At Bright Scholars Early Learning Academy, our preschool programs include STEAM Lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) for all children 3 and older. It promotes critical thinking and teaches the basics of STEAM to encourage curiosity and exploration. Thankfully, there are some fun, easy STEAM activities you can do at home with your children to supplement what they learn at Bright Scholars. Since it’s springtime, let’s take a look at a few Spring-themed activities that you can easily put together at home.
Water Cycle in a Bag
This activity gives your kids an up close view at how the water cycle works. It’s a great way to do a little science together. You can adjust the complexity based on the ages of your children. Older kids can label the different processes like condensation and evaporation, while younger kids can marvel at how the cycle keeps repeating itself with the same water.
What you’ll need:
- A sturdy, resealable sandwich bag
- A permanent marker
- ¼ cup of water
- Blue food coloring
- A window in your house
Use a black permanent marker to draw a sun in one of the upper corners of your sandwich bag, clouds in the other corner, and water along the bottom. Then, mix about 4 drops of blue food coloring into your 1/4 cup of water. Pour that into your sandwich bag and seal it really well. Tape the bag on the window and then sit back and watch it work!
Over the next few days, you’ll see the water warm in the sunlight and evaporate into vapor. As that vapor cools, it begins changing back into liquid (condensed) just like a cloud. Then the water will fall down (drip down the sides of the inside of the bag) in the form of precipitation.
In the real water cycle, rain, sleet or snow might land in a body of water like a river or ocean. But it also might fall on dirt where it soaks into the soil and either becomes groundwater that animals and plants drink or it runs over the soil and collects into rivers, oceans or lakes.
Spring is the perfect time to teach little ones about plant life. This simple hands-on project is a great way to show kids what really happens to seeds when they’re planted.
What You’ll Need:
- A few tall, clear containers (plastic with a lid is best for little learners)
- Paper towels
- Cotton balls
- Spray bottle with water
Let each child choose a few different types of seeds that they want to plant. Talk about the different sizes, shapes, and colors of the different seeds. You’ll want to only have one kind of seed in each container. Fold a paper towel in half and place 3 dots of glue a couple inches from the bottom of the paper towel. Then glue a seed or two on each one of the glue dots to prevent the seeds from falling to the bottom of the container. Once the glue is dry (or close to it), place their paper towels in the plastic containers. Thoroughly mist the paper towel and add moistened cotton balls at the bottom to keep the paper towel in place against the outside of the container. Finally, label the seeds and the planting date. Continue to check on the seeds and mist them daily.
Time to watch them grow! It should only take a matter of days to see some early growth. After a couple of weeks, plants like beans, peas, and corn seedlings may get too tall for the container. You can transfer the plants if you wish to grow a crop or flowers.
2D Shape Hunt
This 2D shape hunt is a fun, creative way to get outside and take a walk around the neighborhood when the weather is so nice! Plus it turns an ordinary walk into a super fun math lesson! Learn about 2d shapes including circles, hexagons, rectangles and squares as you sneak in a little exercise.
What You’ll Need:
- A manila folder or cardstock
- A permanent marker or pen
You can print out a shape hunt chart HERE and trace the shapes on the manila folder or cardstock. Then cut them out using scissors or a box cutter. Trace around the outside border with a black marker to make the shapes stand out. For younger children, stick to just a few basic shapes, while school-aged kids could handle more complex options. Then using your shape hunt chart, walk around your neighborhood or community looking for those shapes in real life. Stop signs will easily check off your search for an octagon, basketball goals can get you both a square and a circle. Trapezoids and pentagons might be a little more tricky, but fun to hunt! Have fun!
Shapes: circle, oval, square, isosceles triangle, equilateral triangle, right triangle, rectangle, rhombus or diamond, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon. These are just a few fun ideas to incorporate science, math, and more into your preschoolers day. And if your child (or children) are enrolled at Bright Scholars, you’ll know that they are also getting an introduction to STEAM as a part of our preschool curriculum at our academy in St. Cloud, FL. If your kids aren’t already enrolled, fill out a pre-registration form today!