10 At-Home STEM Activities Perfect for the Summer

Summer is a great opportunity for parents to get involved in their child’s education. Through at-home STEM activities, parents can play an active role in improving their children’s STEM literacy and preparing them for the next school year. Whether it be facilitating these lessons one-on-one at home or signing them up for group STEM summer camps, there are a variety of summer enrichment activities to help avoid the summer slump. 

In this article, we will explore easy-to-implement STEM activities that are perfect for students of all skill sets. 

Rainbow in a Glass

In the rainbow in a glass lesson, children will layer various common household liquids into a single glass. Before beginning, they can hypothesize the outcome, ordering the liquids from least to most dense. Then, throughout the lesson, they can see how their initial predictions correlate to the order they see in their liquid glass. This visual and hands-on lesson will keep children engaged while introducing them to density.

Building a Bridge

Building a bridge using toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and glue is an easy at-home activity to turn your child into an engineer this summer. Using minimal materials, children are tasked with designing and building a structurally sound bridge. To test their design, children can add weighted items, such as a small rock, to their bridge to see if it can withstand the pressure.  

Counting with Pasta

At home, STEM learning is possible for children of all ages and skill levels. If your child is just learning about numbers and sequences, you can practice with them at home by counting pasta. This hands-on activity can help strengthen their fundamental skills, creating a strong foundation for future STEM learning opportunities. 

DIY Catapult

The Engineering Design Process (EDP) is a system used by engineers to thoughtfully and effectively approach their roles. During engineering activities, parents and educators have the opportunity to leverage the EDP approach – encouraging students to ask, imagine, plan, create, improve, and repeat until they get to their desired outcome. In this DIY catapult activity, children can create multiple catapult designs, learning from previous builds and optimizing their designs to create the strongest, most effective catapult. This activity is great for an only child, a family, or a group of friends because it is easily scaled to accommodate groups. 

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition activities are a great way to introduce children to STEM and exercise their memory. In this activity, parents or older siblings can create patterns using building blocks or beads and then have their children replicate the pattern. As a fun way to incorporate art and creativity into the lesson, have students create their own unique patterns too, based on what they prefer visually.

Scratch Coding Projects

Scratch is an online visual coding platform focused on providing young children with the tools they need to become successful coders. This is the perfect summertime STEM activity to give your child a new skill that could turn into a hobby and may even lead to a future career. Using the platform, children have access to hundreds of coding challenges with varying focuses, allowing them to cater to their preferences, skills, and interests.

Educational Apps

Technology literacy is becoming increasingly important in the classroom and the workforce. Students often see screen time as a fun privilege. Parents can use this to their advantage this summer by using educational apps that promote learning through play. Below are three great STEM-focused education apps:

  1. Codeable Crafts
  2. The Robot Factory by TinyBop
  3. Monster Physics®

STEM Scavenger Hunt

STEM scavenger hunts are the perfect way to help your child connect STEM concepts to the real world this summer. Throughout the scavenger hunt, they will begin thinking critically about what they interact with daily, and use their problem-solving skills to complete the hunt. My World Their Way created an engaging STEM scavenger hunt that is perfect to implement with your preschool or elementary school-aged child today! 

Plant Growth Experiment

Summer offers the opportunity to have an extended STEM lesson that children engage with throughout their time off. Plant growth experiments allow students to watch their plants grow, learn about the role environmental factors play in the environment, and make observations about what they see on a daily or weekly basis. In this lesson, it is important parents provide structure to students, with consistent watering and observation checkpoints to ensure a full learning experience.

Paint with a Pendulum

In this two step activity, children start with building a functional pendulum. This initial design phase allows them to put on their engineer hat, thinking critically about how they build their structure. Then, once they have a functioning pendulum, children can add paint and other inks to their pendulum to create art. This activity perfectly meshes STEM and STEAM, showing children these acronyms work seamlessly together and are one in the same.

Making Summer STEM-tastic

STEM learning is a fundamental part of a child’s education. This learning does not have to stop in the classroom. Parents can play an active role in their child’s education by implementing STEM activities at-home during the summer months. By incorporating STEM into the off months, parents can actively help their child avoid learning loss, making them more prepared to learn new, more complex concepts when they return to school in the fall.

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