Here is an A to Z guide of how and why to do STEM with your kids, particularly preschoolers. The benefits of teaching and participating in STEM activities are increasingly being investigated. They are found to have positive effects on kids even from a young age. This is easier for educators or professionals trained in teaching kids, however, for parents it can be daunting or overwhelming at times. This guide will aim to simplify that.
STEM learning for preschoolers is all about activities. There are so many different ideas that you will surely be able to find something that will engage your kids. Plus many can be done at young ages too which will involve all of your family.
Teaching and exposing your kids to STEM will create a bond as you go on the learning journey together. This could be as simple as the bond that is generated from spending time together learning and creating.
Embrace curiosity in your children as they learn about the world around them. Encourage them to ask questions and engage in their conversations.
You can make STEM learning part of your daily activities and learning. It does not need to be set task you do once a week, but if you can engage your children more regularly it will become more fluid in your household. Of course, if this is not achievable then don’t worry either, any exposure is useful.
Pick fun activities which your children will love to do. You know their interests the best and there is always something that will capture their intrigue.
The current preschoolers will be the generation which grows up with STEM exposure from an early age. This should be embraced in as many ways as possible.
You can easily do STEM at home. It does not have to be expensive and there are many things activities that you can do together.
Your kids will be able to develop their imagination through play-based STEM activities. Watch and admire it grown in your kids.
Embrace the journey that your kids go on. The journey is far more important than the destination with STEM.
Preschoolers are able to learn and take in a lot of knowledge and information for their age. Ensure you are able to provide a range of knowledge that will be beneficial for their development.
Laughter is the best medicine. So, encourage fun and joy when doing anything to do with STEM.
You will create lasting memories by doing STEM activities. Some of these might even be centred around what didn’t work and will probably be remembered the most.
Encourage learning new things and skills.
Embrace the new, but also learn from the old. Reflection and embracing prior knowledge is just as important as developing new ideas.
Many STEM activities will require perseverance in your children. This is a great personal quality to focus on and may take some time to master. Starting early and being patient is key.
Encourage your kids to query and question things in their world. This generates critical thinking and enquiry which will translate well to succeeding in STEM.
Sometimes things go wrong with STEM-based learning. Being able to overcome these things will build resilience in your children that can be translated to many areas of their lives.
There are lots of skills your kids will develop from partaking in STEM. These range in hands-on motor skills, cognitive skills and emotional skills. Foster new skill development as much as you can.
Encourage your kids to ‘tinker’ with things. Have times when they can be creative and lead the way with their learning and activities. You never know where this tinkering will lead.
There are so many upsides to learning the STEM disciplines. In an ever increasingly technology society these disciplines might become more critical in the future than we know.
Place value on learning STEM. This could be in time or equipment/toys to offer your children.
STEM will generate wonder in your children as they find out how things work and create new things.
Some STEM ideas can be considered a bit xany, bizarre or out-of-this world. Embrace this as creativity and imagination!
STEM development will change through the years based on the age of your children or even advances in the disciplines themselves. We need to adapt to this change and embrace what it might have to offer.
If your kids show a keen interest in one of the disciplines, zoom in on that area and try to foster extra learning geared towards this. It will provide a positive attitude towards these subjects and also give your kids the confidence to explore new ideas.