Many St. Louis family attractions have re-opened with limited capacity and enhanced safety protocols for visitors and staff. Read more about family attraction re-openings and safety guidelines here. We invite our readers to enjoy virtual events and socially distanced events highlighted in our Things To Do calendar. Public health experts recommend that when you go out, follow public health guidelines: wear masks (required in St. Louis City and County), practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. To learn why social distancing is important and effective in lessening the spread of COVID-19, hear from Dr. Alexis Elward, Chief Medical Officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

12 Easy Ways to Create Hands-on STEM Learning Labs for Kids at Home

Do your children have an interest in figuring out how things work? Do they enjoy experimenting with their surroundings? Almost all kids do, and luckily, it's easy to set up hands-on learning stations for your kids in your own home using materials you probably already have.

Even kids who are not naturally drawn to all things math and science enjoy exploring their environment and figuring out how they work. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, are activities that engage kids of all ages in these specific areas.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing 17% per year and STEM degree holders have a higher income. While a career in the STEM field may seem like a long time off for your preschooler, STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables innovation of new products in the future. Most would agree that jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math, science, and technology and it is never too early to start developing your child’s interest in these areas. (www.engineeringforkids.com) While many schools are developing STEM curriculums for classrooms, there are plenty of things you can do at home to kickstart your child's love of science.

STEM in the kitchen

Your school teachers were right, you do use math and science in everyday life. You may already love cooking with your kids but consider incorporating science and math lesson at the same time.

• While baking cookies or making cupcakes have your children help measure the ingredients, count the scoops of flour, talk about what happens if you do not use the correct measurements, and discuss what the purpose of baking powder and baking soda is. (It leavens the batter to rise while baking.) Make the experience fun and educational at the same time. Your child may not even notice they are learning about math and science while baking and sampling tasty treats. 

DIY science lab

• Create your own science lab mixing station at home. All you need is several plastic or glass containers (see through are best) of any shape and size. Fill containers with dry ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cornstarch. Fill additional containers with wet ingredients such as water, white vinegar, lemon juice, and ice. It may be wise to lay towels underneath your mixing station or set the ingredients up outside so you can have fun without worrying about the difficulty of clean up.

Once your science lab is set up, it’s time to get creative. Let your kids experiment with what happens when different ingredients are mixed. This activity is great for preschoolers but can also be adopted to older children by providing them with a journal to record the results of each combination of ingredients when they are mixed.

Use what you have

• Set up a sensory bin using dried beans, water beads, or rice as a filler then hide items, like small toys, inside. Ask your child to find the red dinosaur, count the green items, or close their eyes and guess what items they feel.

• Encourage your little engineer or architect to build a tower using toothpicks and marshmallows or fill a tray with shaving cream and blocks and ask if they think the shaving cream will help their blocks stick together.

Sharpen their math skills with colored cereal like Fruit Loops. Ask your child to sort the pieces by color and count them. Then have them string the cereal on yarn to make a necklace. Make it fun and see what potential STEM activities you have laying around the house. 

Fill water glasses with food coloring and mix to learn about colors.

• Make fluffy slime or unicorn slime for hours of fun.

Fluffy slime. Get the recipe.

Count and sort items, like grapes, blueberries or other friuts throughout the day.

• Talk about and chart the weather.

• Set up a scavenger hunt in your house to find items of the same size, color or shape.

Play with magnets and a cookie sheet.

Kids love to explore with their hands and all of their senses which makes the possibilities endless.

 

Share This Story

Sarah Lyon is a part-time freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to six children, including two-year-old triplets.

Our Daily Things to Do email is the easiest way to plan your day.
Follow Us
   
Want daily ideas of things to do? How about special offers & giveaways? Sign up and we’ll handle the rest.
Things to Do

Under the Big Top at The Butterfly House

Under the Big Top is an all-new summer exhibit at The Butterfly House where guests will be awed by arthopod acrobats and thrilled by sideshow spectacles! Bring your kids to spy on the fabulous flea circus and marvel at circut-inspired botanicals. Daily show schedules include story time, live animal encounters and butterfly releases.

