STEAM Series: Tackling T

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 along to learn more about each component of STEAM and some activities to try with your little learners.

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:

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Using STREAM Techniques After Disasters to Keep Kids Learning and Engaged

Guest Post
by Andrew Roszak
Executive Director, The Institute for Childhood Preparedness

With natural disasters on the rise, many child care programs have endured floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe weather conditions. These programs face many obstacles when re-opening, including a lack of electricity, supplies, fresh drinking water, and food, as well as the on-set of fear and mental health conditions in children.

We are always searching for new ways to make child care providers and teachers more resilient. One new trend is to incorporate principles of STREAM into early childhood education – to help students learn about S: Science, T: Technology, R: Reading, E: Engineering, A: Arts, and M: Math.

In the absence of a standard operating environment, and without creature comforts – such as electricity, providers may want to think about how they can incorporate the principles of STREAM in a post-disaster setting.

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The Inclusion of STEM/STEAM in Preschool

by Katie Brazerol

In recent years there has been a push to include more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills in education. As the trend has shown success, educators have recommended the application of STEM activities in early childhood as well. Incorporation of STEM activities will help children observe, analyze, and make predictions about things in their environment. They will learn to fulfill their natural curiosity and develop inquisitiveness about subjects and how things work. They will also strengthen math skills beyond shapes, colors, and counting, such as analyzing quantities, measuring, collecting data, and recording results.

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Five Habits for Healthy Sleep

Sleeping ChildSleep is always a popular topic in early childhood. Adults often talk about being short on it, and parents often struggle to help their children rest at night. Research routinely shows that children do not receive enough sleep, sometimes by as much as a couple of hours per night. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of issues in children, including a greater risk for obesity, impaired memory and attention, susceptibility to illness, and poor academic performance. Experts recommend that children ages 0 to 5 sleep 10-16 hours a day, including naps. How can we best support children in developing and maintaining good sleep habits? Below are five habits to help you set the stage.

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