STEM learning is an important part of your child’s education.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are all incredibly valuable subjects because they help children to develop a strong set of skills for their future career.
Most schools and nurseries incorporate STEM learning into their lessons in order to help children develop an interest in these subjects from an early age. Parents can also support STEM learning by exploring STEM subjects at home.
Here are a few examples provided by an independent school in Somerset on how you can explore STEM subjects with your children…
Use water play
Water play is an ideal beginner activity for STEM learning. Parents can use water play to encourage younger children to experiment. Together you can look at which materials sink and which ones float, or you can explore what happens to certain materials then they are added to water. This can be a garden activity or something to investigate at bath time.
Toys like building blocks and Lego are ideal for teaching children the basics of engineering. Simply ask your child to make a tower with a slope for a toy car to roll down. By designing their own slope your child will need to first build a strong tower and then think about the correct heights and angles needed to bring their car safely down the slope.
Children are naturally curious and like to ask a lot of questions. They also enjoy testing different theories and seeing how things work. To help stimulate your child’s curiosity you could try some home experiments. For example, you can experiment with different liquids to see which ones clean old copper coins. Copper oxide easily dissolves in acid so you’ll want to try liquids such as vinegar or even tomato ketchup!
It is scientifically proven that children learn best when they are able to use all of their senses, so outdoor learning is ideal. Don’t be afraid to let your children get wet and muddy outdoors. Nature provides so many fun and interactive STEM learning experiences. Your children will learn by playing in the snow, pond dipping and climbing trees.
Learn in the kitchen
You may not realise it at first, but cooking can help to advance your child’s reading, writing and math skills whilst having fun. For example your child can help to read the recipe, write your shopping list and practice their maths skills by measuring out the ingredients. There is also a bit of science involved in baking. For example, you can look into how baking powder acts as a raising agent in cakes and bread.
Coding is a very beneficial skill for children to learn. Nearly every industry relies on computer coding in one way or another, so learning about it at a young age will have many advantages. You can find many fun coding games online and there are also coding apps for smartphones and tablets that can connect to a toy robot.
Plan a fun day out
Finally, one of the best ways to explore STEM subjects with your child is through fun and educational days out. For example, if your child has questions about space, you could plan a trip to a science museum or a planetarium. If they want to know more about technology you could visit a factory or take them into work with you.