You’ve probably heard the phrase STEM by now, as it is the current buzzword when it comes to children’s education. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Basically, while arts are still vitally important, it was recognized that the more scientific aspects of life weren’t always being incorporated in the educational curriculum, especially when it came to girls’ learning. The areas in STEM can seem a bit overwhelming to parents, but we’ve put together this handy guide to help you incorporate STEM into your child’s summer. You can still learn while having fun!
Who doesn’t love a good science experiment? It’s time to bust out the tried and true vinegar and baking soda. Add a bit of food coloring, make a volcano, add some dinosaurs and you’ve got a play set up that will last all summer.
If you’re looking for more advanced science experiments, your local library will have tons of books on the subject. With just a few simple ingredients, you can start creating weekly experiments and easily add STEM into your child’s summer.
When it comes to technology, you want it to be engaging and not passive. That’s the problem with screen time for kids. They sit in front of a tablet or TV, and passively watch. When you make technology interactive, it becomes a tool rather than a time waster.
Geocaching uses GPS technology to hunt for hidden objects. It’s a real-life treasure hunt. There are many geocaching websites and apps you can use, and the beauty is that all of these treasures are hidden where you’ve probably walked before.
Kids should be prepared as the object of geocaching is to exchange what they have found with their own treasure. You never want to disappoint someone by finding an empty geocache. There are specific GPS devices you can use, or just a smartphone. Either way, it shows kids how many different uses technology has to offer.
It’s time to go fly a kite. A simple kite purchase is all that is needed, by encouraging your child’s engineering skills by testing out how to improve it. Learn about wind, speed, and velocity. Look at how a kite’s tail increases balance, and the forces needed to make something fly. Those windy days will be so much more enjoyable.
It’s time to bring science to the kitchen. Recipes are one of the easiest and tastiest ways of incorporating STEM into your child’s summer. Follow simple recipes and be sure to talk about fractions while measuring. Or, make extra for neighbors and learn how to double a recipe. If your child wants to hone their entrepreneurial skills, a neighborhood lemonade stand can bring both of these skills together.