STEM @home for Pre-Schoolers
ust -Saying Disclaimer: While the topic says ‘pre-schoolers’ these activities can be enjoyed as much by slightly older too. Just adapt as you go along.
Any activity that involves ‘play’ is a great place to start learning. The age of 3-5 is when their world has opened a bit, and their imagination, curiosity and sense of wonder are all lighting up!
The activities that involve ‘touch’ are most engaging. Actual ‘doing’ as against blankly memorizing will be way more powerful in understanding any concept. (See ya later, worksheets and printables!)
So here are a few simple ideas one can do at home (given the situation) using simple things found around the house, kitchen especially (we’re big fans of the ‘kitchen lab’!)
Starting with math,
Paper Plate Addition
Before your toddler can rattle off sums of different numbers (honestly, while that’s great for you to show off, it’s not essential) it’s important for her to understand what ‘addition’ really is - it’s the joining of 2 sets or groups to form a larger group.
What you need?
1 paper plate, Some small buttons, toys (cars, dinosaurs) or vegetables (diced carrots or apples) – do make sure you’re always around so that all of it is played with and not put into that munchy mouth.😊
Using a marker divide the plate into 3 sections.
Now get your kid to put 2-3 buttons in one section of the plate, a few in the second (as shown) And tell him/her to count the things in each of the sections. Then get her to pour out all the articles from both into the big third empty one. And then count the total of all the things. Ta-da, she’s started to understand ‘addition’!
Shape sorting Wall
A simple way to help recognize different shapes. Start by picking a few things around the house and showing her different shapes – a piece of nacho is a triangle; a plate is a circle. Start by talking about each shape and their features – a triangle has 3 sides, a circle has zero sides, a square has 4 points.
What you need?
Chart paper & Crayons or markers.
Tape the chart paper on a wall (vertical surfaces are great for muscle development). And draw different shapes – circles, triangles, rectangles, diamonds. Add a few rhombuses just for fun!
Then give your kid a key like colour the triangles green, the squares blue and the circles any colour he/she likes. Just FYI, this is also one of the concepts of coding – to give specific instructions (algorithms) to a computer that it would need to follow. Oh yes, he/she is picking up the basics of software engineering!
Shh…this is a great idea while packing up too! Turn it into a game and tell them to first pack up all square toys or games, then circles and so on. Before you know it, the floor is Lego-free! 😊😊😊