 

 

View this event »
Magic At Home with The Magic House

The Magic House is bringing innovative, hands-on learning to you at home with its #MagicAtHome series of interactive, instructional online presentations. The Magic At Home series of activities includes lots of fun projects that you can make at home with common materials. The easy-to-follow directions mean your kids can make paper sculpture, do shaving cream marble painting, create make-your-own flowers, go "fishin," make TP roll animals, make salad spin art and more.

View this event »
Science @ Home with the Saint Louis Science Center

The Science Louis Science Center is continuing to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning through its online Science @ Home series! Visit the Science Center's web site or social media channels for DIY science experiments that can be done at home, Amazing Science Demonstrations from the Science Center's Energy Stage team, connections to local scientists, astronomy updates from the McDonnell Planetarium, live chats and more. Content is designed for all ages. 

View this event »
City Museum on Air

Make art. Go on a guided tour, DIY a time capsule. Peek behind the scenes. Watch the Cassily Crew at work. Help inspect the slides. All from home! Every Monday through Friday the staff, crew, artists and historians at City Museum are going LIVE on Facebook to share stories, offer free art classes, and entertain kids and families in all the ways they know how (read: mischief, mayhem and making). 

 

 

View this event »
Amazing Animal Encounters at the World Bird Sanctuary

Take your family to watch birds of prey fly right over your head, snakes slither across the stage, macaws speak the English language and much more at Amazing Animal Encounters at the World Bird Sanctuary. Every program showcases different animals so each day is a new experience. Advance tickets are required. Seating is limited due to social distancing requirements. Masks are required to attend. 

View this event »
You Might Also Like...

From Our Sponsors
Popular Stories

Parenting During the Pandemic: Overwhelmed and Exhausted

No, last Saturday I didn’t plant a victory garden or make a sourdough starter. I wasn’t the mom who created movie tickets and set up a concession stand in my house for movie night (seriously, WHICH ONE OF YOU DID THIS and how did word get back to my kids?). I stayed on the couch all day and hissed at anyone who invaded my territory. Like millions of other parents juggling homeschooling and working from home, I’m beat.

Continue reading »
The Magic House, Made for Kids, Sandcastle Beach Will Reopen to the Public, Including Summer Camps

The Magic House has announced it will reopen to the public on June 15, open its St. Louis city satellite location – MADE for Kids – on June 9, and summer camps are proceeding as planned. 

Continue reading »
St. Louis Area Summer Camps, Some Family Attractions to Open In June with New Safety Guidelines

Summer camps in the St. Louis area that have announced they will hold in-person summer sessions are enacting strict safety protocols to help ensure the health of their campers. In addition to limiting enrollment, camps are cancelling field trips, enacting strict cleaning protocols, taking daily temperature and symptom checks, and installilng measures that allow for social distancing.

Continue reading »
Saint Louis Zoo Announces Opening Date for Summer 2020; New Safety Protocols

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced it will reopen Saturday, June 13 with new protocols for visitors, including requiring timed reservations and face masks, and limiting attendance to better allow for social distancing. All Zoo staff will wear face masks and all guests over the age of 9 will be required to wear face masks/face coverings while visiting. 

Continue reading »
Coming Soon: Why the Forest Park Playscape, Opening This Year, Will Be Much More Than a Playground

Since breaking ground on the child-inspired Nature Playscape in Forest Park last summer, Forest Park Forever, the City of St. Louis and their team of partners have been pushing forward on this much-anticipated project at full speed, constructing eight activity areas where your kids will soon splash, climb, build, and learn. Already halfway completed, this one-of-a-kind play area in the heart of the park is destined to grow children’s interest in the natural world around them.

Continue reading »
Follow Us