5 tips to a STEM-friendly space
Does it seem difficult for you to make your home or classroom a STEM-friendly space? Do you feel overwhelmed because of lack of space or knowledge of good ideas to implement?
Here are our 5 simple tips to surround your children/students with a STEM-directed environment, without much effort on your part.
Set up a place that is convenient for experiments. Space is the first thing to look at so you could let your kids do their thing. It doesn’t matter if they will be playing theater with the play dough, or painting clay figures on a table, let them feel they are allowed to do it and give them ideas on how to make it a wonderful experience!
Provide different materials and tools for building prototypes and testing ideas. Give your children the “what” and they will create the “how”. Don’t be discouraged in thinking this will be an expensive endeavor, rather aim for inexpensive projects with items that you already have at hand such as old cardboard boxes, paper cups, craft materials and glue. Provide them with other materials such as salt, flour, noodles and give them limited direction on using them.
Provide clear and safe guidelines for your kids. Let them be aware that water play happens in the bathroom (if at home), on the table or outside. Make sure your kids know the rules before they start playing. We also encourage safety-related rules such as not using knives and other sharp objects unless age appropriate to do so. Teach your children these important guidelines so as to help them to have a fun experience creating.
Use nature as an everyday source
Lead and engage with nature exploration and play as often as possible. Even a short walk outside or in the park could bring up great topics to discuss. Set up a “nature findings” corner and use it to continue with home activities. Speak about the changes in the seasons and how nature represents these changes. Have fun with the snow in winter and count how many birds they see on their walk. Teach them to respect the outdoor world around them by not littering. Being outside is a constant lifelong opportunity to teach our children about plants, animals and the wonderful world around us!
Building and assembling is a great go-to
Long live LEGO and all other types of building blocks. Magnetic puzzles and tiles are a top option as well and becoming more and more affordable over time. Quiet play or dynamic action – it’s all possible with creative kids and an open-ended toy in place. Do not feel tempted to overstock your children with all kinds of blocks and construction toys all at once. Observe how they play and what they are drawn to mostly. At times they will be needing more puzzles, at times they will be most attracted to LEGO or other creative types of play. Try to provide more variations of the most popular building toys they enjoy so as to dive deeper into these creative opportunities.
Now, what are your ways of preparing your home or classroom for some great STEM adventures with your children? We are looking forward to getting your great ideas as well!.