Explore STEAM with Young Children

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning activities provide opportunists for young children to develop skills across developmental domains. This resource list provides additional web resources to help teachers and caregivers plan developmentally appropriate STEAM learning activities for young children.

IEL Resources

Web Resources

  • Understanding STEAM and How Children Use it
    This resource from the Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center explains each subject of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and how children engage in each subject as they grow.
  • All About… Messy Play
    Messy play is beneficial for many areas of child development. This resource by the Kernow Education Arts Partnership discusses the benefits, obstacles, and sources for messy play.
  • Peep and the Big Wide World
    This resource from PBS includes videos and games for children relating to science, engineering, and mathematics. There are also activity ideas for teachers and parents to do with your children.
  • STEM at the Sea
    This article by the National Association for the Education of Young Children encourages families to let kids get messy by incorporating STEM activities into a day at the beach. These suggestions could also be used in a sandboxes, ponds, or other bodies of water available to families.
  • Scribbling Machines
    In this blog from National Association for the Education of Young Children, the author describes a classroom project in which children work in groups to build scribbling machines. This project emphasizes science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and other developmental areas.
  • Engaging Children in STEM Education Early
    Many parents wonder what age their children should begin learning STEM. This article from Natural Start Alliance (an organization committed to environmental education) stresses that it is never too early to begin teaching STEM to children.
  • Back to School: Making and Tinkering with STEM
    This 45-minute webinar provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children shares tools and resources for incorporating STEM projects into the classroom.
  • Everyday Fun with Technology and Engineering
    This three-minute video from Zero to Three explains that children are naturally “little engineers.” Caregivers can help foster problem-solving by following the steps in the video.
  • Everyday Fun with Science
    Infants and toddlers observe, explore, and test the world around them. This four minute video by Zero to Three discusses how adults can help their children learn by joining in on play and asking questions.
  • Take it Outside! Adventures in Nature with STEAM
    This hour-long webinar provided by the Head Start Early Learning and Knowledge Center shows teachers how they can use nature and the outdoors to teach science, technology, engineering, art, and math concepts to young children.
  • Let’s Talk about Math Series
    This video series from Zero to Three covers math concepts such as subtraction, spatial awareness, patterns, shapes, and measurement. Each three to five-minute video explains what parents can do to support math skills in young children.
  • Preschool STEM
    This blog entry on the National Science Teachers Association Web site discusses science, technology, engineering, and math–STEM. Science can be rolling objects down a ramp while recording and thinking about what happened. Technology includes computers, but it can also include using other tools such as flashlights and digital cameras. Engineering can be children planning and designing structures with blocks. Math can be counting and matching shapes and making patterns.
  • Preschool Science: Learning at the Playground!
    This article discusses how adults can turn playground play into adventures in science. Children can learn about momentum, friction, and balance on the playground.
  • The Pendulum
    During this activity, children interact with pendulums and have the opportunity to develop their reasoning about movement and trajectory.
  • Roll with It
    Sliding common objects, such as blocks, boxes, balls, empty containers, and even play foods, down a ramp is a fun way for kids to start exploring some physical science concepts related to the position and motion of objects.  Create a free account on the National Science Teacher Association website to view this resource.
  • How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children
    This resource includes information about the importance of learning STEM in the classroom at a young age, guidelines to help with transitioning into what may be a new subject for children, and additional STEM resources to encourage further learning in this field.
  • Puzzle Play: An Easy Way to Boost Early Spatial and Math Learning
    Jigsaw puzzles are a fun and relaxing activity for families with young children to do together. But puzzle play offers even more than this. Puzzles are an opportunity for young children to explore key early math concepts, including shapes, sizes, and how and where one puzzle piece fits with another to make pictures or designs.
  • Reading Together
    Picture books can be an opportunity to develop children’s math and reading skills at the same time. These storybook guides help parents and caregivers talk about math with their children while reading together.
  • Teacher Time: Infant Toddler Cognition – Supporting Early Math
    This video includes information about early math development in infants and toddlers and strategies caregivers can take to support math learning by integrating early math concepts and skills into everyday teaching practices.
Type of resource:
  • Resource List
Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Kindergarten
  • Preschool Program
Intended audience(s):
  • Faculty / Trainer
  • Teachers / Service providers
Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
  • Kindergarten
  • Preschoolers (Age 3 Through Age 5)
Reviewed: 2018