great combination. 

 

Why Is STEM Important And What Are Its Benefits? 

STEM areas of learning can help kids excel in the future and turn them into excellent creators, thinkers, innovators, and problem solvers. Giving young children a chance to learn about STEM at an early age can lay a foundation for a great future, and this is why STEM at the kindergarten level is so popular. 

More and more schools recognize the importance of STEM in classrooms, be it first grade or high school. For kindergarten kids, both teachers and parents can carry out activities that lay a foundation for further and deeper STEM learning.

STEM activities are a perfect way to let the children explore and learn about the concepts of science, math, engineering, and technology in a fun and kid-friendly way. When you start incorporating STEM at an early age, they will probably love science throughout their lives. 

 

STEM Activities For Kindergarten Kids

All activities, including digging in the dirt and looking at bugs while playing a game on the iPad, involve STEM. Everyday items lying around the house can be used to create fun activities for young kids. These activities should allow the child to investigate and learn in a hands-on way. 

Here are a few STEM activities for kindergarten children, and these activities have been divided into four major groups of Science, technology, engineering, and math. However, all these streams integrate to bring two or more streams together in each activity. 

Most of these activities can be customized to fit the individual child’s needs and be tweaked to cater to children in the higher age group. 

 

I. Science-Based STEM activities

 

1. Create A Water Cycle In A Bag

· Things Required

  1. Ziplock bag of medium size
  2. Water
  3. Food color, preferably green or blue
  4. Marker
  5. Sticking tape

 

Our earth has a limited amount of water, and it goes round and round in a cyclical way. Take a zip lock bag and fill it approximately 1/6th with water. Colored water is even better for better visibility. You can draw clouds or birds on the upper part of the bag with a marker to denote the sky. Now you can either stick the bag of water to the glass pane of a window that gets ample sunlight or hangs it outside. 

 

water cycle in a bag

 

Over the next few days, you will notice that the water gets hot and then evaporates into vapors. Once the vapor cools down, it starts to change back to the water. Condensation and rain can be explained with this activity quite easily. 

 

2. Oil Spill 

· Things Required

  1. Water
  2. Oil
  3. Container
  4. Feathers
  5. Sponge
  6. Paper towels
  7. Cloth

 

This activity can be a bit messy, but it is a great way to learn about oil spills and their effects on the environment—mix oil and water in a large container. Put a few feathers in this mix. Now give the kids different materials like a sponge, paper napkins, cloth, etc., and tell them to remove oil from the feathers and the water. This could teach kids to be more aware of the environment and the creatures living in the oceans. You can scale up the activity according to the age group of the kids. 

 

3. Crystal SunCatcher

· Things Required

  1. Epsom Salt
  2. Water
  3. Thin plastic lids 

This is again an amazingly simple activity and does not require too many things. Mix Epsom salt and hot water in the ratio of 1:1. Mix it well, and then pour it on thin plastic lids. Leave them out in the sun, and as the water evaporates, you will notice the salt's crystallization. 

 

epsom salt crystal

 

After some time, you will be left with these beautiful patterns of crystals. You can use these homemade crystals as showpieces and hang them in sunlight. They make for excellent suncatchers. This activity is a combination of science and arts, which is perfect for young ones' creativity. To make it more interesting, add colored water. 

 

II. Technology-Based STEM Activities

1. Lego Maze Coding

· Things Required

  1. Lego blocks
  2. Printed instructions

 

This is a great way to learn the basics of coding. You can scale up or down the activity depending on the age of the kids. There is free printable material that has different mazes and instructions on how to clear the maze. The kids have to put themselves in place of the user and try to read and understand the material or code. They learn to read and follow instructions to complete the maze. They learn how to use the codes, sequences, and looping, which can all help them later. 

 

2. Stop-Motion Videos

· Things Required 

  1. iPad, smartphone
  2. Imagination

An excellent option for the creative use of technology for young kids. Download a good stop-motion app, and you are ready to go. It is up to the children’s imagination and creativity to do different things and make videos. They can use their toys or create a story about the plants or their pets. The sky's the limit here. Kids enjoy this activity and learn about the technology behind the process in a fun and engaging way. It involves storytelling, problem-solving, experimentation, imagination, and the application of technology. 

