If you’re thinking about introducing your child to STEM lessons but think they’re too young, think again. Research shows that kids can understand complex patterns and thinking skills even before they can put a sentence together. So, there’s no need to wait to introduce STEM lessons, but you may want to keep it at their level. Researchers also found that teaching certain ways of play can help kids develop skills that are critical for STEM learning.
Here are some easy ways to introduce STEM learning to your child at a young age.
Encourage pretend play & repetitive play.
For the pre-school set and those that are early elementary school age, you can encourage pretend play to get their imagination working. Creativity is one of the fundamentals of STEM learning. As children learn to make-up scenarios as they play they’re also learning how to grow their imaginations.
For those even younger, let them roll a ball over and over again or drop a teddy bear. Let them learn how gravity works without even realizing what’s at play.
Let them take things apart.
While you’re not going to let your child take apart your television, let them take apart other things to see how they work. Something as simple as a box can entertain a child as they try to figure out how it stays together and how it holds objects. Start small and then build up to the big stuff!
Ask them the “why” and “how” questions.
As a parent, you’re used to being asked plenty of questions. Once your child can string a few sentences together, switch roles and start asking them why things are the way they are how things work.
You can ask how they think the stove works or how a door is opened. Use simple items around your house to let them begin to learn how to explain how things work. You may be surprised at how much they’re grasping!
Let them play with building blocks.
Building blocks never get old. Despite all of the technology-based toys you find in the toy aisle, there are always blocks available. Why? Because they are the one toy that constantly lets kids use their imagination. They can build towers as tall as they want, knock them down, and build something completely different. The process of building and using their imagination is critical for STEM learning.
If you introduce them to these concepts at a young age, you’re helping to pave the way for more STEM learning. At MakerKids, we have a variety of STEM classes for kids starting in first grade where they begin taking an in-depth look at robotics, coding, and Minecraft. Summer camps are also available. Call 1-844-MAKERKIDS to learn more about our mini-makers program for younger students and the other programs we offer for older students. Let us show you and your child the many benefits of STEM learning.