We love STEAM!
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STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) promotes problem solving, creative and analytical thinking, and it's FUN! Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) includes some great STEAM activities in the curriculum each month. One of the perks of your membership with Experience Early Learning is the member resources you have access to. Each week has a new STEAM bundle and they are available to print out. This month our theme is All About Me, and the first week we learned about different body parts. The STEAM bundles for each week include activities relating to the daily topics.
Our favorite STEAM lesson this week was Noodle Brain, which went along with Lesson Two in Week One when we learned about our head. We spent time learning about our brain and skull. When asked what they thought was inside their head everyone mentioned their brain. We kept the conversation going and learned that our skull helps protect our brain. We talked about the different ways we can protect our head (such as wearing a helmet) and read the story Staying Safe on My Bike. After that we took a look at a picture of a skull and a picture of a brain (thank you Experience Early Learning for providing these great pictures). I handed each child a bowl full of cooked spaghetti noodles. As we talked more about our brain they got to pretend the bowl was their skull and the noodles were their brain. We talked about what we thought our brain felt like and compared it to the feel of the spaghetti noodles. If you want a fun educational activity for your preschooler - give them a bowl full of cooked spaghetti noodles and start talking about their brain! They were still talking about this activity two days later.
There was one more STEAM activity this week that we completed and the children really enjoyed. This was the Block Skeleton for Lesson Three. In Lesson Three we learned about arms and the children got to look at x-rays. We looked at different pictures of skeletons which included a human, a dinosaur (their favorite), a cat and a dog. We then partnered up and the children worked together to re-create one of the skeleton pictures out of blocks. They created the dinosaur, the human, and the dog. For the human skeleton we looked at the different blocks she gathered and which block best matched the different parts of the skeleton (i.e. the square block made a great head).
The children were more engaged in the conversations we had about our STEAM activities because they were getting to be hands-on with the lesson. Hands-on learning is so important because the children get to learn by doing. With the Block Skeleton activity the children got to engage with the subject matter to create something. They were able to explain their process to me and it was so cool to see their creativity.
Experience Early Learning is a great preschool curriculum where the children are constantly engaged in fun activities that promote play and learning. This was our very first week at Tilly Tots Preschool and the school year is off to a great start! Follow along for more fun!