A few decades ago, in the time that today’s kids would refer to as the “olden days,” most parents didn’t start to think about science, technology and math until their children were at least a few years into school. While that may have worked then (and the jury will remain out on that!) it’s just not enough in our technology driven, ultra competitive world. These days, parents are starting to introduce STEM studies for kids virtually from birth, and the consensus is it’s never too early to start.
Here are a few ways you can get your child excited about STEM for kids long before they ever start school:
- Invest in science or technology based toys, that are age appropriate. Chemistry sets, magic tricks, LEGO and many other toys are the foundation for a later understanding and love of science, tech and math.
- Make sure you take your kids to places where they can learn how the world works. Whether it’s watching cows being milked at a dairy farm, or visiting a construction site to see how buildings are built, young children are information sponges with enquiring minds that will soak it all in.
- Find science museums in your area, and visit them. Along with museums dedicated to aviation, equipment, vehicles or other science related items. Children learn by seeing and doing, particularly before they can read, so take them to places where they can see and do!
- Invest in age-appropriate digital learning products, like Leap Pads and similar devices. Screen time isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it’s not watching cartoons or playing Candy Crush!
- Buy books that relate to STEM for kids Even if you’re the one reading them to your kindergartener before bed, the ideas are sinking in, and they will be useful later on.
A lifelong love of science starts early, but even if you haven’t started your kids off young, there are still things that you can do. Even if you think you’ve missed your opportunity, you probably haven’t. Here are a few ways you can get older kids caught up with STEM studies in elementary school and beyond:
- Get involved, and get practical. Your children will understand forces, surface tension or electricity much better if you’re learning with them, building practical examples, and visually seeing the effects of science on the world around them.
- If your child asks you a question about how something works, and you’re not sure, get online and find out together! Sites like How Stuff Works are great, as are YouTube and others. Find them, and bookmark them!
- Don’t rely on school alone. School programs are great, but if you can get your kids into out of school programs, camps or community projects, do it. The more excited kids get about STEM, the more they will want to learn, and the better their skills and understanding will get!
This blog post is about STEM for kids and how they can begin learning at any age. The truth is, however, it’s never too late for anyone to get excited about STEM, and to start learning. Whether it’s for preschool kids, elementary school, high school or beyond, you can always learn new and exciting things about the world.