Ultimate List of Awesome STEM Activities For Kids
Keep this list of STEM activities for kids handy for use at school and at home. Your kids will have so much fun they will forget they are learning!
I am sure you are familiar with the latest buzzword in education – STEM. Actually, it is more than the latest educational trend. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The integration STEM of into education is seen as not only vital for future job security for our children, but also for the future of the U.S. economy and its competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Our high-tech world requires a workforce that is not only comfortable with technology, but one that can solve complex problems. A solid STEM education can deliver this. But, what does that look like?
Getting Started Doing STEM Activities for Kids
Getting started with STEM activities with your kids doesn’t have to be complicated.
Most important when doing STEM activities is to provide opportunities for exploration and testing of ideas.
Think about it, in any STEM job, people always problem solving and trying to find solutions. That solution may seem unconventional initially, but prototyping and testing might prove the “crazy idea” works very effectively.
It takes confidence and creativity to brainstorm solutions, whether building a garden box at home or repairing a $250,000 CNC machine in a manufacturing facility.
We can help foster science confidence and creativity by providing our children with a hands-on learning environment where your kids enjoy STEM activities with the freedom to brainstorm, test, and try again!
We’ll help you easily and affordably plan some activities using our list of over 70 STEM activities for kids.
Tips for Planning a Time to Do STEM Activities for Kids
Here are a few quick tips for planning STEM time with your family or class:
- You do not need to be a formally trained engineer, mathematician, coder, or scientist to engage your kids in STEM activities. There are plenty of STEM activities online or in library books that provide an explanation of the science behind the activity. Just jump into our list of STEM activities for kids and learn right alongside your children!
- STEM is an exploration that may go down rabbit holes; schedule the activity time and double it! Allow time for children to test ideas and explore. We want our children to own their education–both learning gleaned from formal curriculum and from hands-on activities.
- Cultivate an environment where it’s okay if an idea doesn’t work; try again! Let your child know that when an idea doesn’t quite work out, it’s an opportunity to get analyze, problem solve, and get the imagination working even more.
- Simple household materials will suffice. You don’t need fancy supplies or equipment to get started doing STEM activities for kids. We’ve included a list below (along with a printable list) of staples to have on hand.
- Plan for mess. Take the activity outside or cover the work surface with a dollar store table covering. The flat, disposable foil sheet pans from the dollar store work well, too, and are reusable.
- If you are just starting to incorporate STEM activities into your homeschool, start slow! Select one or two of the projects below and set aside a STEM afternoon or make it a family time in the evening or on the weekend. It definitely will count as school time.
- Don’t abandon your formal science curriculum that your children enjoy. A STEM education should incorporate solid math and science curriculum resources. The STEM activities for kids we list below can be used to help your children develop even more science confidence and knowledge.
The BIG List of STEM Activities For Kids
The motto here at The Homeschool Scientist is “taking the fear out of and putting the fun into homeschool science”. So, I am all about sharing fun STEM activities for kids that will get them excited about science and math.
Pin this post so you will have it to refer to again and again. There are activities here that will be great to supplement what you are studying or just to keep the kids busy, having fun, and learning at the same time. Enjoy!
Engineering and Building Related Activities and Challenges
Engineer a Toy Chute (ages preschool-middle school) from Preschool Steam.
Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and Straw Rockets (with 12-page printable lesson with worksheets and rocket templates.)
Chemistry-Related STEM Activities for Kids
Chemistry is Colorful chromatography activity from the National Informal STEM Education Network
Eggs, Vinegar, and Toothpaste Experiments
Make Unpoppable Bubbles from Hip Homeschool Moms
Sudsy Bubble Experiment
Individual STEM Activities for Kids
Learn about nanotechnology with the Fizzy Nano Challenge (This is a PDF.)
Make Geodesic Domes out of Paper (also a math activity) from Carnegie STEM Girls
Make a paper plate maze from Raising Lifelong Learners
Binary Code Experiment for Kids from Only Passionate Curiosity
Themed STEM Activities
Other STEM Resources
Free STEM Resource for Parents and Teachers
Help your children get started in STEM, explore a STEM interest they have, or prepare for STEM after high school graduation with our STEM Guide for Parents.
Whether you have a teen who knows the STEM career they want to pursue or a child who loves video games and wants to learn to code, this STEM Guide has resources and articles to help you guide your child’s interests.
While it is obviously important that a good STEM education is based on quality math and science curriculum, the hands-on component is equally important. When kids are actively participating in a project or experiment, they are taking what they learned in a textbook and applying it to the real world.
They are testing theories, experiencing laws of nature, making decisions, and observing effects. This is where the real learning takes place. Subjects come alive. Kids get excited. Comprehension is increased. Kids learn how the scientific process works just by doing.
I know most teachers with good classroom management strategies would say the answer to the title question is “usually…