If your kids are into blocks, tape, and action figures this is a great STEAM activity for you!
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!
Mother Goose Time, our favorite boxed preschool program offers themed based STEAM Stations every month.
The directions from Mother Goose Time state:
- Set up your environment to encourage children to test out new ideas through free play.
- Set up these stations at the beginning of the week and leave them open everyday for continuous, repeated play.
Five STEAM Station suggestions that correspond to the monthly theme are provided each week in the following categories:
- Science and Nature
- Dramatic Play
- Outdoor Discovery
The stations are meant to encourage free play and help kids explore new ideas.
They are also likely to buy you some extra time for coffee 🙂
Climbing Wall STEAM Station
The climbing wall STEAM Station is from the block category from week one of the Nature Detectives monthly theme.
- Set out tape, pieces of cardboard, animal figurines, and cardboard tubes in the block area.
- Invite children to tape the cardboard pieces to the wall to construct a climbing wall for the animals to explore.
- How will you design a climbing wall?
- Which animals can climb the wall?
- How will you use the blocks for the wall?
The kids LOVED This activity.
When I busted out blocks and tape and let them tape it to the wall, there were for real squeals of joy!
My oldest was immediately drawn to creating a variety of structures, such as boats and ramps.
My youngest was focused on trying to see how many blocks he could tape to the wall at once.
My other son was perhaps the most out of the box, using the tape roll itself as a tire swing for his lion figurine.
Different Tape Colors
The kids each had a different color of masking tape to use for their construction efforts. This worked beautifully! I got the tape, a 6 color masking tape combo from Amazon. There was no disgruntlement over who was able to use which tape roll or any of the pieces of tape. My eldest was able to tear her own, but the younger two boys were happier with me tearing strips (often very long ones) for them to use.
My eldest figured out that if she first taped her blocks onto the cardboard and then taped the cardboard to the wall, she had better luck with getting the structures to stick and stay. This turned out to be a perfect way to help my younger boys when they got frustrated at the blocks not sticking well!
When we first started the activity, we tried using some of the Fischer Price animals we had available in the playroom. Since our blocks were smaller, which worked best for taping them to the wall, the animals were too big and often wouldn’t stay on the block walls the kids were constructing. Fortunately, the figures regularly supplied from Mother Goose Time were perfectly sized and instant hits.
Extension Activity For Youngest
When my youngest started to tire from taping the blocks to the cardboard and to the wall, we found this simple extension activity to keep him busy while the other two continued to play. We took a piece of masking tape and folded it over and let him pick blocks up with it until they fell back into the bucket. He did this over and over, letting the older kids finish their play.
Multiple Day Activity
Be prepared to do this activity more than once! My kids loved problem solving and figuring out the best way to construct their walls. I was asked to do this activity everyday for over a week. They were happy. I was happy. My coffee supplier was happy. I highly recommend this activity!
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