Turn Up the STEAM
It’s easy to encourage a love of STEAM with these ideas.
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 Lab 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; find instructions at steampoweredfamily.com.
- 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.com.
- Visit: LEGOLAND 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 (reopening in May 2022); Children’s Museum of Atlanta