STEM subjects are a huge element of school life these days. They are seen as some of the most accessible skills for young children who are just learning about these skills and how they can be used for good. The future is in these skills, which is why it’s important to explore these subjects with your child early on. Here are some ways you can naturally explore STEM subjects with your child, broken down into each area of STEM.
With a whole host of activities to explore with a child it’s worth breaking them down in specific areas to help them explore the whole breadth of STEM subjects. With Science being the first in the list, there are thankfully plenty of activities you can use to explore this broad subject area.
The classic activity parents probably already know about is the fizzy mixture experiment. Good to explore at a younger age, then you can add baking soda, add some food dye or another way to colour the mixture, then use lime juice or vinegar. Watch as your child questions how this would happen, where you will get to explore how chemical reactions work together.
Showing your child how ice grows could be another experiment you could try. Freeze a portion of the water to be cold but not entirely frozen. Then pour water onto the top to see the icicles form as more water is added. Exciting for both kids and adults to see!
As your child gets older and is keen to explore different areas of science you can build their knowledge in new ways. Visits to the science museum, natural history museums and activity days can help children explore other areas of science they might not have previously thought about.
Surrey grammar schools have a variety of lessons that will help their students learn about how technology plays a big part in our everyday lives. From Design and Technology lessons to greater understanding of engineering there’s a lot to develop in your child’s skills here.
At infant age the regular activity parents try is the potato or orange connector experiment, where wires are attached to the outside of the fruit or vegetable to be connected up to a battery. This teaches children about conductivity and how it can work even through most everyday objects.
Connecting blocks can now come with light up features, which can be used to explore how electricity works. Your child could also have the opportunity to make a wooden car that moves with a battery at school, plenty of ways to explore how technology has developed.
When your child heads to senior school they will be using a lot more technology in a passive way. Computers, smartphones and tablets are the norm in everyday society, so it’s important to let your child explore technology at a younger age to be prepared for the future.
Similarly laid out to activities that explore technology, engineering is about the construction and development of a project – from large buildings to underground complexes that keep us safe. Every child will get to explore these areas, but the best part is getting to try out all these exciting things about engineering at home!
Having a good set up at home helps to begin with. You might need a lot of space for these activities. For example, making a Scalextric set will need a big space in the bedroom or in the living room, so be prepared in advance. Building blocks with LEGO is another firm favourite and shows children how these blocks can be used to make all sorts of creations from every angle.
Maths is something that can still be made to be interactive. It’s good to make these kinds of games and activities exciting as maths can often be viewed as a difficult subject for children at times.
Using washable chalk on your pavement or drive can make children learn about counting and putting sums together from an early age. If it’s snowing and you have time to make snowballs, use them to practice counting and count of the amount of grams needed for each ingredient while baking. If you avoid forcing the activities into your child’s daily routine, and naturally incorporate them into your child’s regular day, then they are going to be more open to trying new approaches to maths.