Fun STEAM Activities to Do with Kids
STEAM has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to educate children for the 21st century. Foster a love of STEAM at home with these fun and easy ideas.
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STEAM in the Back Yard
Combine learning and fun with these at-home STEAM experiments and activities using materials you probably already have around the house.
Launch a Balloon Rocket: Tie one end of a piece of string to a tree or post. Thread a drinking straw onto the string; tie the other end to another tree at the same height. Put two pieces of tape on the top of the straw. Blow up a balloon, hold the end to keep the air in, and use the tape to adhere it to the straw. Let the balloon go and witness the action and reaction of force.
Paint a Clothesline Masterpiece: Inspire kids to explore, experiment and create with paint. Hang an old sheet over a clothesline or fence; secure each corner with stakes or weights. Use large and small paintbrushes, kitchen sponges, fingers, or even natural objects, like a bundle of evergreen needles, to apply tempera paint.
Make a Sandbox Volcano: Fill a 16 ounce bottle about three-quarters full of water; add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid and 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda. Pack sand around the bottle in a volcano shape, leaving the top open. Pour in a cup of vinegar and experience the chemical reaction!
Shadow Tracking: Study the way shadows change throughout the day. Have your child stand on a sidewalk or driveway on a sunny day. Outline their shadow with chalk. Do this multiple times during the day to see how their shadow changes. Discuss why shadows get taller or shorter in relation to the earth’s movement.
Mix up Elephant Toothpaste: Make a foaming mix big enough for an elephant – but be sure to wear safety goggles and work in an area that can get messy. Pour ½ cup hydrogen peroxide in an empty plastic bottle. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap and a few drops of food coloring and swirl gently to mix. In a separate cup, mix one tablespoon of yeast and three tablespoons of warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and step back!
STEAM Out and About
These local museums and attractions do a great job of introducing the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art and math, and how they can be used together to solve challenges in today’s world.
Reinforce STEAM concepts through hands-on fun at CMA. In Tools for Solutions, kids can learn about simple machines. Explore the inner workings of the body, light and energy, technology and more in the Step Up to Science exhibit. Atlanta.
This museum has four interactive galleries to explore—Mineral, Fossil, Science in Motion and My Big Backyard—as well as a planetarium and observatory. Special exhibits and hands-on events like model rocket workshops and sky watches teach kids more about STEM concepts. Cartersville.
Programs at Fernbank’s interactive STEM lab connect scientific concepts such as aerodynamics and chemistry with the arts and humanities. The Fantastic Forces exhibit explores combustion, aerodynamics, plate tectonics and more. Atlanta.
In addition to exploring the High’s art collections, families can collaborate on a work in the Greene Family Learning Gallery, a child-centered space with multi-sensory elements and hands-on activities. Enjoy family activities with events like Toddler Thursday, Weekend Family Tour and Second Sunday. Atlanta.
With an extensive collection of locomotives, rail cars and artifacts, this museum is a great place to learn about how railroads were used during and after the Civil War. The Jolley Education Center features interactive learning areas with telegraph stations and a diesel train simulator. Kennesaw.
Explore a collection of more than 85 U.S. Air Force aircraft, missile, cockpits and exhibits at this museum. The Museum’s National STEM Academy, in partnership with NASA, offers hands-on STEM programs, workshops and special events. Warner Robins.
This 35-acre museum is home to all things train: locomotives, cabooses, mail and freight cars, artifacts and more. Ride on a historic train car, see the 1927 Marco Polo Pullman car that carried Franklin Roosevelt, and learn about the history of rail travel in the Southeast. Duluth.
The Fernbank Science Center is operated by the DeKalb County School System. It includes a planetarium, an observatory with the largest telescope in the southeastern U.S., live animal displays and an Apollo 6 Command Module exhibit. Atlanta.
Explore 127 acres of forests, wetlands, trails, ponds and exhibits at this center, right here in metro Atlanta. Animal encounters, educational exhibits and special programs engage kids’ natural curiosity. Roswell.
Located at Delta headquarters near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, learn about aviation history through interactive exhibits, planes dating back to the 1920s and the only Boeing 737 flight simulator open to the public. Atlanta.
Explore the technology of the past, present and future through fascinating exhibits at CMoA, including a collection of supercomputers, STEAM timeline, an enigma machine and more. Roswell.
Design, build and launch a LEGO spaceship into cyberspace, go on a virtual reality racecar experience, build your own creations and more at this newly renovated attraction. Atlanta.
This guided tour of the LEED-certified stadium helps kids understand how STEAM elements operate in the building, including its design and engineering, and how STEAM careers align with the sports and entertainment industry. Atlanta.
