Maria goes live every other week, answering your questions, in the Empowering Kids with Character Facebook group. For this one, she talks about the importance of incorporating STEM (or STEAM) into your children’s everyday life. You can watch the video here.
First off – what is STEM/STEAM? It’s the philosophy of incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into student learning. If you add the A, it’s adding in Arts (STEAM). This is project-based learning and it’s helping students learn, reflecting real life. Maria linked to a blog post by A Steam Powered Family, which has a great explanation in further detail.
Maria talked about how to incorporate STEAM/STEM in your home with your children on an everyday basis. Below are the supplies she mentions that will help them design, build, create, plan and explore.
- Empty, clean containers
- Toilet paper rolls (empty)
- Trays (Maria found hers at Target)
- Glue guns (for older children)
- Iron (with adult supervision)
- Cotton balls
- Small containers to hold glitter, paint, etc..
- Playdoh (you can make your own)
- Small plastic cups or large cups to stack
- Playing cards (to also build)
- Aluminum foil
- Pipe cleaners
- Amazon boxes
- Some more ideas for STEM supplies can be found from Jewel’s School Gems.
Make these supplies readily available and encourage your children to be creative! Maria does have a rule that the children’s creation can sit in the house for a week. I LOVE this rule, as my children tend to create things, but then want to keep them around while never actually playing with them. I love the creativity behind it, but my “clean freak” side is driven mad by the clutter of these creations just sitting around, ha! I will definitely be using her rule as I think it’s brilliant!!! I agree with what she said as well – they have the most fun creating the item anyway!
Maria did share that Pocket of Preschool had some organizational ideas for storing the STEAM supplies, if you’d rather do it that way (in drawers). I’m like Maria in that we have 2 cabinets with all our crafting/STEAM supplies!
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Remember that Maria alternates these videos between her author page and the private Empowering Kids with Characterpage, which provides more ideas on the monthly theme and also support from fellow parents and educators!
Transcribed by Mandy Bush, Executive Assistant