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  /    /  FUN STEAM/STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS 

FUN STEAM/STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Welcome to our STEM-tastic adventure! We’re here to ignite your child’s curiosity and creativity with engaging STEM crafts. Let’s dive right in and explore TEN exhilarating experiments that will spark joy and learning in your child’s mind.

 

 

 

Experiment 1: Straw Rockets

Introduction

Let’s blast off into the world of aerodynamics and physics with our DIY straw rockets!

 

What is Needed

  • Drinking straws
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Safety goggles (optional but recommended)

 

Instructions

  1. Cut a piece of paper into a rectangular shape.
  2. Decorate one side of the paper with markers to make your rocket design.
  3. Roll the paper around the straw and secure it with tape.
  4. Form a cone shape at one end of the paper to create the rocket’s nose.
  5. Make fins by cutting triangles out of paper and taping them to the bottom of the rocket.
  6. Insert the rocket into the straw.
  7. Blow through the other end of the straw to launch your rocket!

 

Tips for Success

  • Experiment with different designs to see how they affect flight.
  • Ensure the rocket is securely attached to the straw to prevent it from falling off prematurely.
  • Launch the rocket in an open area away from people and fragile objects.

 

Safety Tips

  • Supervise children during rocket launches.
  • Use safety goggles to protect eyes from any potential debris.

Experiment 2: Electric Play Dough Circuits

Introduction

Let’s mix art and science by creating electric play dough circuits!

 

What is Needed

  • Conductive play dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • LED lights
  • AA or AAA batteries
  • Battery pack with wires
  • Insulating play dough (regular play dough works)
  • Cookie cutters (optional)
  • Rolling pin (optional)

Instructions

  1. Create shapes or sculptures using the conductive play dough.
  2. Insert LED lights into the play dough to create circuits.
  3. Connect the LED lights to the battery pack using wires.
  4. Watch as your creations light up with electricity!

Tips for Success

  • Ensure there is a complete circuit for the LED lights to illuminate.
  • Experiment with different shapes and sizes to see how they affect conductivity.
  • Use fresh batteries for optimal performance.

Safety Tips

  • Use only LED lights specifically designed for low voltage circuits.
  • Avoid mixing conductive play dough with regular play dough to prevent short circuits.

Experiment 3: Egg Drop Challenge

Introduction

Get ready to engineer a solution to protect your egg from a fall!

What is Needed

  • Eggs
  • Various materials for building (such as cotton balls, straws, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, etc.)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Cushioning materials (such as foam, bubble wrap, or cotton)

Instructions

  1. Design and build a contraption to protect your egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height.
  2. Use materials to cushion the egg and absorb the impact.
  3. Test your contraption by dropping it from different heights.
  4. Modify and improve your design based on the results.

Tips for Success

  • Start with a simple design and gradually add complexity.
  • Distribute the cushioning materials evenly around the egg.
  • Test the contraption from increasing heights to gauge its effectiveness.

Safety Tips

  • Use caution when dropping the contraption from heights to prevent injury.
  • Dispose of broken eggs properly to avoid making a mess.

Experiment 4: DIY Kaleidoscope

Introduction

Let’s explore the wonders of light and reflection with our homemade kaleidoscope!

What is Needed

  • Cardboard tube (such as from a paper towel roll)
  • Mirrors
  • Clear plastic or glass (such as from a CD case)
  • Decorative materials (such as beads, sequins, or colored paper)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Cut the cardboard tube to your desired length.
  2. Attach mirrors to the inside walls of the tube using tape.
  3. Decorate one end of the tube with the clear plastic or glass.
  4. Fill the tube with decorative materials.
  5. Seal the other end of the tube with clear plastic or glass.
  6. Hold the kaleidoscope up to the light and rotate it to see mesmerizing patterns.

Tips for Success

  • Use reflective surfaces to maximize the effect of the kaleidoscope.
  • Experiment with different shapes and colors of decorative materials.
  • Ensure the mirrors are securely attached to prevent them from shifting.

Safety Tips

  • Handle glass and mirrors with care to avoid injury from sharp edges.
  • Supervise children when using scissors and other sharp objects.

Experiment 5: Balloon-Powered Car

Introduction

Rev up your engines and race to the finish line with our balloon-powered cars!

What is Needed

  • Plastic bottles (such as soda bottles)
  • Balloons
  • Straws
  • Wheels (such as CDs, bottle caps, or toy wheels)
  • Axles (such as wooden skewers or pencils)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Cut the top off the plastic bottle to create the car body.
  2. Attach the wheels to the bottom of the bottle using tape.
  3. Insert the axles through the sides of the bottle.
  4. Inflate the balloon and tape it to the back of the car.
  5. Release the air from the balloon to propel the car forward.

Tips for Success

  • Ensure the wheels are securely attached to the axles to prevent them from falling off.
  • Experiment with different sizes of balloons to see how they affect speed.
  • Use a smooth surface for racing to minimize friction.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid overinflating the balloon to prevent it from bursting.
  • Supervise children during balloon-powered car races to avoid collisions.

