Besides sneaking it into your daily life, the most important thing is to encourage kids to have fun while learning STEM skills. For some kids that might mean learning the science of slime, for others it might be inventing their own video game. Whatever you do, don’t make it a lesson. Instead, focus on the experience. A few suggestions:
Take trips to a museum or zoo. It doesn’t have to be a science museum in particular. Children’s museums tend to have STEM exhibits and even history and art museums offer opportunities to learn about the history of technology, how things were made, and so on.
Play STEM toys and games with your kids. We’re overloaded with Minecraft, and LEGO blocks are making us bankrupt, but perhaps you’ve got a budding engineer or coder on your hands if your kid likes these and similar “toys.” LEGO has its own robotics and coding kits, including a new WeDo 2.0 line for elementary school kids. Amazon has a whole section for STEM toys and we have access to plenty of apps to teach your kids to code. You and your kids also might get hooked on old-fashioned fun science experiments like making lava lamps or seeing what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar. Check out several STEM subscription boxes that deliver projects to your door each month.
Watch science and technology shows with your kid. Bill Nye, the Science Guy (which is on Netflix) and Mythbusters come to mind. Common Sense Media has a list of science shows for kids of all ages as well.
Let your kid be your IT or DIY assistant. I became the IT person in my family because I was the only one to read the manual. Get your kid to read the manual and walk you through setting up the next new tech thing in your household or have him or her troubleshoot with you a computer problem. Same goes with projects around the house that can hone your kid’s problem-solving skills.
An aware teacher varies the kinds of activities the children do on a subject for each lesson, which I think helps immensely. So, for example, there might be a “match the animal to the environment” card game for one part of it and a “draw foods this animal might eat” for another part. You’re not dealing with 20+ kids in a classroom (hopefully), just yours, so you can cater the activities to your kids’ interests, whether that’s drawing, reading, music, physical games, or anything else.
Honestly, the best thing you could probably do is be interested and enthusiastic yourself. Just spending time with you exploring these things together is the best encouragement you could give.
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