Summertime fun! Find new ways to keep kids active and learning during the summer months with our summer activities.
The arts help develop a loose-parts mindset in many ways, such as developing imagination, creativity, and collaboration. Adding the arts helps develop more divergent thinking, with no one correct answer but many possibilities. Including the arts in STEM moves beyond decoration to embracing a wide variety of artistic applications in the learning process. The arts encourage cognitive growth, engage the brain, enhance long-term memory, advance creativity, and minimize stress. Young learners will be excited and fascinated by this light "painting" loose-parts activity that combines both art and technology. Get the book—Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms—for more on implementing the loose-parts mindset as well as loose-parts activities in each of the STREAM disciplines.Art Technology
Research indicates that when we engage younger children in the STEAM fields, we are promoting inquiry-based thinking and a discovery mentality. Teaching young children STEAM play is a way of teaching them how to research, think, and create as open-ended play becomes part of their early experiences. In addition to these benefits, introducing STEAM concepts using a multisensory approach and in a playful way gives young children a competitive advantage and sets a strong foundation for future study habits.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert, a researcher, or a scientist to get your child excited about STEAM careers and STEAM thinking. Remember, most STEAM learning is about exploring and learning from your exploration—so why not explore together? Check out these two exciting STEAM activities below from Simple Steam: 50+ Science Technology Engineering Art Math Activities for ages 3 to 6, and get the book for many more explorations and activities that will inspire your child’s fundamental learning in each of the STEAM experiments.Math Art Science Technology
Pitch is the relative highness or lowness of a sound. Pitch is a pretty complex subject, but the core concept—that big things make low sounds and small things make high sounds—is one that young children can understand. This simple activity from Exploring the Science of Sounds:100 Musical Activities for Young Children uses glasses of different sizes and thickness to demonstrate this concept to children. Get the book for more musical science explorations that will fascinate and excite young children, covering the science of acoustics, timbre, loudness, speed and tempo, pitch, environmental sounds, and much more!Music Science
According to Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms, embracing a loose-parts mindset is beneficial for dynamic student learning in engineering. Children delight in creating different structures from blocks, building sets, balls and ramps, and tinkering. Building chain reactions are an engaging way to experience simple machines and how they can be combined to get things done. In the activity below, children may use a variety of loose parts to build their own unique chain reactions. Get the book—Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms—for more on implementing the loose-parts mindset and loose-parts activities in each of the STREAM disciplines.Science
Stop-motion animation is a technique that allows students to create a scene with small figures or items. Stop-motion is another option for self-expression while exposing children to a technology tool. Students position a figure in a scenario, take a photo, move the figure a little bit and take another photo, and then repeat and repeat. The end result of the stacked photos is the appearance that the figure is moving. The characters, backgrounds, settings, and objects in the scenario are all variables and can be composed of loose parts. Students can use this approach to tell their own stories or share content and knowledge in their own way. With stop-motion animation, students are engaged, motivated, and have choice and voice in the learning process! Get the book—Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms—for more on implementing the loose-parts mindset and loose-parts activities in each of the STREAM disciplines.Technology
A variety of loose parts materials can help children bring stories to life. The activity below uses loose parts with Laura Numeroff's classic book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Get the book—Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms—for more loose-parts reading and literacy prompts and activities that will help children develop a love for reading!Literacy
Halloween is almost here! Seasonal art projects for kids help them explore their creativity and imagination while they enjoy the festivities of the season. Easy Halloween crafts are always a classroom crowd pleaser in October, and The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6 is full of fun Halloween paper crafts for kids as well as other Halloween activities that will make your students go boo! Get into the spooky spirit with these five fun Halloween crafts for kids!
Children will have a blast while creating their own fall decorations with this paper pumpkins activity from The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6. Using items that are commonly found around the house, this activity is simple to prepare for and children will be on their way to creating their paper pumpkins in no time!printable Art Seasonal Learning: Fall Individual Child
This spooky spiders activity from The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6 will help you celebrate the Halloween season with children, all while developing their fine-motor and creativity skills.printable Art Seasonal Learning: Fall Individual Child
Prevent summer slide with fun games and activities for kids. Infants can enjoy gross motor activities outside while toddlers and preschoolers explore the lush summer flora. Summer activities are fun for the whole family!
Browse through lists, author interviews, excerpts, and articles that connect theory and best practice in early childhood education.Browse All Resources