STEM and STEAM activities have become popular among many parenting circles willing to incorporate engaging activities that stimulate learning.
Both STEM activities and STEM Toys for toddlers are a great way of catering to your younger one’s developing curiosity.
Along with the toddler stage of development comes the sudden urge and keenness to understand one’s place in the world.
If you are a parent of a tiny toddler you would know how active and curious they can be when exploring new objects, constantly asking questions, and trying to develop an understanding of how things work.
STEM activities provide children with the right learning opportunities that not only cater to their natural curiosity but also provide them with the components that stimulate learning.
Each STEM activity has concrete and tangible representations of arbitrary or complex concepts.
The best thing about STEM activities for toddlers is that these fun tasks come naturally in children during the age of innate curiosity.
If you are looking for some fun and engaging STEM Activities for your tiny toddler but do not know where to begin, do not worry.
Below will be a compilation of some of the STEM activities for toddlers to help provide your child with the best play experience and promote holistic development.
What are STEM and STEAM Activities?
STEM is an abbreviation or an umbrella term used for distinct yet interrelated technical and educational disciplines encompassing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
This term often pertains to educational policies and curriculum choices in educational institutions.
Believe it or not, STEM activities are a great way of reinforcing the learning of complicated concepts in a fun and exciting way.
STEAM is just the STEM education but with an extra “A” that denotes the education and learning of subject matters related to art.
STEM and STEAM activities are structured and systematically developed activities that promote children to indulge in hands-on learning and self-directed play.
These activities are curated and designed to provide children with meaningful and valuable information to help stimulate learning as well as facilitate the development of cognitive, physical, social, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
What are the Goals and aims of STEM Activities for Toddlers?
It can be quite unconventional and eccentric to associate learning technical disciplines like science, technology, engineering, and math with a toddler.
However, introducing your curious toddler to complex STEM concepts can be a great way of developing a firm foundation for future prospects as well as helping develop their preliminary skills for further academic excellence.
Here are some goals, aims, and benefits of incorporating STEM activities into your child’s learning environment:
Active Learning instead of Passive Learning:
Learning can become fun and exciting for a toddler when provided with the opportunity to explore things tangibly.
STEM activities and STEM toys allow your child to become an active part of learning rather than a passive one.
Children with the help of these fun and engaging activities are able to indulge in an immersive learning experience that engages in all their five senses.
Toddlers can be highly curious and exceptionally interrogative when they come across something new and unique.
STEM activities allow children to learn through sensory and hands-on exploration by providing them with simplified and tangible representations of complex concepts.
Children are able to observe their actions while partaking in the activities to develop an intimate understanding of how things work.
By actively partaking in STEM activities children are able to develop their cognitive skills, problem-solving skills as well as critical thinking.
Repetition of tasks allows children to develop the values of structure and order as well as helps children develop preliminary skills for future academic concepts.
Repetition of tasks also allows children to understand how to perform intricate tasks to achieve desired goals.
Repetition of tasks while practicing fun STEM activities helps children build their self-confidence.
Repetition of tasks by performing STEM activities allows children to enhance their attention span and focus.
Furthermore, performing and repeating STEM activities allows children to develop an intimate understanding of cause and effect.
Development of Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills:
Gross motor skills are abilities that are governed by the larger muscles present in the arms, legs, back, and torso.
These abilities allow individuals to perform tasks such as walking, crawling, jumping, standing, bending, and running.
Fine motor skills are abilities that are governed by smaller muscles present in the hands, wrists, and fingers that help individuals perform intricate tasks like writing, holding, gripping, and grasping.
STEM activities allow children to actively perform tasks that involve their larger muscles and by maneuvering objects from point A to point B.
Furthermore, many STEM Activities also integrate smaller components that can be manipulated to help refine the child’s fine motor skills.
A list of the STEM Activities for Toddlers:
STEM Activities for Toddlers aim to develop their preliminary skills and cater to natural curiosity.
These activities promote children to learn while having fun by indulging in hours-on-end self-directed play that helps them understand the way the world works.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver looking for some engaging and exciting STEM activities for your child but shuddering at the thought of choosing the best ones, we’ve got you covered.
Here is a list of some of the STEM activities for Toddlers to keep your tiny explorer busy and engaged in performing meaningful activities:
1. Oil Spill STEM Activity:
The Oil Spill STEM activity is a great way to develop your tiny toddler’s problem-solving skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and critical thinking.
For this STEM activity, you will need a large bin, oil, water, some sponges, paper towels, and spoons.
