When the temperatures drop, bring the educational fun indoors with these fun, easy activities for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
This Thanksgiving activity helps children practice literacy skills by creating an alphabet book with all of their favorite foods! Find more celebratory and seasonal activities like this one in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6.printable Seasonal Learning: Fall Individual Child
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, this craft will encourage children practice gratitude as they reflect on the people in their life whom they are thankful for, and then actually create a handmade book expressing their gratitude for each person. This also makes a great gift! Find more timely holiday activities like this one in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6.printable Seasonal Learning: Fall Large Group
The cornucopia is an ancient symbol for abundance, and has become a symbol for Thanksgiving, a day set aside for gratitude and giving thanks. In this activity, children will use fine-motor skills and express creativity by creating their own versions of cornucopia. Don't forget that this is also a great opportunity to express your thankfulness for each child in your classroom, and to ask the children who and what they are thankful for as well. Find an abundance of fun seasonal activities like this one in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6!printable Seasonal Learning: Fall Individual Child
Inspire young children's creativity by allowing them to use natural elements in their art pieces with this multi-media fall placemats activity featured in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6. Once the placemats are laminated, allow the children to use them at snack time or take them home for Thanksgiving. Children will enjoy seeing that their art can also be practical and functional!printable Art Seasonal Learning: Fall Large Group
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
Create sparkle ice sculptures and even fake snow with hands-on activities to entertain kids in and out of the classroom.
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