STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills are important to cultivate in young kids to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A way to get them interested in the many fields of Science is to make it understandable and fun for them.
Here are 5 easy projects and crafts to start with to spark interest!
1. DIY Microscope Using Water
In this fun project, you don’t only build the lens but also the slides! All you need is a water bottle, recycled plastic lids, a magnifying glass and specimens. Kids can adjust the ‘zoom’ by moving the magnifying glass nearer or further from the water drop lens. Read the tutorial here for more info.
2. Insect Hotel
Adults may not like bugs but kids are fearless! Help them build an Insect Hotel with this tutorial. It provides insects shelter and a way for children to observe insect behaviours. All the kids need to do is to gather materials from nature such as leaves, twigs and pebbles. These items go into a sectioned box which can be kept outdoors or a corner of a shaded porch. Kids can then check back to see if any critters checked in!
3. Bath Bombs
You don’t need to shop for bath bombs now that you can DIY it on your own. The bath bomb can be easily made by using ingredients in the kitchen such as citric acid, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, olive oil and essential oil. To make it extra fun, hide a small toy inside! Get the illustrated steps from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls here.
4. Juice-Pouch Stomp Rocket
Rockets use the power of compressed air to launch into the sky, called pneumatics. All you need is an empty juice pouch, keep the straw it comes with, a standard straw, coloured cards to make the rocket and clay. Check out this tutorial for the steps!
5. Pom-pom catapult
A catapult has been used since the age of man and it still fascinates kids. Help them build one out of a box and some pencils to introduce the concept of stored energy to the kids. The machine uses stored energy (tension in the rubber bands) to release a projectile (aka the payload). The angle and distance of the launch can be adjusted by playing around with the stoppers. Here’s a tutorial to get started! Make two to pelt each other!
Check out the other articles to build STEAM skills in young kids: