Getting Started in STEM in Early Years

August 10, 2021 by admin

Trends in education show the STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics is not only popular because of the increase of jobs in this area, but because STEM pervades our lives. Science innovates developments in health and manufacturing. Technology updates in phones and tablets are always on the news. Engineering can be seen in the architecture in our communities, and we use mathematics when we shop.

While these concepts may only be limited to people who work in the field in our generation, STEM concepts provide a well-rounded education for children, in which its hands-on learning approach develops skills for children to thrive in the 21st century. As the world continues to become more complex and change, children need to understand how technology works, and by solving problems and finding new solutions through experimenting and creating, children also learn critical thinking skills and hone their creativity and life skills, such as leadership and communication. It is also well-rounded in that it connects to other subject areas, such as language and social studies. If so, how can we engage kindergarten children in STEM? Is there an ideal age to implement STEM education?

Getting your child started in STEM education can start as young as infants when they are actively exploring their environment through their senses and learn how to become functionally independent in their immediate environment and community. It is never too late to teach these concepts as infants and toddlers naturally follow them. Rather than teaching them about shapes and counting, focus on the aspects of STEM principles, such as innovating ad experimentation. Instead, use shape sorter toys or kits so children can experience different shapes and their properties, and have your child collect flowers and leaves to count.

Trends in education show the STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics is not only popular because of the increase of jobs in this area, but because STEM pervades our lives. Science innovates developments in health and manufacturing. Technology updates in phones and tablets are always on the news. Engineering can be seen in the architecture in our communities, and we use mathematics when we shop.

While these concepts may only be limited to people who work in the field in our generation, STEM concepts provide a well-rounded education for children, in which its hands-on learning approach develops skills for children to thrive in the 21st century. As the world continues to become more complex and change, children need to understand how technology works, and by solving problems and finding new solutions through experimenting and creating, children also learn critical thinking skills and hone their creativity and life skills, such as leadership and communication. It is also well-rounded in that it connects to other subject areas, such as language and social studies. If so, how can we engage kindergarten children in STEM? Is there an ideal age to implement STEM education?

Getting your child started in STEM education can start as young as infants when they are actively exploring their environment through their senses and learn how to become functionally independent in their immediate environment and community. It is never too late to teach these concepts as infants and toddlers naturally follow them. Rather than teaching them about shapes and counting, focus on the aspects of STEM principles, such as innovating ad experimentation. Instead, use shape sorter toys or kits so children can experience different shapes and their properties, and have your child collect flowers and leaves to count.

Trends in education show the STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics is not only popular because of the increase of jobs in this area, but because STEM pervades our lives. Science innovates developments in health and manufacturing. Technology updates in phones and tablets are always on the news. Engineering can be seen in the architecture in our communities, and we use mathematics when we shop.

While these concepts may only be limited to people who work in the field in our generation, STEM concepts provide a well-rounded education for children, in which its hands-on learning approach develops skills for children to thrive in the 21st century. As the world continues to become more complex and change, children need to understand how technology works, and by solving problems and finding new solutions through experimenting and creating, children also learn critical thinking skills and hone their creativity and life skills, such as leadership and communication. It is also well-rounded in that it connects to other subject areas, such as language and social studies. If so, how can we engage kindergarten children in STEM? Is there an ideal age to implement STEM education?

Getting your child started in STEM education can start as young as infants when they are actively exploring their environment through their senses and learn how to become functionally independent in their immediate environment and community. It is never too late to teach these concepts as infants and toddlers naturally follow them. Rather than teaching them about shapes and counting, focus on the aspects of STEM principles, such as innovating ad experimentation. Instead, use shape sorter toys or kits so children can experience different shapes and their properties, and have your child collect flowers and leaves to count.


Here are some ideas for STEM activities:

STEM Science Activities for Children
STEM Technology Activities for Children
STEM Engineering Activities for Children
STEM Mathematics Activities for Children

Getting started with the environment and science
Just because STEM involves science and technology, it does not mean that you have to purchase expensive materials and experiment kits from stores. If you provide a safe environment for your child to explore, join in exploration (and the fun) and connect to their experiences, then you have got it! It can be as simple as answering your child’s questions of whether the chicken or the egg come first and encouraging their curiosity by observing and taking notes of creature at your backyard. As kindergarten children uses their senses to understand their world, sensory activities would also be great. These activities can be painting on the pavement with a bucket of water and a brush, making ice cubes, mixing ingredients for baking and describe what they feel, hear and see when taking a work in the park.

What about technology?
While it is important that your child knows about the technology we use, STEM refers to the use of tools, not electronics. Tools are things that help us with our tasks and is not limited to games and apps. You can use household items for your child to explore what works and what doesn’t, such as having them figure out what tools work best for cutting and eating with spoons, forks and knives. When they are playing with toys, such as houses and cars, you can break down different parts of the toys so they can see the various tools required to assemble these toys, and the functions that each part of the toy serves. Encourage them to make their own “tools” and when they are ready for technology, introduce them with apps and tools so they know technology and education go together and discover the fun of technology. Remember to practice what you preach by being responsible with your devices.

Paving the Way for Engineering
Engineering is the process of designing and creating things, and you can also introduce fine motor skills in these activities. As your child learns how to use zippers and buttons, and hold pencils, provide more opportunities for hand-eye coordination and creativity with design and building! You can experiment drawing and building different structures with LEGO blocks and cardboard boxes and see how various shapes balance or not and how they look like, with your child as the guide to describe their creation. To enrich their understanding, visit and expose them to the different buildings and their purposes in your community. Another idea is to keep an open-end supply of materials at home or community centers and try STEM food activities to create columns and towers, for example, a marshmallow tower with toothpicks and Valentine candy hearts. Encourage your child to create their projects, but also be flexible about how it will go and know that messes and failures will happen. Before each activity, you can also break it down in small steps and introduce the materials one at a time.

Navigating the World of Mathematics
We may have learned mathematics through rote exercises and find it abstract, but your child can learn it through active interactions and discoveries! Instead of having them write and memorize numbers, consolidate their ideas by using materials, such as plates and pencils. Their toys can also be used for measurement activities. In the case of measuring how far a toy car can travel in the wind, children can write their names on sticky notes, and place them on the floor to mark and estimate the distance travelled. Additionally, they can use their feet to find the distance from one point to another and compare the distance. Spatial awareness is related to measurement, as it includes the ability to locate objects through touch and sight, navigate the three-dimension world by observing and interpreting shape, size and direction of the objects around you and how your child is aware of their bodies. Puzzles is a great way for children to understand space as they complete a picture by recreating patterns and imaging how different pieces will fit into a space, while exercises such as hoola hoops also achieve the same goals as they have to anticipate and move their bodies to keep it moving. For kindergarten children, rolling a hoola hoop so they can catch it can be another alternative.

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