Turn Up the STEAM
It’s easy to encourage a love of STEAM with these ideas.
Table of Contents
Science is based on curiosity, so an inquisitive child will embrace science. Aim to ask more questions and help them find the answers.
- Buy ReGrow Science Kit to turn leftover fruits and veggies into a garden.
- Experiment with eruptions. Make a papier-mâché baking soda and vinegar volcano. Drop Mentos in a 2-liter soda or launch a bottle rocket.
- Read “Kate the Chemist: The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids” for cooking and chemistry projects you can eat!
- Listen to “Tumble,” a science podcast for kids that explains scientific discoveries with the help of scientists.
- Use scientific words and make exploring a part of everyday life.
- Encourage household problem-solving. Bread dough that doesn’t rise, an inside door that sticks in summer or an insect infestation in the garden are gateways to hypotheses, experiments and answers.
- Create a kitchen science lab with common ingredients. Make ice cream in a zip-top bag, make butter from heavy cream in a mason jar, or grow geodes in eggshells.
- Visit: Discover Science Center; Tellus Science Museum; Chattahoochee Nature Center
Kids are growing up in a world only science fiction believed possible. Help them cultivate the necessary skills they’ll need throughout their lives.
- Buy the UFO 4000 Mini LED Stunt Drone from Force1. Fly this mini drone and perform stunts.
- Experiment with coding. There are many online programs – check out code.org, codeacademy.com, kodable.com, lightbot.com, scratch.mit.edu, tynker.com or girlswhocode.com.
- Read “Super Cool Tech: Technology, Invention, Innovation” for an up-close look at the coolest gadgets.
- Listen to “Technology & Engineering for Kids” from Fun Kids for an exploration of the ideas and engineering behind tools you use every day.
- Use apps to create a stop-motion video. Try Stop Motion Studio at cateater.com.
- Encourage your child to use the computer in new ways. Teach them how to do research, make brochures and create spreadsheets.
- Create a battery-powered potato.
- Visit: Museum of Design Atlanta; Computer Museum of America; Southeastern Railway Museum
Engineering concepts will encourage innovative kids to explore new ideas for creating new solutions to personal problems – and someday, real world problems.
- Buy the Mega Cyborg Hand from Thames & Kosmos to explore how hydraulics, pneumatics and robotics can create a powered hand.
- Experiment with building. Try wooden blocks, K’nex, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys or Duplo bricks. Build edible structures with cheese, grapes or marshmallows and toothpicks or pretzels.
- Read “Kid Innovators: True Tales of Childhood from Inventors and Trailblazers” for a look at brilliant thinkers and creators.
- Listen to “Stroke of Genius,” a podcast featuring stories about entrepreneurs and innovators.
- Use materials you have on hand to assemble building challenges, such as notecards or old playing cards.
- Encourage kids to set up their own exploratory areas for engineering projects. You can find lots of activities for grade levels K-12 at teachengineering.org.
- Create a Rube Goldberg machine out of household materials. This machine is intentionally designed to perform a simple task through a series of complex chain reactions. To learn more, visit rubegoldberg.org.
- Visit: LEGO Discovery Center; Delta Flight Museum; Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum
Art helps your child express creativity, build fine motor skills and grow confidence. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect at a craft to love the arts!
- Buy Pixicade to create and play your own video games.
- Experiment with different art forms. Stock up on art supplies like paints, crayons, colored pencils or pastels to find your child’s favorite.
- Read “How to Draw All the Things for Kids” for quick five-minute drawing lessons of unicorns, cars, spaceships and more.
- Listen to “The Artist Chronicles,” where you’ll hear the about the life of a famous artist, musician, dancer or actor – can you guess who it is?
- Use thestorystarter.com/junior.html for a random sentence to start the process of creative writing.
- Encourage your kid to listen to new genres of music. Can they identify the different instruments used? Do they have any new favorite songs or singers?
- Create an atmosphere of artistic exploration. Try some art mediums along with your child, even if you don’t think you’re good at drawing.
- Visit: High Museum of Art; Michael C. Carlos Museum; Center for Puppetry Arts
We all use math every day, and you can help your child develop mathematical thinking skills early to develop numbers, spatial concepts and logic.
- Buy Sumoku, a crossword-style game that uses numbers to create chains instead of letters.
- Experiment by doubling or halving a favorite recipe together. Measuring, equivalent fractions and conversions help reinforce math skills.
- Read “What’s the Point of Math?” to learn how people have used numbers, counting, shapes, patterns, data and more to change the world.
- Listen to “Detective Mathema’s Maths Puzzles for Kids” to try to crack the challenges.
- Use tangrams to create shapes and practice geometry.
- Encourage math skills at home. Work with your child to practice counting, using real objects to represent adding or subtracting, measuring objects and recognizing patterns.
- Create a budget. Have your kids track their own spending and allowance, or ask them to help you create a household budget for groceries.
- Visit: “Women in Stem” at The Apex Museum; Atlanta Monetary Museum/Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Children’s Museum of Atlanta