Simple ways to get your child thinking critically.
Published : Friday, December 15, 2017 | 12:25 PM
Turning everyday tasks into learning opportunities with your children can greatly benefit them in the classroom. And STEAM education, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, is a great way to get your kids to brush up on their critical thinking skills. Here are several ways to incorporate STEAM into fun activities without having to set foot outside… especially as the cooler months approach. .
Play with bath toys.
Gather various water-safe objects that sink and float through exploring, observing, and predicting.
Grab plastic measuring cups and spoons, plastic bowls and other water-safe items and toss them in the tub. Ask:
• Why do some things float and some sink?
• What do you notice about the shape, weight, and feel of the objects when they’re in the water?
• How does that change when you take them out?
Make prepping a treat even sweeter with these tips and questions to incorporate into your kitchen adventures.
Talk through measurements as you mix dry ingredients together.
• What do we predict will happen when dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients?
• What makes the batter change color?
• What do you think might happen when we bake the batter?
• What makes the batter go from wet to baked and delicious?
Ease into a bedtime routine with flashlight shadows.
Grab your flashlight and small objects, like a favorite stuffed animal, toys, or even a shoe, and see how many different ways you can make shadows move and play across the room.
Place objects or your hand in front of the light and observe how shadows change and move around the room. Create a story about the object’s shadow.
• How do you make the shadows dance?
• How can we make the object look bigger or smaller?
• How many different ways can you make a shadow disappear and reappear in a different place?
Build a shadow theater.
Materials: Shoe boxes or pieces of cardboard, tape, white or waxed paper, flashlight, variety of objects to cast shadows
Cut off the top and bottom of the boxes. Help the children to tape paper across one of the openings. Ask:
• What else could we use to attach the paper? Place different objects in the box and light them from behind.
Allow the children to select objects and have others guess what each object is while viewing from the other side. Encourage the children to experiment with moving the object and the light.
• Can you make the object look bigger? Ask children to think of other ways to make a shadow theater.
• What else could we use to let the light shine through? Do we need a frame?
With a little pre-planning, you’ll make the time fly by while your children are having a lot of fun and sharpening their STEAM skills in the process!
Stratford School – Altadena, 2046 Allen Ave, Altadena, (626) 794-1000 or visit www.stratfordschools.com/find-your-campus/altadena.