STEM builds problem-solving skills for students from an early age but also prepares them for careers in engineering, physics, math, and other related fields. Some funs ways that you can spend some time with your child while learning through STEM is by using the toys and some kitchen items from home.
Building a sky scraper from Legos
An easy way to build a sky scraper is to print out or have a picture of one handy. Tell your child that today you will be building a skyscraper together. Explain to them that a skyscraper is a really tall building. Ask them why we would need a skyscraper and give them some reasons as to the benefits of having one. (Example: You can see a skyscraper from a distance, it can be like your north star but on land for the city.) Once you have reviewed what a skyscraper is, take out all the Legos or blocks from your child’s toy box. Make sure you are building it on a flat surface to give it stability. Have your child look at the picture of the skyscraper and tell them that you will be building one together. Tell them that all good buildings need a good foundation so make sure to stack up your Legos with a good set of blocks in the shape of a square then build up from there. Let your child take the initiative and even if it’s not perfect or a little unstable as it gets taller just enjoy the time spent with them.
Building a flat bridge from Legos
Another easy to build a flat bridge is to look at a few photos of some from the internet before getting started. You can keep it simple and build two foundational structures then build on top a flat bridge to bring the two together. Tell your child that you will be building a flat bridge today together. Explain to them that a flat bridge is a structure used to transport or cross people, things, or other transportation from one side to another. Ask them why you would need a bridge to cross things or people over. Once you have discussed the purpose of a flat bridge bring all the Legos or blocks to one area. Begin by building the ends of the flat bridge. Each person can build one end and then look at the picture to see how you can connect one end to the other by building a flat surface on top of the two ends. Depending on how high you want your bridge you can even build it high enough for some toys to go under or across it at the end. This is fun way to build and create a product that can be utilized in many fun ways.
Building 3-D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks
The last but easy to make and break are the 3-D shapes at home. You can think about some basic shapes that you can make with your child such as the triangle, square, and rectangle. You will need toothpicks and mini marshmallows for this project. You can look online for some 3-D shapes with toothpicks to see what other people have done. Then decide which shape to start with. Remember to always make your base first in the shape of the figure then go up from there. You can let your child start with the 1-D shape on the flat surface then help them build it up. Your child will not only learn the shapes, creative ways of making 3-D objects, but also problem-solving skills to creating something from nothing. This is a fun way to get inspired on other ideas that can also be used with the same material. Once you and your child are done building the 3-D shapes take a picture and enjoy!