The Museum of Design Atlanta showcases how design can be found everywhere in the world. Visit to check out the current exhibition depicting the connection between architecture and hip-hop music, and virtual exhibits are available on their website. Youth programming includes classes on robotics, game design, Minecraft and more. Atlanta.
Learn how scientists merge old-fashioned detective work with high-tech science to crack the cases of mystery diseases at the CDC Museum. Its exhibitions focus on a variety of public health topics, as well as the history of CDC. Atlanta.
Hands-on exhibits at this science center include Discover H2O, where kids can learn about water use and its impact on our daily lives. The Water Ways diorama features historical and modern-day feats of engineering. Buford.
Budding engineers can create with LEGO bricks and K’Nex blocks, build fossils and more in the Connecting Room. In the Imagination Room, kids can build and experiment with creative materials and make crafts. Newnan.
See a puppet show and visit the World of Puppetry Museum for an exploration of the arts. Explore the history and traditions of puppetry from different regions across the world, and view your favorite Muppets and Sesame Street characters in the Jim Henson Gallery. Atlanta.
This smaller museum focuses on unique artists from the local, national and international art scenes. The interactive Contemporary Kids program introduces children to art and artists with hands-on activities. The best part? Admission is always free! Atlanta.
INK’s hands-on learning exhibits include the Pinnacle Bank area, where kids can practice handling and counting money, fill out bank deposit slips, make deposits, and visit the bank’s vault. Gainesville.
With collections from continents and ancient civilizations from around the world, the Carlos Museum connects the past and the present. Exhibits and programs encourage visitors to look closer and explore their own creativity. Atlanta.
This nature center encompasses 22 acres and has four distinct habitats. Explore hiking trails and the wetlands boardwalk, visit the playground and learn about nature at the beehive and gardens. Dunwoody.
Young explorers’ labs, after-school programs and more introduce kids to scientific topics like botany, marine science, the elements and more. Roswell and Peachtree City.
More Places to Visit:
Atlanta History Center
Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Hammonds House Museum
The Apex Museum
Atlanta Monetary Museum/Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Use these virtual learning resources to introduce STEAM concepts or to reinforce what kids are learning in school.
Maker challenges, invention, innovation and more! This series of workshops offers practical tips, virtual experiments and other STEM learning activities using tools that families have around the house.
Kids ages 5-18 can take STEM courses like coding, game design, engineering and robotics, and website creation. The company puts an emphasis on teaching the underserved, including minorities and women; the Atlanta-based company also has partnerships with local libraries and schools.
Check out Texas Instruments’ video series, which connects algebra, geometry and physics to jobs like fashion design, sports, health and more.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has crafting ideas, science experiments, videos, coloring pages, podcasts, virtual tours, e-books and more for an in-depth look at space exploration, aeronautics and earth science.
This website from Scholastic features four different characters who will help you dive in to math and science topics, such as volcanoes, photosynthesis, word problems and more.
Games, videos and books make learning a breeze, and you can browse topics by grade. In the Math Zone, play games to improve math skills, including geometry, operations and more.
From Tate, four art galleries in London, Liverpool and Cornwall, this website explores famous artists and artworks, creative activities, crafts and more, along with fun games and quizzes for artistic adventures.
The website offers a collection of fun, creative activities, games, videos, free coloring pages and more.
For students in grades Pre-K through 7th, this site teaches addition, algebra, geometry, problem-solving and more with games, videos and worksheets.
STEAM in a Box
With complete supplies and instructions for projects mailed monthly, subscription boxes offer variety and keep kids interested in learning.
“DIY Sci” television host Steve Spangler has created science kits with materials for up to five activities, experiments and design challenges. Step-by-step instruction cards help kids learn the science behind each experiment. Ages 5-12; $24.99/month.
From a weather station to an alarm clock, Creation Crate’s electronics-based kits teach real-world skills and become more challenging as the builder gains experience. An online classroom offers video tutorials, exercises and troubleshooting support. Ages 7-11; ages 12 and up; $29.99/month.
These hands-on science and art kits feature themes such as electricity, ocean science or music and contain instructions and materials for 4-8 STEAM projects. Also included is a 12-page booklet with more hands-on activities, parent resources and puzzles. Ages 3-10+; $24.95/month.
Bitsbox teaches coding and computer science through app building. Kids choose an app, then build, customize and use it on any mobile device. Activities like Bug Blaster, Cookiesnitch and 333 Little Pigs make it entertaining. Each box has enough materials for siblings to share. Ages 6-12; $16.95/month.
Kids ages 7 and up can learn about concepts in electronics, chemistry, physics, astronomy and more with this program. Each box contains complete materials and instructions to build three projects, plus activity cards and educational information. Ages 7 and up; $24.95/month.