 

Experiment 6: Circuit Bugs

Introduction

Let’s create adorable critters that light up using simple electrical circuits!

What is Needed

  • LEDs
  • Coin cell batteries
  • Conductive thread or wire
  • Felt or fabric scraps
  • Googly eyes
  • Needle and thread

Instructions

  1. Cut out bug shapes from felt or fabric scraps.
  2. Sew or glue googly eyes onto the bug shapes.
  3. Attach an LED to each bug using conductive thread or wire.
  4. Connect the LEDs to coin cell batteries to complete the circuit.
  5. Watch as your circuit bugs come to life with light!

Tips for Success

  • Experiment with different bug shapes and sizes.
  • Ensure a secure connection between the LEDs and batteries.
  • Use fresh batteries for optimal brightness.

Safety Tips

  • Be cautious when handling needles and sewing materials.
  • Avoid contact between the conductive thread/wire and the battery terminals to prevent short circuits.

Experiment 7: Solar-Powered Oven

Introduction

Harness the power of the sun to cook delicious treats in your very own solar-powered oven!

What is Needed

  • Cardboard box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clear plastic or glass lid
  • Black construction paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Food items for cooking (such as s’mores ingredients, hot dogs, or vegetables)

Instructions

  1. Line the inside of the cardboard box with aluminum foil to reflect sunlight.
  2. Cut a flap in the lid of the box and cover it with clear plastic or glass.
  3. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper to absorb heat.
  4. Place food items on a heatproof surface inside the box.
  5. Position the solar oven in direct sunlight and wait for the food to cook.

Tips for Success

  • Use a sunny day for optimal cooking conditions.
  • Experiment with different food items and cooking times.
  • Monitor the temperature inside the oven to ensure proper cooking.

Safety Tips

  • Use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves when handling hot surfaces.
  • Supervise children when using sharp objects like scissors.

Experiment 8: Magnetic Slime

Introduction

Explore the fascinating properties of magnets and polymers with homemade magnetic slime!

What is Needed

  • White school glue
  • Iron oxide powder (magnetic)
  • Liquid starch or borax solution
  • Mixing bowl
  • Stirring stick
  • Magnets

Instructions

  1. Mix equal parts white school glue and liquid starch or borax solution in a bowl.
  2. Add iron oxide powder to the mixture and stir until fully combined.
  3. Knead the slime with your hands until it reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Test the magnetic properties of the slime by attracting it with magnets.

Tips for Success

  • Start with small amounts of iron oxide powder and add more as needed.
  • Store the slime in an airtight container to prevent drying out.
  • Experiment with different shapes and sizes of magnets to see how they affect the slime.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid ingesting the slime or getting it in your eyes.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling the slime.

Experiment 9: DIY Hovercraft

Introduction

Experience the magic of frictionless motion with your very own DIY hovercraft!

What is Needed

  • CD or DVD
  • Balloon
  • Bottle cap
  • Hot glue gun
  • Compact disc case (optional)
  • Thumbtack or pushpin

Instructions

  1. Glue the bottle cap to the center of the CD or DVD.
  2. Inflate the balloon and secure it to the bottle cap.
  3. Place the hovercraft on a smooth surface.
  4. Release the air from the balloon while simultaneously pushing the hovercraft forward.
  5. Watch as the hovercraft glides across the surface with ease!

Tips for Success

  • Ensure a tight seal between the balloon and the bottle cap to maximize airflow.
  • Experiment with different sizes of balloons and CDs to optimize performance.
  • Use a thumbtack or pushpin to make small holes in the balloon for controlled airflow adjustments.

Safety Tips

  • Use caution when operating the hot glue gun to avoid burns.
  • Supervise children when using sharp objects like thumbtacks or pushpins.

Experiment 10: Edible DNA Model

Introduction

Delve into the realm of genetics by constructing a delicious edible DNA model!

What is Needed

  • Twizzlers or licorice laces
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Toothpicks
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Small bowls or plates

Instructions

  1. Use twizzlers or licorice laces as the backbone of the DNA model.
  2. Attach mini marshmallows to the twizzlers/licorice laces using toothpicks to represent nucleotide bases.
  3. Add food coloring to the marshmallows to differentiate between adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.
  4. Arrange the marshmallows along the twizzlers/licorice laces in a double helix formation.
  5. Admire your edible DNA model before devouring it with delight!

Tips for Success

  • Use different colors of marshmallows to represent different nitrogenous bases.
  • Refer to a DNA model diagram for accurate placement of nucleotides.
  • Experiment with different lengths of twizzlers/licorice laces to create various DNA sequences.

Safety Tips

  • Be mindful of food allergies when selecting ingredients.
  • Dispose of any toothpicks properly to avoid accidental ingestion.

 

These ten captivating experiments will keep your child engaged and excited about STEM concepts. From building circuits to exploring the power of the sun, there’s something for every budding scientist and engineer to enjoy. So gather your materials, unleash your creativity, and let the scientific exploration begin!