It is essential to give your children opportunities to enrich their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Even young kids will benefit from the creative, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that are hallmarks of STEM activities.
Celebrate the new season by incorporating some spring STEM activities into your family time.
While you might think of spring as a time to plant new seeds in your garden, it’s also an excellent opportunity to explore the new life that is already outdoors.
With a flowering plant, scissors, and a magnifying glass, your child can learn more about biology and how plants grow.
You might want to do a little Google research before or after dissection so that your kiddo learns the names and functions of each different part.
Extend what you learned with flower dissection by engaging in this classic experiment.
You’ll need light color (ideally white) flowers from the store, food coloring, water, and a vase (a cup works too.)
Kids will be fascinated as they watch the flower petals change colors to match the water. Don’t forget to talk about the science behind the magic!
Help kids understand what’s going on both under and above ground with this activity.
You’ll need a plant bulb, small rocks, a clear cup, and water to start.
By planting the bulb in rocks and water, your family will be able to watch the roots grow and develop as well as witnessing plant growth on top.
Be warned; this may lead to your kids pulling up other plants to check out their roots!
If your kids are like mine, they love to find a way to reuse items I put in the trash. Imagine their fascination with the idea that you can grow new food from the scraps of your veggies.
Lettuce, celery, beets, carrots, and pineapple can all be grown from your leftovers.
Start your scrap garden using skewers or toothpicks, water, and cups on your windowsill and watch science happen live in your house!
#5 Egg Geodes
Nothing says spring (and Easter!) like lots of eggs. Spring is a time of the year when you are likely to have lots of eggshells.
Turn those leftovers into a learning opportunity with the addition of rock salt, food coloring, and borax to watch geodes form before your very eyes!
Put your crafty skills to scientific use with this activity.
Kids get to create a beautiful butterfly using tissue paper, glue, and googly eyes. When you add in a balloon charged with static electricity, you get to watch the butterfly move its wings!
This is an excellent activity to extend and discover other items that conduct static electricity, like your brother’s hair!
Are you looking for a creative way to use that leftover Easter candy? Try making a stop motion video!
Using a foam board, jellybeans, and a stop-motion app, such as Lapse It Pro, bring the candy to life.
The activity works best for older kids, but younger ones can get in on the fun by sorting through the jelly beans and making the pictures. It’s fine motor work, science, math, and technology all in one!
Appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, this experiment uses shaving cream, food, coloring, and water in a mason jar to learn about clouds and water saturation.
This is especially appropriate for a rainy day when you need an indoor activity, as kids will be fascinated to learn more about how the weather around them works.
Don’t put away that mason jar quite yet! There’s more weather fun to be had.
Explore the properties of centripetal force with the tornado in a jar experiment. You also have an opportunity to extend into discussing how the force works in weather patterns and the role it plays in tornados and other storms.
Parents beware, there is glitter involved in this experiment!
Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with this recycling activity. Kids and parents alike will enjoy learning more about the recycling process.
To get started, gather a few different kinds of paper. The various paper bases will give your recycled paper different textures. You’ll also need a rolling pin, food processor, scissors, hot glue, and mesh or sheer fabric.
Parents will want to be involved with this activity, thanks to some of the tools needed to accomplish the task.
#11 Make a Kite
Channel a little bit of Michael Banks and make your own kite to fly on a windy spring day. (Singing “Let’s go Fly a Kite” is optional but encouraged!)
This activity uses simple items that you likely already have at home: newspaper, duct tape, string, a ruler, and wooden dowels.
Practice applied mathematics and engineering principles as you put together your new kite, and then get ready to learn some physics theory when it’s time to fly!
#12 Egg Parachutes
This is an experiment I’ve wanted to do since I saw Uncle Jesse help DJ drop an egg from the balcony. With several possible variations using plastic eggs, hard-boiled eggs, or raw eggs, you can adapt this activity to your family’s needs.
In addition to finding a use for leftover eggs, you can use the items listed on the site (coffee filter, straws, tape, etc) or encourage your kids to be creative and develop their own egg parachute.
At my house, one of my kids ended up putting their egg in a shoe and using the laces to tie a plastic bag on the top. Worked like a charm. Who knows what your little ones might come up with?
Suited for preschoolers and lower elementary kids, here is yet another way to get some more miles out of those jelly beans.
Sorting and graphing the jelly beans involves a lot of mathematical principles and working on color recognition.
If your kids are a bit older, expect some economics to get involved when they realize that people like different colors and start trading ten blacks for two pinks.
This experiment is all about finding a balance using items found in nature. I love how it incorporates exploring the great outdoors with other scientific and mathematical principles, plus it gets you out and moving while you hunt for the materials.
While using abandoned birds’ nests is recommended for this activity, if you can’t find two of those handy, press your Easter baskets into service. Along with twine and a good stick, you’ll also need an assortment of items found in nature: pinecones, rocks, leaves, and anything else your kids might dig up!
Use some scientific principles to create beautiful works of art by making your own watercolors.
You’ll need colorful flowers, water, and as many different containers as you have colors.
The water will change color thanks to the flowers, making watercolors that can be used to paint pictures for grandparents, or maybe Mom for Mother’s Day.
#16 Glow Flowers
Kids (and adults) of all ages get excited when things light up. Experience spring’s flowers in a new way when you make them glow with this experiment!
You have multiple options of ways to make glow water: vitamins, tonic water, and crushed highlighters all work to give you that fluorescent glow.
Enjoy a glowing bouquet or use contact paper to make a glowing satchel to hang up near a window.
With so many opportunities to understand the colors you can find in flowers, here’s one that makes use of that knowledge to create spring banners.
Using white fabric, flowers, leaves, hammers, and some good old fashioned elbow grease, you’ll get some beautifully abstract finished products.
The banners make great gifts for teachers or grandparents in the spring!
#18 Make It Move
Harness the power of the spring wind with this make it move challenge.
You’ll need matchbox cars, some tinker supplies (magnets, paper, tape, balloons etc.) and a level table.
Allow your kids to create several different prototypes using the cars as the base and determine which one captures the wind power the best. If your kids are competitive, this activity lends itself to fun races during their explorations.
All in Good Spring Fun
With warmer weather moving in, spring is the perfect season to get outdoors, explore nature, and learn more about the world around you.
Kids learn so much through STEM experiments and play without ever feeling like they’re in school.
Does your family have any fun spring STEM activities to add? Share any new ideas in the comments, plus your favorites from our list!