STEM Learning Activities to Try with your Kids

During these crazy COVID-19 times many of us have the difficult task of working from home and homeschooling your kids. While we’re stuck at home, there’s are easy and fun ways to keep your child’s STEM learning going with activities that you can do together! We’ll suggest a variety of STEM learning activities to do based on age and ability. 

Keep in mind for guiding your child through the activities:

  • Do a quick overview of the activity. Have your child assess what they already know so they can activate some prior knowledge and memory of past experiences. This will help with the activity overall!
  • A big part of STEM is letting your child explore and figure things out. Make sure you’re not just lecturing them and you’re letting them create things needed for the activity and work things out on their own.
  • If you see an activity is too easy, make it a little more difficult! 
  • Short on supplies or resources for the activities? There’s always a workaround! Another fun part of the activity could include finding these alternate options or creating your own materials. 

STEM learning activities for parents and students

1. Nature hunt
Going on a nature hunt can be fun for all ages and is super easy to change the difficulty level. Not to mention, you and your child will get some much needed fresh air after being cooped up in the house! Have your child identify plants/flowers/birds/whatever you want. Before beginning, go online and look up regional plants/flowers/birds that are likely around your home and neighborhood. You can make a checklist with pictures or just have some fun going on a walk and writing down what you find.

2. Weekly coding activities
These coding activities are mostly meant for the middle school level and up. vidcode offers hour-long challenges. At the end of each, your child will have made something awesome! Things like design your own typeface and map your neighborhood are a few examples of projects offered on their website. 

3. Coding for 5 to 7 year-olds
It’s never too early to get your child started with fun coding activities! ScratchJr is a great opportunity for 5 to 7 year-olds to be introduced to coding concepts in a way that’s fun and they understand. 

4. Spaghetti challenge
An easy and fun activity for a rainy day is testing how strong spaghetti is. All you need is a box of spaghetti and other household items to test its strength with like books, blocks, etc. Try out a spaghetti bridge by laying spaghetti across two books/blocks/etc. See how much weight you can add to the spaghetti bridge before it breaks.

5. Easy science experiments
We all remember those fun and simple science experiments from school. Now it’s time to recreate those at home (don’t worry, there’s no fire involved)! Check out these ten science experiments that you can do with just the things laying around your home.

While the reason for being stuck at home is not ideal, it’s important to make the most of the extra time we have at home with our kids. We encourage you to experiment, learn new things, and make some positive memories from this strange experience. Let us know how it goes! Show us your activities @njspeorg on Instagram and @NSPENewJersey on Twitter.

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