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As I’ve shared before, I’m just not the homemade volcano type of mama in this season of life.
So I’ve been super excited to find all of the opportunities out there for my kids to learn about STEAM without turning my kitchen into a laboratory.
But that doesn’t mean that I outsource all of my kiddos’ science, math, tech and art learning.
In fact, I make sure to do all that I can to get my young kids interested in STEAM every day just by doing these 5 things.
1. Break The Rules
This is especially difficult if you’re a Type A mama like I am.
But if we want to encourage the kind of thinking that leads to experimentation and discovery, then we have to let our kids do just that!
Experiment and discover.
Maybe it’s looping a jump rope through the zip line at the playground or maybe it’s mixing three different colors of food coloring when we’re making icing.
But whatever hypothesis it is that our littles want to try out, it’s important not to shoot it down just because they’re not using things “the right way”.
In fact, this is how kids learn about physics and first work through the scientific method, long before they ever learn what either is.
They come up with an idea, put it into action and find a conclusion.
And as long as they’re not doing anything truly dangerous, I make every effort not to squash their curiosity.
2. Make Outdoor Play Routine
As often as possible, I get my kids outside.
And with very few exceptions (a bike, a ball, something to dig with) I try to let nature provide its own toys.
From digging for worms and burying their feet in the sand to piling rocks into a tower and splashing in puddles, the outdoors provide endless possibilities for creating art, learning about science and witnessing the perfect mathematical order of the natural world.
Whether the ground is covered in snow, leaves or the new buds of spring, there is no better way to get your young kids interested in STEAM than to get out and get moving.
3. Make It Easy To Be Artsy
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like messes and I do like order.
So it goes very much against my nature to give my kids an all-access pass to our art supplies.
But you know what Mama?
If I limit my babes’ ability to create to the times that my schedule allows, it just won’t happen as often as it needs to.
So take out anything dangerous or over the top (Glitter and fabric scissors come to mind) and put the rest of your kids’ craft supplies somewhere easy for them to reach.
And then bite your tongue when they do.
Because with every pipe cleaner they bend or paper heart they cut out, your tiny tots are inching closer to becoming kids interested in STEAM.
4. Build Up Their Toy Supply
Mama, if you’re as big a fan of living simply as I am, you probably try to keep your kids’ toy collections carefully curated.
And I get it.
I really do.
But to get kids interested in STEAM, including the right toys is every bit as important as filtering out the wrong ones.
Among those that are worth keeping around are wooden blocks, Lincoln Logs, Play-Doh, Wiki Stix, and anything else they use to engineer the structures that their minds come up with.
And I’ve found that when it comes to building blocks, you do get what you pay for.
So whether you buy them retail or get a great deal at a yard sale, go for the best you can afford (or bargain for).
5. Buy Knowledge, Don’t Borrow It
There are many books that my kids borrow from the public library that I would never dream of spending money on.
Series that my kids go through so quickly that they seem to consume them rather than read them.
And picture books filled with licensed characters.
But when it comes to books that encourage learning about STEAM, we buy rather than borrow.
Because when you provide your kids with their own library of high quality books about science, art and math, they will be able to pour through them time and again.
In particular, I am a huge fan of the nonfiction books that Usborne publishes.
Usborne is a direct sales company.
And while I don’t sell Usborne books, it’s very likely that someone on your Facebook friend list does.
So I highly recommend taking a look at their nonfiction science, art and math books if your budget allows.
Equipping Yourself To Raise Scientists And Artists
The fervor surrounding STEAM education can be overwhelming.
Especially if you are a mama without a particular inclination in that direction.
But when you are raising young children, your own knowledge is less important than providing your kids with the tools and opportunities to make discoveries on their own.
What about you, Mama?
What do you do to make STEAM a part of your young children’s routine?