National STEAM Day is November 8 – and it’s no secret that we love STEAM in our Primrose classrooms! STEAM concepts (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) are important for your child’s future success in school, life and in the workforce. While these concepts may sound complex for little ones, children under the age of 5 can begin to learn basic STEAM skills in fun and simple ways, building a foundation that will benefit them for years to come.
At Primrose, we’ve worked with early education experts and used current research to incorporate STEAM-based learning into children’s everyday experiences through our Balanced Learning® approach. For infants to kindergarteners, STEAM subjects are intentionally integrated in many ways, including through group activities, learning centers, books, discussions, experiments, art projects and educational games.
“When play is connected to problem solving, children begin to work more collaboratively with their friends and develop a deeper understanding of concepts,” said Dr. Sandra Linder, co-author of the Primrose Balanced Learning curriculum.
Here are examples from some of our classrooms of how children in each age group learn and practice STEAM skills (which can also be easily implemented at home!):
- Kindergarten: Kindergarteners learn about all aspects of STEAM during a unit on methods of transportation. They make a chart of types of land transportation and their different uses. They play with variety of wheeled vehicles and ramps of different lengths and widths and discuss which vehicles go faster and why. They then practice drawing trains and discuss how vehicles work.
- Pre-Kindergarten: Pre-K students dive deeper into science connections by reading books like “Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes and observing pictures of the night sky. They paint watercolor pictures of the night sky and even practice their nightly routine of preparing to go to sleep, which helps connect the new concepts back to everyday life.
- Preschool: Children in our Preschool classrooms flex their critical thinking skills by building robots out of various materials and testing them to see how they move and function. Robots are worked into every part of the day, whether it’s moving like a robot during outdoor play time, singing a song about being a robot or counting the pieces needed to build a robot. We purposefully introduce new concepts in this integrated way so they are easier for each child to grasp and master.
- Toddlers: Students in our Toddler classrooms explore how communities are built as they create buildings, roads and entire towns with cardboard tubes, cups, toys and more! They sing songs like “How do you Build?” and “Blocks in the Tower” as they learn more about technology, math and engineering throughout the unit.
- Infants: Little ones in our Infant Program explore concepts like animals, colors, shapes and sounds – all of which are foundational STEAM concepts. Teachers encourage discovery through modeling, such as by building a tower with soft blocks or sorting toys based on color.
STEAM skills are not only simple to nurture in your child, they’re useful for years to come. Get more inspiration from these ideas for STEAM discovery at home.