The A in STEAM
The A in STEAM stands for Art. Art in STEAM helps little ones learn and think creatively, encourages children to appreciate the arts in many different forms, helps with self-expression, helps with exploration of emotions, increases cultural awareness, develops fine motor skills, and helps with problem-solving. Art can be encouraged in play and in hands-on, open ways. Art in STEAM mainly focuses on process and freestyle art. However, not all programs can incorporate process art all the time, so there can be moments to create more craft types of art. Art also includes music, dance, and pretend/dramatic play. Art can be incorporated into many other elements of STEAM.
Here are 9 easy Art ideas for your setting:
by Chalimar Ríos
Children’s development is highly dependent upon their environment. How much are the children in your care exposed to music, language, movement, or exercising freely? A balanced variety of activities that include songs and movements is sure to increase children’s attention, help them socialize with peers, and prepare them to learn and be more perceptive in future activities throughout the day.
Other than the physical benefits of enjoying songs with movements or exercise, research shows that songs and rhymes help children’s language development. As children listen to instructions given during physical activities, they build a relationship between the words they hear and the movements they see; they make meaning of the words as they imitate movements or create new ones. Through songs and rhymes, children also learn sounds, syllables, and musical patterns. Children will slowly continue to store their experiences until they feel prepared to say their own words, repeat the words in a rhyme, build short sentences, or sing along.
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: