One of the best parts of Mother Goose Time is that each week five new STEAM activities arrive! If you aren’t familiar with STEAM, it’s an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Educators are using STEAM based activities to help kids develop creative and out of the box cognitive skills. If these skill sets are nourished, they may even help them enjoy lucrative workforce opportunities later in life.
Plus, they’re just plain fun!
1. Water, Ice, Air
The water, ice, and air activity lets kids experience all three states of matter. Balloons are filled with air, water, or ice.
This STEAM experience is categorized by Mother Goose Time as a chance to further explore science and nature. The skill sets exercised include scientific reasoning and physical science. My kids say, “this one is awesome, specifically the ice balloons, you should do it!”
Balloons are hard to resist! Before I could even finish taking the picture of the set up for the blog, my two youngest had already invaded the frame to explore the balloons.
- Fill balloons or vinyl gloves with water, ice, and air.
- Encourage children to explore the differences in weight, shape, texture, etc.
- Note: As you can see from my picture, this won’t be hard to accomplish.
- What might each balloon/glove feel like?
- Which balloon/glove is the heaviest? Lightest?
- How has the balloon/glove changed throughout the day?
- What else do you know about water, ice, and air?
That smile says it all! We varied the language we used to describe the balloons based on age, but all of my children (6, 5, 3, and 1) were fascinated by these balloons. They noticed how light weight the air balloons were, compared to how heavy the ice and water balloons were. One of my favorite observations was them noticing that the water balloons that had some air (an air cushion they called it) inside the balloon were less likely to burst when dropped than those with mostly water. How cool is that?
2. Mystery Boxes
These mystery boxes are a fantastic sensory experience that exercises physical science, logic, and vocabulary skill sets. They get to guess what objects are in the box (or oatmeal containers in our case)! Then they match them with the picture.
- Cut a hole in the top of a few boxes.
- Draw a question mark on each box.
- Set out photos of various items then place a real matching item in each mystery box.
- Encourage children to feel what is inside and try to match the photos to the items in the boxes.
- What senses did you use to guess the items?
- How would you describe the item you’re feeling?
- What sense do you think is the most important?
We have oatmeal containers coming out our ears, so we used those instead of boxes. I had the kids first try to guess using just their ears. They were allowed to touch and move the containers and shake them before they made their guess. The pictures were just ones I took with a digital camera and printed on regular paper using an ink jet printer. Worked fine for these purposes.
The oatmeal containers were covered with a piece of printer paper held on with a rubber band, which they were able to punch through to touch the object. They were still not allowed to look with their eyes. The kids got three out of the five correct, just using their ears. The other two they were able to correct once they were able to use their sense of touch. The big reveal was so fun to see if they correctly guessed all of the objects. My three year old was extremely fond of this activity and my five year old has been repeating it on his own and having me guess the objects! What great fun!
Silly Animal Parts
Dramatic play is a wonderful chance for kids to really start thinking out of the box. This activity lets them work on spatial awareness, earth science, and self-concept. All I had to supply was an old wildlife calendar, paper, scissors, and a glue stick.
- Cut out animal pictures from magazines or print from online.
- Cut the animal pictures in half and place on a table. Encourage children to match the animal halves or create a silly animal.
- What is your favorite animal? What parts does it have?
- What would a silly animal look like?
- How is your silly animal special? What helpful features does it have?
- If you could have a special feature what would it be?
I love how into this exercise the kids got! My son redesigned a bird, so that it had defense in place if there was an air attack by a larger bird. My daughter created an animal that had five heads and all of them were fighting for the crown. My youngest made an animal that he thought we might like to talk to God about creating. The whole thing was hilarious and fun! I highly recommend this activity!
If you are interested in reading more about our experience with Mother Goose Time, check out our curriculum page!
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As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.