I found a stack of cards, 52 Nature Activities, by Linda Gordon, while I was moving my office from GCNS to Wenham Museum. The cards were published in 1995! There are so many fun activities and I can't wait to share them with you. These are great games for a parent and child to do together. Please let me know if you try it!
The activity: Each person thinks of something around her and then acts it out while the others guess what it is. It could be something as simple as pretending to be a stick, or something harder like pretending to be a gust of wind. Whoever guesses right gets to go next.
Fill a clear cup, pie tin, or bowl with water. Sprinkle pepper on the surface. Dip your finger in soap and gently touch the center of the floating pepper. Watch what happens. #STEM Ask lots of science language questions! What do you predict will happen when we sprinkle the pepper? Will it sink or float? Let's experiment!
Young children are hard-wired to be natural scientists. They are full of questions, often non-stop, and young minds at this age are especially ripe for learning concepts that lay down the neural pathways for future science learning. When children participate in STEM playgroups they learn to observe, describe, categorize, communicate, record, experiment, predict, generalize, relate to prior experiences, problem solve, collaborate, and use tools.
This week in STEM w/ Julie at the TOHP Burnham Library, on Wednesday at 3:00-3:45, children will experience building bridges that support dinosaurs! Please register if you wish to come. All children will receive a blank book and crayons to begin recording their own scientific journal. Come to all or come to some.
7/21/2016 0 Comments
Will you help us? We need recycling for a big STEM build at Hamilton-Wenham Library on Monday morning. Here is a picture from a previous year. Not only did she design & build this structure, she went home and built for the rest of the day!
These kids may be toddlers and pre-k students in town, but on Monday they are going to be engineers!
If you can donate any boxes, paper towel rolls (no toilet paper rolls, please), plastic bottles, yogurt cups....anything that would otherwise go in the recycling bin, please bring it to the Hamilton-Wenham Library Children's Room, anytime, on Thursday 7/21, Friday 7/22, or Saturday 7/23.
If you are coming to Little Explorers on Monday, please feel free to bring as much as your little one and yourself can carry!
Any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-468-5489.
Thank you! -Lisa
For the past few weeks I have been working with our partners to get ready for summer STEM/STEAM playgroups. Naturally, I am often asked, "So, what exactly is STEM?" and "What is STEAM? How is that different from STEM?"
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It becomes STEAM when we add the "A", for Arts. We group these areas together because they are intertwined in how we understand the world. It is a process and it is a way of thinking.
The other question I get is, "Really, for toddlers and Pre-K children?"
The answer is YES! Young children are natural scientists. Even the littlest babies are constantly exploring and experimenting.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.-Carl Sagan
Around age three children begin to develop science process skills such as the ability predict, observe, describe, categorize, generalize, and make connections that relate to prior and current experiments.
On top of all of that, STEM/STEAM experiences are fun and support learning for young children for so many reasons!
The STEM/STEAM classes are going to be a blast and I am really excited! Below you can learn more about what to expect by viewing the cute handout we are using to accompany our STEM/STEAM themed playgroups this summer. Each child will receive a copy of I Am A Scientist! as a leaflet for you to take home and explore. They will also receive a blank notebook & crayons so that together you can record their observations. Asking questions, talking about the world, and recording it (even if you do the recording) is a natural way to foster your child's language and literacy skills.
This event is tonight!
You are invited to come to STEM Night at Essex Elementary School...This Friday, March 20th, is the Essex PTO's 2nd annual S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) night, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and it's FREE and open to the public.
During this free event, students will have an opportunity to walk through a 43-foot inflatable humpback whale, follow the migration of a local osprey “Flow” to Cuba, program a Lego monkey to play the drums, build a tower to lift a mini figure to safety, and much, much more. Also, back by popular demand, the Take Apart Room where children have the opportunity to take apart various appliances and explore the inner-workings. Presenters include the Club Invention, STEM Beginnings, MIT Society of Women Engineers, Mathnasium, iRobot, Maritime Gloucester, Artbotics, and many, many more. Essex Elementary School is located at 12 Story Street in Essex.
We had so much fun today at the Manchester-Essex Memorial School playgroup, Music, Books & More, making Hand Print Lions! Now, this may look like just a fun, little craft, but it is so much more - this is Brain Building In Progress! Children explored STEM concepts by tracing and identifying a circle to make the head, they challenged their point of view and spatial awareness by turning their own hand print upside down to create the lion body, they practiced fine-motor skills by cutting the circle out and cutting fringe for the mane, and this was tied into literacy and body-awareness skills when we read the book Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and as we discussed our hands, other parts of our bodies, and laughed and talked about our lives in relationship to each page of the book.
Scroll down for directions!
What you need: Paper plates, yellow paint, yellow paper, black magic markers, glue, googley eyes, child safe scissors.
1. Trace a circle on a piece of yellow construction paper.
2. Cut out the circle
3. Chip into the circle to make a lion mane. Be sure to rough it up to make it look like fur!
4. Decorate the lion face with magic marker and googley eyes. Always have googely eyes on hand - best craft supply ever.
5. Squirt a glob of yellow finger paint or washable paint on a paper plate. Squish it around, draw letters in the paint, make a mess, and finally lay your hand flat in the paint to make a hand print on a blank piece of paper.
6. Make a hand print.
7. Turn the paper upside down. Whoa. Different point-of-view.
8. Glue the head on top of where the pinky finger is painted.
The children in our group each told a story about the lion. One lion was getting ready to race a cheetah. Who won? The lion. Another lion was hanging out with a bee. Another saw an elephant. So many creative stories.
Before this craft we read Here Are My Hands.
And, we practiced identifying sizes and matching our own hands against the opening pages of the book Hands Can, by Cheryl Willis Hudson and photographs by John-Francis Bourke. We talked about how sometimes we may not read a whole book, but just look inside for a specific piece of information, in this case the hand prints. Even the littlest baby got in on the fun and the children laughed that her foot was as small as the biggest hand. ,
Most importantly, we had fun. Parents, grand-parents, children and baby siblings. Laughing, learning and coming together on a beautiful fall morning. See you next week!
Lisa Cheney, CFCE Coordinator, Hamilton-Wenham RSD.
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