The E in STEAM
The E in STEAM stands for Engineering. Engineering in STEAM helps little ones learn how and why things work. Simple engineering concepts include learning cause and effect, creating, building, and problem-solving. Create an environment that is rich in a variety of materials. Some possible building materials to incorporate into your setting are wooden blocks in various sizes, cloth blocks, cardboard boxes, paper and plastic cups, bowls and plates, nesting cups, baking sheets, and cardboard tubes from paper towels or wrapping paper. Provide assorted toys such as balls, cars, and animals. When looking for materials to bring out, think about ones that are safe, open-ended, and can be combined with other materials/toys.
Here are 7 easy Engineering ideas to incorporate into your setting:
The T in STEAM
The T in STEAM stands for Technology. Many early child care providers and parents feel overwhelmed when they hear the word “technology.” Technology is all around us. However, recommendations for infants and toddlers say they should have no screen time, and preschool-aged children should only have a limited amount of time each day. So, how do we incorporate technology for our little learners? First, think of technology as a tool, especially for young toddlers. The definition of technology itself includes tools and simple machines. Preschool-aged children can have some time exploring computers and devices with supervision. However, it’s important to keep this broad idea of technology as a tool (or tools) in mind when working with toddlers.
Here are some easy Technology tools and ideas to incorporate in your setting:
by Chalimar Ríos
Two challenges educators face when offering board games is group size and child interest. Playing board games has many benefits, but depending on children’s skill sets, educators may need to be more hands-on. Begin by making sure each child is interested in being part of the game. It is important to have their attention before giving directions, so they can understand them clearly. If you have a small group, you might want to include yourself as part of the game, take turns with children, and celebrate their attempts so they can understand you are happy to engage and play with them. For large groups, some suggestions are to sort children by age or interest. You may want to begin by playing with the most excited number of children and then try gathering the rest of the group at a different time to play and have a much quieter or individualized experience.
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Many people think that STEAM can only be used with older, school-aged children. However, toddlers and preschoolers are naturally curious and enjoy exploring, discovering, and solving problems. STEAM can be an easy way to incorporate hands-on play and learning. Follow our STEAM Series to learn more about each component of STEAM and some activities to try with your little learners.
The S in STEAM
The S in STEAM stands for Science. Encourage children to observe, collect data, solve problems, and change behaviors to change the result. Science-based activities will help children discover and learn different ways of thinking. Be available to help ask and answer questions, further their discoveries, and supervise the use of materials.
Here are 5 easy Science ideas to incorporate in your setting: