STEAM Series: Exploring E

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:

Continue reading

Celebrating Sukkot

Harvest BasketThe Jewish holiday of Sukkot is the perfect time of year for family engagement and community-building in preschool settings. This year, the holiday begins at sundown on October 2 and continues through October 9. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which Israelites wandered the desert, living in temporary shelters. Sukkot is also a harvest holiday about coming together and sharing food. Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Sukkot is a structure built for outdoor eating and sleeping called a sukkah. The sukkah, emblematic of the temporary shelters used during this period of wandering, can be made of any material, as long as it is stable enough to survive the wind. The roof, however, is typically made of natural materials, i.e., leaves, bamboo, etc. Once established, the sukkah is a space for family and community gatherings.

Continue reading