Summer camp is loads of fun for everyone, but it can prove to be costly. Why not try to recreate your own fun STEAM activities at home?
Be creative, plan activities that you know will interest your kids, continue learning, and most importantly, have fun! The great thing about planning your own activities to do at home is the timing. They can be done at any time, and really, anywhere.
Summer break doesn’t have to mean just sitting in front of a television all day, because we all know the interest in that will run out quickly. So picture this:
The kids are out of school, but within 2 days, the complaining begins.
“What can we do?”
“Mom, let’s play.”
Children are used to structure during the school year, so having a plan for summer break can help ease the pain. Children thrive on structure and need engagement during the off-months. So let’s make it fun while we’re at it!
Surely by now you have heard of STEM or STEAM and the amazing benefits for all children involved.
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What is STEAM?
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) is an educational approach that allows children to think creatively, problem solve and be hands-on in their learning experience.
S is for Science: Children are natural born scientists. Whether they realize it or not, science is happening around them at all times, as they observe the world around them. Children are able to observe, ask questions and even form their own predictions. Our favorite activities for this specific area are science experiments.
T is for Technology: When we think of technology, we often think of computers, phones, iPads and video games, but technology in this instance is really any tool that can help teach children cause and effect. We love fun educational apps such as Sky View, where we check out constellations at night.
E is for Engineering: Engineering is all about creating and building using different objects to determine how things work. Any kind of designing, building and problem-solving is engineering. We love building with legos and blocks, as well as coding robots!
A is for Art: Sometimes the arts are left out, but creative expression is so important. Art can be a number of things, so think music, imaginative and pretend play, painting, drawing and sensory. According to Early Childhood National Centers, research shows that early experience with creative arts supports cognitive development and increases self-esteem.
M is for Mathematics: Math is used every day, by everyone. When children measure objects, count, sort, and add, they are using math to navigate the world around them.
Before deciding to stay at home with my children, I was the Assistant Director of a private preschool in my area. I had the responsibility of creating the summer calendar for infants through Pre-K, using STEAM. The beauty of this approach is the ability to adapt to different age groups without losing the benefits.
Below is an actual calendar that I plan to follow with my kids this summer (ages 6 and 3). We have not done all of these activities before, so this will be new for us too. Many of the activities/crafts I will simply google or search for on Pinterest to get detailed instructions the week prior to completing. I have also included a ‘supplies needed’ list to make it a little more simple for you. Just check out the last column on each calendar.
If you are interested in the same activities I have planned on the calendars below, be sure to head to my summer break Pinterest board here and check them out.
Download your 4 weekly calendars here for free. That’s 20 activities to enjoy with your little ones this summer!
For more fun activities to keep your kids busy and creative, check out 10 Best Activities to Encourage Creativity in Young Children.