STEM Experiments Your Child Can Enjoy this Summer

Children playing with dash the robot

STEM Experiments Your Child Can Enjoy this Summer

This summer, school may be out, but exciting STEM experiments are always in! Every day during the Primrose Schools® Summer Adventure Club, children enjoy a wide variety of STEM activities that challenge them in new ways while still having plenty of sunny-day fun. Below are some fun STEM-based activities that will extend the learning to home and help your child learn coding, robotics, design thinking and scientific experimentation skills. 

Shape Search

Supplies:  
  • Toy bricks 
  • Thin cardboard shapes 
Instructions: 
  • Children at Summer Adventure Club discover how shapes are all around them during Our Fantastical, Mathematical World. This theme was developed by the experts at Mathnasium Learning Center, and brings math learning to life. Your child can try these lessons at home with this easy shape search activity. 
  • Encourage your child to notice simple shapes and patterns at home, outside or on the go. From there, point out how shapes such as squares, triangles and hexagons can connect and repeat over and over with no gaps or spaces. Explain to your child how this is called “tessellation.” 
  • Join them in a scavenger hunt for materials and textures that show tessellations (fabric patterns, checker/chess boards, mosaic tiles, honeycombs, fish/snake scales, raspberries, pineapples, brick walls, etc.) If your child needs help identifying tessellations, point out examples and non-examples and think aloud with your child to determine if the pattern is a tessellation. 
  • Provide materials to help your child create their own tessellation using materials such as toy bricks or shapes cut from cardboard such as cracker or cereal boxes. If your child needs support creating a tessellation, you may start one for them or create one that you ask them to copy.  
  • Encourage your child to talk about the tessellating pattern they created! 

Flower Garden Obstacle Course

Supplies: 
  • Bee Bot  
  • Book: Bee Dance by Rick Chrustowski   
  • Poster board   
  • Colorful construction paper   
  • Safety scissors   
  • Tape 
Instructions: 
  • Find Your Inspiration: Start by reading the book Bee Dance by Rick Chrustowski with your child. As you read together, point out the flowers, herbs and other beautiful pieces of nature you see in the garden. You can use the illustrations as inspiration for your own garden. 
  • Create a Garden: You and your child can create three-dimensional flowers by crumpling colorful paper into small balls. Cut strips of paper and ask your child to tape them to the ball to create plant stems. Once you have three or four flowers made, you’re ready to create the path! 
  • Design the Path: Talk with your child about what shape they think the path should be. For your first path, try to keep the shapes simple by choosing a square or plus sign. You can always create more intricate paths after practice. Tape long strips of green paper to the poster board to make the shape you’ve chosen. Make sure that the path is long enough to cover the length and width of the poster board. 
  • Send Off Your Bee Bot: Add the flowers to the garden path. Ask your child to turn on the Bee Bot, place it on the path and start using the buttons to code a path for the Bee Bot to move along. Remind them to be careful not to “pick” the flowers in the garden by bumping into them. Try to keep the Bee Bot on the path as it makes its way through the garden. For variation, your child can play a different version of the game where they “pick” the flowers by programming the Bee Bot to push the flowers off of the mat instead.   

Bee Dance Steps   

Supplies:    
Instructions: 
  • Why Do Honeybees Dance?: Read through Rick Chrustowski’s book Bee Dance with your child. At the end of the book, there is a section called “Why Do Honeybees dance?” After reading, ask your child: “I wonder if we can make our Bee Bot dance. Would you like to see if you can code our Bee Bot to draw its dance steps?”  
  • Get Your Bee Bot Groove On: Place the marker attachment onto the Bee Bot and put the bot on the poster board. Play some fun songs and ask your child to program the Bee Bot to dance along to the music. Watch along with your child as the Bee Bot draws its dance moves. Ask them: “Do you see any shapes or other designs in the lines?” 
  • Make a Masterpiece: Encourage your child to program the Bee Bot to their heart’s content. They can join the Bee Bot in drawing on the paper to create a cool piece of art with their new bot friend.

For more on how your child can enjoy a summer of STEM, check out:   

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