STEAM Into Spring: Fun Activities to Do at Home With Your Kids
Discovery Place Kids Rockingham
Spring is a time for renewal and growth. All around us, nature is waking up and sprouting to life. Birds are chirping a beautiful tune, wildflowers are blooming, baby animals are taking their first steps and the sun is shining. This spring, take a page out of nature’s book and try something new with your kids as you dive into our crafts for kids.
STEAM activities are a great way to get your kids excited about the world around them and help them grow their minds. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. From creativity to problem-solving and critical thinking to inventiveness, STEAM activities set up a solid foundation for your child’s success in school and life.
Start celebrating the transition into a new season with one of these spring STEAM activities you can do at home.
STEAM Categories: Science, art, math
Encourage your kids to enjoy the spring air and observe the world around them by having them begin their very own nature journal. All they’ll need for this activity is a blank journal, something to write with and a sense of adventure.
Just like a real scientist would, let your kids roam, investigate, make observations and document nature through words or art. Their nature journal should be as unique as them and be a time capsule of their whimsical view of the world, interesting observations and thriving creativity. Jump start your kid’s journal with ideas like tracing a flower, sketching a sunset, writing descriptions about animals they encounter, pressing a leaf or taking measurements on a plant week after week.
Rainbow Color Changing Flower Experiment
STEAM Categories: Science
Ever wonder how a flower drinks its water? With this colorful experiment, you’ll be able to witness an eye-catching example of the awesome way that plants get their nutrients.
What you'll need:
- 1 Dozen White Carnations
- Liquid Food Coloring
- 6 mason jars
1) Fill each mason jar up with at least 6 ounces of water. Add one color of the rainbow to each jar. Start by adding half the container of dye to its respective jar, stir and continue adding dye until each jar’s color is vibrant and opaque.
2) Cut each flower stem at an angle and place 2 in each jar.
3) Place the jars in a sunny place, like a window sill, and wait for 2-3 days for the flowers to absorb the color.
4) After one day, you should be able to see the white carnation changing color slowly. At the end of the experiment, you'll be left with a dozen rainbow carnations!
5) Use this experiment as a teaching moment to talk to your kids about capillary action in plants. Capillary action is when water is pulled up from the ground through the roots of a plant and is transported to through the stem to nourish the plant. When you see the carnations turn the colors of the rainbow, it’s a result of capillary action!
Spring Wind Chime
STEAM Categories: Art, engineering
Add a tune to spring’s light breezes with this wind chime. Using materials you have lying around your house, this wind chime is easy, functional and beautiful.
What you’ll need:
- Plastic cup
- Hole punch
- Acrylic Paint in color(s) of your choice
- Outdoor craft sealer
- Paint brush
- Twine or synthetic yarn
- Key ring
- Jingle bells
1) Let your kids choose their paint color. Paint the plastic cup with 2-3 coats of the chosen color, letting it dry for a few minutes in between each coat of paint.
2) Once dry, punch 4-6 holes around the edge of the cup using the hole punch. Using a pencil or scissors poke a hole on the bottom of the cup- help your kids with this part!
3) To help protect your wind chime from falling victim to the elements, coat the cup with the outdoor craft sealer and let set for a few minutes.
4) Begin working on the inner chime- you might need to help your kids with this part. Start by cutting an extra-long piece of twine and tying a few large knots about a third of the way down. Then, thread the twine through the center hole until the knots you tied hit the top. With the leftover twine that’s sticking out from the hole, secure a key ring that will serve as a loop to hang your wind chime.
5) Once the center chime is in place, tie a jingle bell to the bottom of the twine.
6) Next, thread the pieces of twine through the outer holes and tie a knot to secure the twine in place.
7) Let your kids string beads onto the twine. Once they get close to the end of the string, secure a jingle bell at the bottom. Repeat until you have all the chimes decorated and in place.
8) Go outside and find a nice location to hang up your wind chime. The next time a breeze picks up listen carefully for your masterpiece’s beautiful song.
STEAM Category: Technology
From tablets to computers, phones to TVs, it is common knowledge that kids love technology. It can be hard to limit screen time for your kids with the abundance of technology that’s present. Make your kids screen time educational with these apps:
- Star Walk: Stargazing is a great way to enjoy the fresh spring air and admire the night sky. It can be hard to know what you’re looking at though. With Star Walk, simply point your phone to the sky and you’ll be given detailed information about the celestial bodies you’re viewing. For everyone from astronomy amateurs to aficionados, Star Walk will elevate your stargazing into an interactive and educational experience.
- Hopscotch: Coding is an important skill for kids to learn in today’s world. Using Hopscotch, kids will utilize coding to create their own games. Imagination and creativity are encouraged as the game your child codes will be as unique as they are.
- Toca Nature: Explore the magic of nature- without ever taking a step outside. With Toca Nature, the world is your oyster. Plant a tree and watch it grow, collect berries or nuts, feed an animal, or create a river. As you shape and create a unique world, you’ll be learning about nature in a hands-on, engaging way.
Popsicle Stick Catapult
Start thinking like an engineer and build your very own catapult out of Popsicle sticks. Gather some materials you have lying around the house to use as firing power and measure how far you can sling them.
- 10 jumbo Popsicle sticks
- Rubber bands
- Bottle cap
- Craft glue
- Firing power- marshmallows, puff balls, cereal, beads
- Tape measure
1) Start by carefully cutting two small notches (it’ll look like a little V) on both ends of two popsicle sticks about an inch from the bottom. You may want to help your kids with this step.
2) Stack together the remaining 8 Popsicle sticks and wind a rubber band around both ends of the stack.
3) Take one of the notched sticks and place it underneath the top popsicle stick in the stack. Wiggle the notched stick down till it’s sticking out halfway from the stack on either side.
4) Flip over the Popsicle stick stack and line up the final Popsicle stick with the other notched one. Secure those two together with a rubber band around the notches. The notches will help the rubber bands stay in place.
5) Glue on the bottle cap to the top Popsicle stick on the end that doesn’t have the rubber bands.
6) Grab your firing power and start loading up your catapult! Make predictions on how far you can catapult objects. Using your tape measure, measure how far the objects go and compare them to your predictions!