In the large tub or bin mix oil with water and allow your child to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills by coming up with new ways of removing oil from water.
You can also add some feathers or flowers to the mix to make this activity more exciting and challenging.
This fun STEM activity is a great way of teaching your toddler about scientific concepts related to matter and density since the child gets to learn why oil floats on water.
2. Sticky Note Number Match:
The Sticky Note Number Match is a fun and engaging STEM activity that promotes children to learn about math concepts and facilitates gross motor development.
This movement-oriented STEM activity allows children to learn about arbitrary number symbols with the help of symbol recognition, identification, and categorization.
For this activity, you will require Sticky notes, some tape to stick the notes on the wall, and markers to write with.
You can draw on dots, stars, flowers, or even your toddler’s favorite cartoon character in different quantities on one set of cards and draw on numbers on the other.
Promote your child to pair the quantity cards with their corresponding number control cards to help children comprehend the concepts of number, symbols, as well as their quantities.
3. Magic Milk:
This STEM activity for toddlers is perfect for creating a beautiful and fascinating visual effect.
The Magic Milk STEM activity teaches your toddler about cause and effect as well as chemical reactions.
This activity involves milk, food coloring, large containers, and dish soap. Promote your child to add food coloring and dish soap to milk and observe new and unique colorful patterns.
4. Invisible Ink:
Invisible Ink is a great way of catering to your child’s curiosity and creative imagination.
This exciting STEM activity includes lemon juice, water, a white sheet of paper, sunlight, iron, and a light bulb.
Allow your child to draw on their secret messages with the help of lemon juice and water.
Once they have successfully drawn on their fascinating patterns and messages let their creation dry.
Reveal your child’s messages by placing the sheet of paper in front of the sunlight or in front of a light bulb.
You can also use an iron to expose or reveal the message. This activity allows children to learn about the concept of oxidation since the acidic nature of lemon juice allows it to oxidize under heat.
5. Solar System Mobile:
Baby mobiles are fascinating, exciting, and aesthetically pleasing for infants and toddlers.
This STEM activity for toddlers combines baby mobiles and the beauty of the mystical solar system.
For this activity you can either purchase felt solar system planets and sun or your needle felt your very own plants and sun.
6. Balance Buddy:
Balance Buddy is a great way of facilitating fine motor development and problem-solving skills in children.
All you need for this fun STEM activity you will require a cork, a 12-inch bamboo skewer, toothpicks, some extra decorations, and modeling clay.
Allow your child to understand the concept of gravity and balance by promoting the child to balance all the weight in one singular point.
7. Rolling Pumpkin Ramp Race:
The Rolling Pumpkin Ramp Race is a fun STEM activity for toddlers that helps develop their understanding of cause and effect as well as gross motor skills.
For this fun activity, you will require small pumpkins, a cardboard box that you can use as a ramp, and a chair to use as an elevation.
Allow your child to roll over the pumpkins from the elevation and see them drop.
This STEM activity helps children learn about the concept of gravity by observing how the pumpkin rolls down every time they drop them down the ramp.
8. Straw Rocket:
This activity is a great way of catering to your toddler’s creative imagination. This activity involves an adorable rocket printable, straw, tape, and your child’s creative imagination.
Allow your child to blow on the straw and look at the rocket boost off and propel as they blow on the straw with the power of their lungs.
9. Rain in a Jar:
For this activity, you will need a jar, water, shaving cream, and some blue food coloring.
Promote your child to add some drops of food coloring to the mixture of water and shaving cream and observe the food coloring create a fascinating visual effect.
10. Fireworks in a Jar:
The Fireworks in a Jar is another STEM activity closely resembling the Rain in the Jar activity but with a more colorful twist.
11. Magnetic Slime:
DIY homemade slime can be a great way to facilitate and promote tactile activity and a unique sensory experience.
This fun STEM activity includes a simple homemade slime along with some iron oxide powder and magnets.
Allow your child to comprehend the concept of magnets by promoting them to look at the slime move as they point the magnet towards it.
12. Shadow Puppets:
For this Fun STEM activity, you will require some sticks or staws, a light bulb, a white wall, and fun animal cutouts.
Allow your child to comprehend the concepts of light and shadow by casting shadows on the wall.
13. Color-Changing Flowers:
This STEM activity for toddlers combines both biology and science together. For this activity, you will need glasses, white flowers with long stems, and different colored food coloring.
Simply cut the stems of the flowers into half vertically and place each side of the stems into different food coloring and water mixtures.
Promote your child to observe how the flowers change their color as they slowly absorb the colored water.