Obviously, if you’re on our site reading this, you know how much STEM education benefits all children. But STEM isn’t all about expensive robotic kits or toys. While they are a great option (and tons of fun), you can have fun with STEM and teach valuable skills with everyday items right in your home.
One of our favorite speakers on the topic of Everyday STEM is Chris Woods. He talks about how STEM has the power to get kids excited about learning (creativity & curiosity), builds soft skills (communication & confidence), enhances what you’re already doing (collaboration), and prepares every kid for any future (critical thinking). He goes on to add that “STEM learning happens when it’s part of home life.” This is what today’s #STEMCTEFridays post is all about. Below are 8 fun activities to help bring STEM into your child’s everyday life.
Why do science projects with your kids at home?
- It teaches kids about the world around them.
- It nurtures curiosity.
- It allows them to use their senses and get their hands dirty.
- It’s a fun way to engage them on days when you want an indoor activity and keeps them busy.
#1 Make slime
- Ingredients: Elmer’s Glue, Contact Lens Solution, Baking Soda
- Directions: Here is the link to the official Elmer’s slime recipe.
- This works with a standard 4oz bottle of glue and is super easy to make. You can add color, glitter, or combine colors to make it customized.
#2 Rubber egg
- Ingredients: Eggs, vinegar, glass jar with a lid
- Directions: You can learn how to do this dissolving eggshell experiment here.
- This activity is not meant to be viewed as edible. We don’t recommend eating it — it will definitely not taste good!
#3 Color Fizz
- Ingredients: Baking soda, vinegar, food coloring
- Directions: This fun science experiment goes one extra step to color the baking soda first which will make it that much cooler for your kids. If you don’t have an eyedropper, straws work just as well.
#4 Homemade Hovercraft
- Ingredients: Paper plates, straw, balloon, duct tape
- Directions: An extra-wide straw will work well but a regular sized one is fine too. Bonus – most of these are items that are probably lying around your house. Check out the project directions here.
#5 Salt Crystal Leaves
- Ingredients: Salt, Water, and Fall Leaves (or Pipe Cleaners)
- Directions: This is a great activity for this time of year! Learn how to do this experiment here and you may even be able to use them as fall decorations!
#6 Soap Clouds
- Ingredients: Ivory soap
- Directions: The Expanding Ivory Soap Experiment is a classic science activity that will fascinate kids and grown-ups alike. Make sure to get the original Ivory soap because there’s something unique about that and it doesn’t work unless you use that kind specifically.
#7 Jello-Scented Playdoh
- Ingredients: Jello, flour, cream of tartar, salt, water
- Directions: You might have made your own playdoh before which is super easy and fun. But what about Jello-scented playdoh? Enjoy!
#8 Spaghetti Strength Test
- Ingredients: Spaghetti, styrofoam, books
- Directions: How strong is spaghetti? Challenge kids to invent a way to find out! This STEM challenge is a lot of fun, and you won’t need much in the way of materials!
Further learning & resources for you below:
- dailySTEM Weekly Newsletter – A FREE one-page weekly “newspaper” from Chris Woods to help inspire kids to engage with STEM in the real world. Each issue can be printed or shared digitally with the kids you know. Take a look at the newsletters here. You can also sign up to receive them in your e-mail right from that page as well.
- Bill Nye the Science Guy on YouTube
- Cool science experiment videos from Spangler Science TV