6 STEM Playtime Activities for Kids

by: Rebecca Desfosse
Check out these fun and engaging ways to integrate STEM activities into your child's playtime.

These days, many parents know the benefits of bolstering their kids' interest and talents in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) world. Yet, they aren't sure how and when to start. The truth is, it's never too early to start engaging your children in STEM education outside of their regular school homework. In fact, the more you encourage your child to partake in these types of activities, the more their interest grows. Find out how to integrate STEM into playtime for your preschooler through middle schooler with these amazing STEM activities for kids.

1. Get Outside

Child Exploring in Nature
Photo source: Flickr

Getting outside in nature is one of the best ways to teach science and math to little kids, yet it's so often overlooked. Take your kids outside and show them how nature works with these hands-on nature activities. Explain nature at an age-appropriate level. Ask kids open-ended questions about science, nature, and the environment to get their minds moving as they explore hands-on in the world we live in.

2. Incorporate STEM-related Toys

Kids Playing with Legos
Photo source: Flickr

Today, parents can find no limit to the number of STEM-related toys on the market. Some toys allow kids to build and create, like Legos, K'nex and Magnatiles, while other STEM toys are games that incorporate math and technology. You can even find amazing STEM-related apps for both iOS and Android.

3. Visit Science Museums

Kids at Science Museum
Photo source: Flickr

Hands-on science museums get kids excited for learning. More and more of these museums are popping up all over the country and most have exhibits for both younger and older children. Jump through giant bubbles, explore electricity, visit with real-life animals — there's no end to the fun and educational exhibits these museums include.

4. Do At-Home Experiments

Kids Making Oobleck
Photo source: Flickr

Although you can venture to a museum, don't forget that your home one of the best places for kids to experiment and get busy learning how the world works. The best part is that at-home experiments can be tailored to your child's age. For example, a youngster can learn how to make oobleck out of cornstarch and water. This interesting substance is liquid, but turns into a solid when handled. An older child can learn about electricity by building his own lemon clock.

5. Take Things Apart

Dismantled Hard Drive
Photo source: Flickr

Kids love to take things apart and figure out how they work. Collect old objects, such as VCRs, hard drives, telephones, and clocks, and let your kids get busy taking these objects apart and learning how they operate. What makes a clock tick? How do hard drives process information? These activities are perfect for older kids who think they've seen — and know — everything.

6. Visit a City

City Skyscrapers
Photo source: Flickr

Nature isn't the only place where kids can learn and discover STEM ideas. Cities are a hub of engineering and math. Climb a skyscraper to the very top and talk about what it takes to design and create the world's tallest buildings.

With STEM activities like these that inspire and promote creative thinking and reasoning, your child will be well on his or her way to an exciting and rewarding career in the future.

Featured image source: Flickr