There is a growing push to teach a STEAM-based curriculum. This includes activities and lessons that focus on the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art and math. These all require investigation, solving problems and creating something, skills that will serve children as they grow up in an increasingly technological world. Because of this, it is important to find ways to encourage STEAM learning at home.
- Make It Fun
Your kids can learn and have fun at the same time with STEAM activities. Think of things like building with blocks (engineering), designing a menu for their pretend restaurant (art), and making change at a pint-sized fruit stand. That is the beauty of this type of learning: it harnesses the curiosity and desire to create that kids are filled with.
- Start Children Early
You don’t have to wait until kids are in school to put an emphasis on learning. Even babies and toddlers can enjoy age-appropriate activities that reinforce learning.
- Offer Support if Children Need It
Most kids will happily explore these concepts if left to their own devices. However, be prepared to offer support if it’s needed. Look for programs and preschools that use Montessori math materials to reinforce concepts that kids might find more challenging.
- Integrate STEAM Activities Into Everyday Life
Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Use that to your advantage and integrate STEAM activities into their normal routine. There is a growing body of evidence showing that screen time can be harmful to young kids, and offering hands-on activities is a great alternative.
- Keep Learning Activities Appropriate
No matter what age or level your children are at, you want to find activities that challenge them to think through problems without leading to frustration. Just because a toy or game is rated for your child’s age range doesn’t automatically make it appropriate.
Embracing STEAM learning is a great way to encourage natural learning and exploration of the environment, even in young children. You will likely have the most success when you find activities that balance learning and fun.