< Home

Easy STEM Activities for Kids to Set Up at Home


| By Amy Vagne | October 9, 2020

Use everyday objects to educate with these easy STEM activities for kids. They will be challenged to use problem solving skills and, best of all, have fun.

Fun DIY air dry clay projects and ideas kids will love to make at home

Kids (and parents!) need not be intimidated by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities. For young kids, STEM is about applying the amazing properties of science to the real world, and that grounding in what children are already curious about – what makes bubbles float, how do paper planes fly, how do dots become numbers – makes STEM activities perfect for inquisitive minds, learning and fun.

Exciting STEM projects aren’t just for labs and schools, set up engaging activities for kids at home – without spending big bucks on fancy kits or expensive materials. The following projects need only easy-to-find household supplies and the kids will love them.

Raised Salt Painting

Kids will love these easy, educational STEM activities and projects to try at home

Here’s an awesome arty project that’s perfect for a rainy day. Give each kid a piece of thick cardboard and help them create a design using a squeezy bottle of glue. Next, sprinkle handfuls of salt onto the cardboard so the glue is completely coated. Use liquid watercolour paint, or a mix of water and food colouring, and gently touch the tip of your wet paintbrush to the salty-glue. Beautiful colours will bleed along the glue, it’s breathtaking! Let them dry over several hours, then marvel over your sparkly 3D masterpieces.

What To Try

DIY Construction Play

Get kids learning at home with fun, educational and easy STEM activity ideas

Hands-on building activities are a great way to stoke an early interest in areas like engineering, architecture and physics. Why don’t you set a construction STEM challenge, and get your kids to build a dolls’ house, or the tallest tower or strongest bridge?

Provide glue and a pack of paddlepop sticks, or masking tape and matchsticks. If you can, save up cardboard rolls and cereal boxes – your recycling bin is packed full of perfect building materials. Then test them out. Use weights (it can be small cans of tuna, marbles or flour in a ziplock bag) and see whose bridge is the strongest. And grab that tape measure to find out whose tower is the tallest.

What To Try

Bowl of Bubbles

Make learning at home fun with these easy STEM activities for kids

Preschoolers will love this easy STEM project which introduces hypothesis testing and chemical reactions. Take a bowl and pour in a small amount of water (about ¼ cup). Now grab a straw and get your little one to practise blowing bubbles. Once they’ve mastered this move, it’s time to take things up a notch. Squeeze some dishwashing liquid into the water and ask what they think will happen next. Spoiler alert: blowing into the soapy water will cause a huge eruption of bubbles and delighted giggles are guaranteed.

What To Try

Make Clouds in a Jar

Combine learning and play at home with these easy educational STEM activities for kids

When kids complete this easy STEM activity, they’ll have new-found knowledge on how clouds form! Pour some hot (not boiling) water into a jar and gently swish it around until the inside of the jar is warmed up. Spray some aerosol hairspray directly into the jar then quickly pop on the lid. Place a few ice cubes on the top of the closed lid. Watch as a cloud swirls and fills up the jar!

What To Try

Memory Games

An easy STEM activity to do with kids at home is a simple memory game using playing cards

Simple to set up and fun to play, memory games are beneficial for children of all ages. Boost their concentration and enhance brain function while teaching kids about following rules, problem solving and taking turns. If you’ve got a pack of playing cards, you’re ready to play traditional Memory – lay out 10 pairs of matching cards face-down and take turns trying to make a match. Get the kids to make their own memory game with a mathematical theme – cut cardboard into 20 squares and then write a number on each using a marker. Don’t forget they’ll need two of each number to make up pairs. Or grab a pom pom and some overturned bowls and play a mini game of Hide & Seek.

What To Try

Silly Science Experiments

Try these easy, educational DIY STEM projects with kids for fun at-home learning

Based on the work of Professor Julius Sumner Miller, these hands-on STEM projects will get the tick of approval from kids of every age. Try the ‘Egg In A Bottle’, where you take a glass bottle with a small opening (like an old-fashioned milk bottle), toss in a lit piece of paper and rest a hard-boiled egg on top. As the paper burns, a vacuum is created, sucking the egg inside the bottle. Fun!

