Pediatric Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapists Inspiring Play

STEM Activities for Preschoolers

STEM Activities for Preschoolers

As a parent it’s easy to find the idea of STEM intimidating! But, chances are, if your little one is busy in free play and exploring their environment it’s likely your natural scientist is already implementing tons of STEM concepts. We put some our heads together and came up with a list of  STEM activities for preschoolers that we are sure they’ll love!

Before diving in, let’s take a look at the different kinds of STEM concepts you can implement into everyday play!

Starting to implement STEM concepts in early childhood has tons of benefits! Here is a great article we found that explores these benefits further.

Measurement

Explore measuring tools with your kiddo or use non-standardized units of measurement to explore measurement concepts like length, height, weight, time, etc.

1. Measuring Length or Distance Jumped

Here’s a fun activity that combines gross motor challenges with tons of STEM exposure, including:

👀 Observation of performance
📏 Concept of measuring distance
🧠 Use of non-standardized units of measure
🔢 Counting with one to one correspondence
💭 Reasoning & problem solving
💪 Testing your body’s limits!

We utilized a Big Tape Measure, chalk, and Magna-tiles to measure the distance jumped.

Watch as Coco measures her jumping length with Magna-Tiles and tries to beat it (victory pose included).

2. Measure Height of Your Sibling, Toys, or Objects!

A great activity to get your kiddos moving and measuring is to run around the house and find toys and stuffed animals and measure 📏 their height!

In this activity she was encouraged to sort them, big vs. small, but decided to put them in order and include herself in the lineup! ⠀

Here, our friends measured eachothers’ height using Magna-tiles!

Early Math

Spatial Relations

Shapes

Patterns

Earth, Physical, & Life Sciences

Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals

Making your own unique crystals is a fun and easy STEM project for your little scientist.

You need:

  • Warm water
  • Borax laundry booster
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glass container
  • String
  • A pencil or chopstick

Instructions:

Mix approximately 3 tbsp of Borax per cut of warm water. Kiddos can watch the dry mixture dissolve into the water as they stir and stir. Next, your kiddo can use their finger muscles to twist the pipe cleaners into unique shapes. Suspended them with the string from the pencil inside the container making sure that the shape does not touch the sides. 

Now you just have to be a little patient and watch the transformation into crystals! When you are happy with how they look remove and snip your string.

Engineering

Build a Farm!

An engaging way to practice engineering skills while encouraging your kiddo to think outside the box is by swapping blocks for things you have around your house! Our friends Chloe and Davis built a farm for their animal figurines using materials collected by their super creative mama. They were given some direction from “challenge cards” (e.g., “Build a gate so the dogs don’t run away!”), but all of the designing, planning, problem solving, and collaborating was completely up to them! This is a fantastic example of open-ended, imaginative play that builds tons of STEM skills.

Here are some ideas for building materials:

  • construction paper
  • paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls
  • popsicle sticks
  • toothpicks
  • cheerios
  • marshmallows

Check out the Zoo Themed STEM Challenge that inspired this activity!

Technology



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