STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) projects are great for enriching your child’s cognitive and emotional development. From winter to spring, summer and fall, STEAM activities can be done any time of year, both indoors or out. While there are hundreds of STEAM educational activities to choose from, here are four of my favorite spring-time STEAM activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
Sun printing gives children a glimpse into the sun's effects on everyday objects, such as leaves, feathers, keys, or small toys. When sun-print paper is exposed to sunlight, a chemical reaction takes place. The dye is broken down, and the brightness is reduced. Your child will have fun seeing what happens when objects are left on the paper in the sunlight. This fun science project uses a child’s fine motor skills and creativity.
First, you will need to gather your materials. You will need sun-print paper (available online or in photo supply stores), tape, and objects you want to make a print of, such as leaves.
Tape a piece of paper to a sunny spot outside, or lay it down on a desk next to a window where there will be constant sunlight throughout the day. Place your object on the paper and leave it out for up to 5 hours. When time is up, remove the objects off the paper and view the results!
A DIY Rainstorm
Creating a rainstorm is a great way to help kids understand their weather and climate. Start by getting all the materials, including a small glass and larger glass, water, blue food coloring, a straw or eye dropper, and shaving cream.
In a small glass, mix 3 tablespoons of water with a couple of drops of food coloring. Fill the larger glass with water and add a little shaving cream to make a cloud. Using a straw or eye dropper, drop some of the food coloring/water mixture over the shaving cream. Continue adding drops until you see rain falling under the foam.
Tracking constellations is a great way to get kids interested in astronomy and the science beyond our world. Create a DIY constellation viewer using simple materials such as toilet paper tubes and printable constellations. The first step is to print the constellations and cut them out. Use a thumbtack to make holes where the black dots of the constellation are. Then, fasten the constellation cutout to the cardboard tube on one end. When your child looks through the other end, they will see light poking through the “stars.”
Build a Bird Feeder
Spring is a lovely time to observe birds in your neighborhood. What better way to attract birds to your home than by building a bird feeder? There are lots of fun ideas for DIY birdhouses. You could use a soda bottle or milk jug with wooden spoons sticking through it so the birds have something to land on and feed from; or make a pinecone bird feeder with peanut butter and bird seed; even a simple paper plate can be turned into a bird feeder! This project is a great way for kids to learn about different types of birds, migration, feeding habits, and seasons.
The Sky’s The Limit When It Comes To Fun!
STEAM activities can engage your child’s natural curiosity and wonder about the world. Happy exploring!