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.
- Tool Kit: Make a Mess and Explore STEAM
- Tip Sheet: Say Yes to the Mess! Play with Rocks
- Tip Sheet: Say Yes to the Mess! Snow Time
- Tip Sheet: Say Yes to the Mess! Water Works
- Tip Sheet: Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Art Is All Around
- Tip Sheet: Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Curious Young Scientists
- Tip Sheet: Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Math Is Everywhere
- Tip Sheet: Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Music, Sound, and Movement
- Tip Sheet: Get Growing: From Seeds to Sprouts
- Tip Sheet: Get Growing: Learning about Seeds
- Tip Sheet: Get Growing: Planters and Preschoolers
- Tip Sheet: Get Growing: Planning a Garden with Young Children
- Tip Sheet: Playground Physics: Watch for Falling Objects!
- Tip Sheet: Playground Physics: Hang in There!
- Tip Sheet: Playground Physics: On a Roll!
- Video: Mila Paints the Fence
- Video: Shaving Cream
- Video: Exploring Windshield Wipers
- Illinois Early Learning Guidelines: Domain 4: Science Concepts & Exploration
- Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards: Mathematics
- Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards: Science
- Resource List: Appreciating the Natural World with Young Children
- Resource List: Explore the Arts with Young Children
- Project Example: “Where Does the Water Go?” Investigating Pipes and Plumbing
- Project Example: Discovering the World of Insects on the Playground
- Blog: “Mud-Luscious”: Some Thoughts on Messy Play
- Blog: Learning Math Through Games
- Blog: Five Things Children Gain from Puzzle Play
- Blog: Get Growing With Your Young Children
- Blog: Make Art a Part of Every Day: Focus on the Process
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.