Let’s talk STEM (1): How to introduce Science in early childhood?
Are you one among those people who nod and strongly agree to the importance of STEM education?
But…secretly don’t really understand what STEM is all about?
Worry not! Help is here!
We all want to understand the benefits of STEM education, indulge in STEM activities for kids and make STEM learning fun at the same time. The list is endless, isn’t it? But, guess what? We’ve got you all covered.
Introducing STEM learning is one of the ways in which parents and teachers are contributing to the development of cognitive thinking and problem-solving skills in children.
To quote Bill Nye, popularly known as ‘The Science Guy’– “There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind”
Our plan includes tackling one STEM monster at a time. Give me an ‘S’!
The S(cience) in STEM
So, what is STEM? STEM/STEAM focuses on educating children in five areas —science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. And no, they are not all the same!
Our understanding of science is more centered towards lab experiments and studying galaxies and solar systems.
But, guess what?
Science is all around us, in everyday objects and experiences. Swimming on a bright sunny day or getting your hands dirty while gardening; watching your paper boats float on water or looking up at the blue sky and wondering why it’s blue – science is everywhere. As adults, we should try to foster an appreciation for STEM concepts in kids at an early age.
Here are some tips and activities which you can try at home for making science fun and exciting:
1. Being close to nature
This is the simplest way to quench your child’s thirst for knowledge. Observe!
Nature walks for the win! Go on short nature hikes in your nearby park or garden and engage in STEM activities. Simply observe different insects, plants, rocks – anything that intrigues the kid and talk about different colours, patterns and shapes. You can make this more fun by collecting various rocks and engaging in bird watching.
Image Source: familyeducation
2. Experiments at home
Perform simple and cost-effective experiments at home using simple liquids such as milk, oils and water to spark creativity. To make it even more interesting, you can perform experiments at the end of which you can eat the final outcome! You can also purchase science kits for home science, chemistry, and space which help in understanding the functioning of the human body, acids and bases, and properties of nature.
3. Educational toys
Introducing your children to educational toys is the ideal way to build interest in science-related activities. Children love things that come to life and are interactive. Augmented Reality toys help kids learn through animation and technology allowing them to interact in a unique and fun way.
4. Role-Playing activities
Children love it when their parents get involved during playtime! Fun role-playing activities such as you playing doctor and checking the vital signs of a patient or a gardener attending to his plants can help you introduce new concepts and facts to your child.
Activities as basic as star-gazing, cooking, gardening and playtime can all be potentially incorporated into STEM activities. This not only introduces children to science in early childhood but also gives them a foundation that they can further build into STEM science and STEAM education.
The T(echnology) in STEM
Wow! We can sense your thirst for knowledge and it’s exciting!
Check out our next blog Let’s Talk STEM (2): How to introduce technology in early childhood? to get more exciting information about STEM.