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At-home STEM Activities For Kids


What’s STEM, and why is it so important? The acronym (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is not just a buzzword. It’s a skill set that is increasingly in demand. With so many cutting-edge innovations and research projects ongoing worldwide, a solid background in these fields can help set your child up for a fulfilling career.

But modern STEM education shouldn’t just be math practice or science textbooks. It’s a flexible framework you can use and adapt to your children’s strengths and interests. You can help ignite a natural curiosity in your child by integrating STEM in an informal and approachable manner, particularly in the younger ages.

Here are some ideas you can try out at home.

Whether they want to be a scientist or a culinary genius.

Building activities

You can use Lego, blocks, and magnetic tiles to unleash your child’s creativity. These classic kid friendly favourites are not only fun but they also help to build problem-solving skills.

If your set of building materials feels stale, give your child some building prompts for a new twist—a house for a plush toy, a towering structure, or a desert habitat, for example. You can also think outside the box and look for supplies around the home to build with, like cardboard containers, toothpicks, marshmallows, or a deck of cards. The more creative the better!

Home experiments

Who doesn’t like mixing potions?

From food colouring blends to baking soda volcanoes, simple household items are all you need to cook up some experimental fun. Even following a recipe requires basic STEM skills—choosing a container that’s the right size and made of a suitable material, measuring ingredients, and using them in the correct order.

Science books

There are wonderful science books written for every age, designed to be easily accessible and fun to browse. Check out the non-fiction section at your local library for a selection of books on any topic your child might be interested in. Often, these books include bold illustrations, vivid photographs and simple explanations to act as a jumping point for further learning.

Subscription boxes and activity kits

Activity kits are a step up from kitchen experiments and can be a great way to introduce your kids to new scientific concepts. They can make slime or build a solar system model or XYZ by following simple, step-by-step instructions. Older kids might enjoy STEM-themed subscription boxes, where they can learn to create working contraptions with pulleys, catapults, and pumps.

Virtual programs

Zoos, museums, and other children’s attractions often host virtual events. These may involve an experiment, a special guest, or a tour of a new exhibit, and they can be an excellent way for your child to spend some time immersed in a subject they’re interested in. Some organizations may even offer regular online classes or host a video library of past events your child can watch.

Exploring the outdoors

Even a walk outside can be a learning opportunity! Encourage your children to look and notice their surroundings. A colony of ants, broken branches, or even a crack in the pavement can spark questions and dialogue. Note down their questions, and help them with the research to find the answers when you get home.

Having a good understanding of technical subjects can give your child an advantage in school and their future career, no matter what it ends up being. Strong numerical, reasoning and analytical skills are an asset in every field. Cultivating and encouraging the exploration of their interests can go a long way. But of course, a few math worksheets won’t hurt either!

Written by Embark

Embark is Canada’s education savings and planning company. The organization aims to help families and students along their post-secondary journeys, giving them innovative tools and advice to take hold of their bright futures and succeed.