Family game night has been a long-standing tradition in many homes. It’s a great way to bond and have fun as a family. But how about adding a little educational fun to the mix by exploring STEM together?
STEM is the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and has become widely popular in preschool and school curriculums as it is a natural fit for kids of all ages. Children are innately curious, love to experiment and figure out how things work. This is all part of STEM!
There are so many fun ways to explore STEM with your children, and you could even make some of these activities into games.
Here are 5 ways you can create your own family STEM game night:
1. Stacking Cups Challenge: All you need are some plastic cups and some creative building skills. The challenge is to build the tallest tower using the cups. Want to make it more interesting? Add some craft sticks for some extra support. You could also use a stopwatch to see who can build the tallest tower the fastest (maybe keep a ruler or measuring tape handy in case it’s a close call).
2. Flying Paper Airplanes: Make some paper airplanes and see whose can fly the farthest. All you need is some paper and some tape to build the planes. You can actually find some pretty cool ideas here. Get extra creative by decorating your plane before starting the contest. Or you can make it more challenging by taping items (ex: coins) to your plane for added weight. Use masking tape to mark the starting point and target on the floor and let the flying begin!
3. Build a Marble Run: There are so many household items you can use to build a marble run – from milk cartons to pool noodles, craft sticks to toilet paper rolls – the possibilities are endless! Find some inspiration here and try out different ones. Each family member could build their own and then everyone can see which marble run works the best.
4. Jenga: Yes, this idea could certainly be a building challenge, but with a couple of additions to the blocks you can transform it into a math game! All you need are some dry erase sheets that can be cut into strips and adhered to the Jenga blocks and a dry erase marker to write on math problems to solve.
5. Dominoes: There are a few STEM-related activities and games you can play with dominoes. You can create towers using the tiles or make a dominoes maze. You can explore physics by conducting an experiment using the dominoes to measure speed. Or you can play a simple math game.
What’s great about STEM is that there are examples and resources all around us that we can easily use to do some fun learning with our children. And with a little imagination an educational activity can become a game the whole family will enjoy.
Want a little more inspiration for STEM activities, games and experiments to do with your kids? This list has over 50 ideas!