STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As well as providing knowledge in core subjects, STEM develops skills that aid with logical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Further, STEM encourages experimentation, teamwork, and the use of technology.
It’s never too early to start integrating STEM into a child’s education. Plus, many STEM activities are lots of fun.
Got free time over a weekend? We’ve listed 7 of our favorite fall STEM activities for you to try at home. Not only are they educational for your child, but you’re both sure to enjoy making new discoveries and having hands-on fun.
We love this activity from Little Bins Little Hands as it gets kids out in the fresh air as they collect leaves. You only need a handful of supplies too. The experiment shows how chromatography, or separating different parts of a mixture, works, and youngsters are often amazed at the results. You can encourage kids to think about why leaves change color in the fall too.
Candy Corn Bath Bomb
These candy corn bath bombs from STEAM Powered Family let kids play with chemistry and have something fun for bath time. Children get a bit of math in as they measure the ingredients, followed by some sensory fun as they mix everything together. The real joy, however, comes a day or two later after. Kids can see first-hand the chemical reactions when their bath bomb hits the water with a fizz. We’re sure they’ll love them as much as we do!
Popcorn and Salt Experiment
We particularly like that this experiment from Halfway Homesteaders uses ingredients that you’re likely to already have in the cupboards: salt and popcorn kernels. Discuss beforehand what your child thinks will happen when you mix the two ingredients together in a sealed jar. Then, once they’ve done the experiment, have them say why they think the result was as it was and talk about how it was similar or different to their hypothesis.
Number Match Leaves
This number-focused activity from Steamsational helps to develop math skills and takes on a fall flair when you use fall-colored leaves and stems. Once kids have mastered the matching exercise you could do as we did and mix it up even more to practice basic addition. Simply place any stem with a leaf and have your child count the total.
Pumpkin Bird Feeder
Inspire young minds with a fun engineering project and make this fall-themed pumpkin bird feeder from Stitched by Crystal. You can then talk about what birds eat and have fun watching feathered friends coming into your garden.
Combine science and art with this leaf rubbing activity from Edventures with Kids. Children can see the basic structures of leaves, particularly fun if they gather different types of leaves. We labeled the different parts to provide a cool STEM-centered art piece for the kids to keep.
What kids don’t love slime? Gooey and sticky, youngsters can discover chemical reactions and then have deliciously scented slime to play with for hours. We love this slime recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose. We scooped out a real pumpkin to house the slime for even more fall fun. This was definitely one of our favorite fall STEM activities!