Young children are so eager to learn, but what exactly qualifies as math/science/engineering activities for preschoolers?
At Bright Beginnings Learning Academy we enjoy teaching stem activities and projects to our preschoolers. Let us lay out a few activities and how those are math, science, and engineering for preschoolers. We believe children learn best through play, all of our STEM activities are play based, and easily integrated in their day.
Math activities is easily integrated to play with preschoolers. Anytime we talk to our children about shapes, or numbers we are talking about math. When we are building with blocks we can count how many blocks we use, and discuss the shapes. When we read books we can look at animals and count them by category. An early math skill is categorizing and sorting. When we keep toys sorted by type we are actually teaching the children similarities and difference. We can also use objects that have similarities and differences to sort by size, shape, and color.
Science is all around young children. Think about how the world works. Physics, aerodynamics, and hydrodynamics are advanced concepts easily explored during your first 5 years in the world. Play games with water like sink or float, or transferring water with a sponge. Or paint the sidewalk and watch the water dry. We can drop things like a feather and rock, and discuss why one falls sooner than the other. Watching plants grow, and discussing and recording the changes is a science activity for preschoolers. A fun STEM math/science activity is to compare the height of children in the class. Science is best explored by asking lots of questions about what we see and why it’s happening. Don’t feel like you need to gear down the educational information on the questions they ask. Find the answers, and if the child doesn’t understand now, know that they are still getting a great deal out of the activities.
Anytime we are building or creating with young children, it’s engineering. When we build with blocks we are exploring what works and what doesn’t. New materials like styrofoam and toothpicks help preschoolers to problem solve and think critically. When we strengthen problem solving skills in young children they are able to better meet their own needs, and be independant. Introduce children to various materials for construction and see how they compare. Remember to ask questions while we build. “Is this a strong material?” “How can we make a tower 9 blocks high?” Guide the children gently, the education comes from them figuring it out with your gentle support.
It is so easy and fun to introduce these STEM activities.
These seamingly advanced concepts aren’t too much too soon. Gear projects up and down for the age of the child. If a project doesn’t work now, save the idea and try it again in a few months or a year. Make these activities into games, and follow the children’s lead. Teaching science, math, and engineering concepts to preschoolers doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. Remember how preschoolers learn best is through play. So, have fun while you learn.