Encourage Your “Kid Inventor”
Even if January 17th weren’t Kid Inventor Day, it’s always a good time to foster your child’s early problem-solving skills and creativity. Early learning in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (or STEAM, which includes Art) – lays the foundation for social, academic and career success, and also helps children apply knowledge to real-life inventing. Encouraging your child’s curiosity and confidence to try new things and make mistakes leads to new ways of thinking. Plus, it’s fun!
Here are some ideas for early STEAM activities to encourage your own “kid inventor”:
Science: Provide opportunities for your child to observe, explore, experiment and ask questions about the world around them – plants, animals, bugs and more. Together, research things that interest your child and create a picture book of your “findings.”
Technology: Discuss how things work, such as the wheels on a toy (or real) car, and the problem(s) that thing solves. Ask your child to think of a problem they would like to solve.
Engineering: Design and build! Create structures with blocks and Legos to build fine motor skills and encourage inventiveness.
Art: Provide children with materials to create – finger paint, pens, crayons, clay, etc. Art projects encourage creativity, help develop early writing skills and offer sensorimotor learning opportunities.Math: Counting, comparing, measuring and looking for patterns are important to early math learning. Engage your child in discussing “bigger” versus “smaller,” measuring for cooking and learning to count to 10 – and beyond!
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