Well, you’re probably thinking- What is STEM?
STEM means: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Keeping the kids busy is probably one of the hardest things to do when they are on spring break. Yeah, you could go on a day trip or two. You could always have some snacks and pop in a movie. Heck, just saying GO PLAY OUTSIDE works wonders. Handing them a tablet also seems easy.
But, with a few simple items you can keep those brains working even outside the classroom. Here are some simple and inexpensive ideas:
1. Marshmallow Engineering: Marshmallows and pretzel sticks, that’s it! This idea is so simple and it can be done in many different ways! You can have the kids go at it and create whatever they want! You can also give them a theme like, “Make buildings.” I’ve also done this with toothpicks and grapes, jellybeans or gum drops. It also makes a good snack afterward – win win! TIP: Put marshmallows/grapes/jellybeans/ gum drops in the fridge before hand, it makes your structures sturdier.
Here’s a link – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/95771929554103365/
2. Glitter Slime: 3 ingredients, hours of fun! All you need is glue, glitter and borax.
Here’s the recipe – http://momluck.com/how-to-make-slime-glitter-slime-recipe/
3. Lego Creation Prompts: I simply love these. This gives children a starting point to create whatever they want with Legos. You can even make your own! I use these at the daycare where I work and change it up based on a theme.
Here’s a link for a couple of ideas – http://picklebums.com/building-challenge-cards/
4. Melting Crayons: Cut up crayons and create new crayons in the oven! TIP: Make sure you get a silicone pan. You cannot use regular bakeware for this. You need a flexible one to get the crayons out easily.
Here’s a link for the instructions – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/260434790932694515/
5. How Many Drops Can You Fit on a Coin? This can be done with pocket change, literally! All you need is a dropper and coins. You can start with water and move on to any other liquid you may have around the house. Examples: vegetable oil, vinegar, sunscreen or dish washer liquid.
Here’s the link for instructions – http://www.rookieparenting.com/how-many-drops-of-water-can-you-put-on-a-penny/
6. Marble Tracks: This is fun! You just need toilet paper/paper towel rolls, paper plates, scissors, tape and marbles. Have your children create a track however they want. They can design it, test it and edit it as necessary. This is an amazing activity to exercise the brain!
Here’s a link – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/260434790932828121/
7. How Do You Make an Eggshell Disappear? This is soooo cool! You need: An egg, a jar and white vinegar.
Here are the instructions – https://gosciencegirls.com/dissolving-eggshell-experiment/
8. Easter Egg Towers! All you need for this is plastic easter eggs. Have your child see how high they can make a tower!
Side note: My daughter is in love with those You Tube surprise egg videos. Please tell me some of you know what I’m talking about! I need to remember to stock pile those things when they are on clearance.
9. Clothespins, Binder Clips and Popsicle Sticks: Yep. All you need. Give them a bunch of these and have them go at it! Let them create whatever they want. TIP– It is important to leave these activities as open ended as possible, with safety in mind. It helps their brains grow! And unlike what the title of this article says, girls can do this too!
Here’s a link for a few ideas- http://frugalfun4boys.com/2016/05/08/engineering-challenges-clothespins-binder-clips-craft-sticks/
10. Diet Coke and Mentos: This is one of my all time favorite science experiments. If your children haven’t seen it before, they will be amazed. All you need is a 2-liter (or a couple) of diet coke and a few packs of Mentos. TIP: You must do this outside. It’s messy and fun!!
Hopefully these inspire you to try something new and engaging this spring break! Or that they at least keep your kids busy for a bit! Do you have any ideas to add to this list?