 

3. Build A Bridge

· Things required

  1. Straws
  2. Yarn
  3. Sticking tape
  4. Small scissors
  5. Paper clips

 

This could be an excellent opportunity for teamwork and innovation. You can first explain different bridges such as a suspension bridge, arch bridge, and truss bridge. If there are more kids, then you can put them in groups and turn it into a competition. Let them design and make a bridge with straws and other material given. The paper clips can be used as the pillars of the bridge. Ask them to build it in such a way that it can withstand the weight of their favorite car or any other small toy. This activity will also make the kids learn problem-solving and working together apart from engineering and technology. 

 

III. Engineering-Based STEM Activities

1. Make A Crank Winch

· Things Required

  1. Cardboard Tubes
  2. Straw/pencil
  3. String
  4. Tape & scissors
  5. Any object to attach to string such as a small basket
  6. Spool

 

Take the two cardboard tubes and stick them vertically to a solid surface. They should be about 6 inches apart. Make cuts at the top of each tube for the pencil or straw to rest and be able to spin. Put the pencil or straw through the spool and then let it rest on the tubes. Now, you have a winch! You can use the tape to secure the spool to the pencil; otherwise, it will keep spinning. Attach a basket or any object to the end of the string, spin the pencil or straw, and watch it being lifted slowly. A combination of engineering and technology, this activity will keep the kids busy for hours. 

 

2. Jellybean Building

· Things Required

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Jellybeans

 

A cool and fun way to let them learn about structures and use them creatively: once you give them and show how they can combine them to make a square or cubes, they can take it to another level. Using their imagination, they can build all shapes and structures, which can help them learn about their stability and balance. As they begin to make newer shapes, you can relate the shapes and structures to real-life objects and show them pictures of such things to appreciate the engineering behind these buildings or objects. You can even ask them to build a house or a tower and see how they do it. 

 

3. Apple Boat Activity

· Things Required

  1. Apples
  2. Construction paper
  3. Toothpicks
  4. Water in a container
Apple Boat Activity for Kids

 

You can cut the apples into halves or any other shapes and sizes. The paper can be used to make sails, and a toothpick can be attached to the apple pieces. The boat is ready to sail. The children can learn many things with the help of this activity, such as whether the apple boats sink or float? Why do they float? Does the size affect their floating? How do the sails work? You can even use green apples and see if they float better. All these questions and curiosity will lead them to learn some of the principles of engineering and science. Kids can innovate and design better sails for faster boats. 

 

IV. Mathematics Based STEM Activities

 

1. Match Numbers With Sticky Notes

· Things Required

  1. Sticky notes
  2. Chart paper
  3. Sticky tape
  4. Marker
  5. Stickers 

 

For kids just starting to learn about numbers, this is a great STEM activity. Take a chart paper and draw dots on it. For number 5, you can draw 5 dots and so on. Write the numbers on the sticky paper corresponding to the bunch of dots. Now ask the kids to match the sticky notes to the bunch of dots on the chart paper. You can make this activity more interesting by using stickers instead of drawing dots, hiding the sticky notes in different places, and finding sticky notes with the numbers. A fun way to learn numbers. 

 

2. Pipe cleaner counting 

· Things Required

  1. Pipe cleaner
  2. Paper
  3. Pen
  4. Beads
  5. Glue

 

With these simple things, you can make counting fun for the kids. This activity is also good for the development of motor skills. By using colorful pipe cleaners and beads of different colors, you can help young children learn about numbers and how they increase in size. Take small pieces of paper and write a number on it and label the pipe cleaner with it. Ask the child to order the pipe cleaners from the smallest to the greatest number and then string the beads accordingly. 

 

3. Smack The Number

· Things Required

  1. Dice
  2. Sticky Paper
  3. Fly swatter

 

This is such a simple activity to make the kids familiar with numbers that most young ones want to try. Write numbers from 1 to 6 on the sticky paper and stick them on a tabletop. Now roll the dice, and whichever number shows up, your child will have to smack it with the fly swatter as many times. For example, if it is four, your kid will smack the sticky note with 4 on it four times. If you want to increase the numbers, then you can use a set of two dice. 

 

Conclusion

STEM is much more than just an acronym. It is a combination of all the world's basic things: science, technology, engineering, and math. For kids in kindergarten or pre-schoolers, it may be too difficult or complicated, and the STEM activities listed here are a perfect way to introduce them to the beautiful world of science.

These activities can also keep the little ones busy while at the same time keeping their brains activated. Their natural curiosity gets a boost with the activities, and a sense of accomplishment that they get after finishing a task will fill them with confidence. 

STEM activities are a great way to harness critical thinking and decision-making, which are essential today. Make STEM part of your young child’s life and see the benefits.