You can also make a really simple pendulum (teaching kids all about gravity, motion and physics) using a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape. Pop a battery or marble into the paper cone to help give it some weight, and then attach string to the top of the cone at three different intervals. Practise and play, swinging the pendulum from side to side.

What To Try

Slime Time

Have fun making slime with kids at home as a simple sensory STEM activity

Good news! If you’ve got craft glue, contact lens solution and baking soda in your home, you’ve got the makings of slime – that icky, sticky stuff that all kids are obsessed with. Or use specific slime-making ingredients.The slime production process can teach kids about following a procedure, as well as dipping into topics like polymers and chemical changes. Once the slime is made, it’s perfect for sensory play and helps to decrease anxiety while boosting fine motor skills. Plan a mini science lesson by exploring the properties of slime – get the kids to stretch, pull, drop and flop the slime and see how it reacts.

What To Try

Create Paper Planes

Kids can have fun and learn at the same time with these at-home STEM activity ideas

Folding paper planes is a classic kid activity for a reason – it’s a ton of fun and encourages mini engineers to use their noggins and engage in trial and error as they try to make the fastest, or longest, flyer possible. All you need for a paper plane STEM sesh is paper and possibly a ruler to help you achieve sharper creases. To extend the STEM activity, encourage your brood to go crazy with stickers, paint and paper clips – see if they can add extra weight to their planes and achieve faster and further flying results.

What To Try

SEE ALSO: 13 Clever Craft Projects for Kids to Make at Home

Roll the Dice

Fun dice games and activities for kids to play at home to learn important STEM skills

Dice could be the MVP in your arsenal of STEM supplies. Playing with dice can help kids learn about probability and chance, while also boosting their essential numeracy skills. There are so many dice games out there that we could write a whole thesis about them but here are a few choice options you can tailor to your kid’s age and stage.

Bingo is great: make your own bingo cards using cardboard and a marker, then roll three dice to get your bingo numbers.

The Chocolate Game is popular at parties, and for good reason: erm… chocolate! Each player takes a turn to roll the dice. If you roll a 6 you have to put on a silly costume and use a knife and fork to cut up squares of chocolate and eat them. Keep going until the next player rolls a 6.

Older kids might dig this challenge – give them three dice and instruct them to keep rolling and adding up their total each round as they race towards 100.

What To Try

Jumping Cereal

Teach kids about static electricity at home with this fun and easy STEM activity idea

Turn breakfast cereal into a STEM teaching tool with the help of a balloon. Pour some puffed rice cereal onto a plate and set it out on a table. Next blow up a balloon and proceed to rub it against your head vigorously. Now hold the balloon over the cereal and watch the puffed rice come to life, jumping up and sticking to the balloon. This fun demonstration is an easy – and delicious – introduction to static electricity.

What To Try

Walking Water

Try this easy STEM learning project at home with kids using food colouring and water

For this exciting colour STEM project you’ll need to gather plastic cups, paper towels and food colouring. Set seven cups out in a row, and fill every cup with some water. Now add food colouring, making sure you add a different colour to each cup. To make the water “walk” you’ll need folded paper towel strips, placed like bridges between each cup. Ensure the paper is touching the coloured water; it should start to creep up the paper towel and move from one cup to the next. Make sure you encourage observations, note-taking and predictions while you’re conducting this experiment.

What To Try

Egg Drop Challenge

Try this fun STEM activity at home to teach kids about engineering – all you need is an egg.

This classic engineering activity is a ton of fun. Challenge the kids to design a contraption or covering that will keep a raw egg from cracking or breaking from a high fall. Gather assorted materials for construction like cardboard, paper cups, straws, bubble wrap, sponges, plastic bags, and tissue paper – and don’t forget essential tools like scissors, string and sticky tape. Once their egg protectors are ready, it’s time to test them out! Lay out a drop sheet first to prevent any eggy mess, and then have a great egg dropping ceremony using a tall ladder or an upstairs window.

What To Try

Get the Essentials