15 Best Engaging Stem Activities for Kids

STEM activities are highly beneficial for kids as they foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and a passion for science. Through this blog post, we’ll discover the most popular STEM activities for kids at home or outside. Let’s get started!

Easy Stem Activities for Kids to Foster Their Curiosity

You might be wondering what are STEM activities for kids that can foster their curiosity and keep them engaged. Here is a list of easy STEM activities that will teach your kids essential skills such as creativity, collaboration, and resilience.

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2. Cloud in a Jar

This is one of the most fun and simple STEM activities for kids. It is an interactive STEM activity teaching kids the cloud formation in an engaging way. Plus, it only requires simple household items and is suitable for kids of all ages.

stem activities for kids

To create a cloud in a jar experiment with hairspray, fill a jar with hot water, and replace the lid with a piece of ice to cool the air inside. Then, spray a small amount of hairspray into the jar and observe as the water vapor condenses around the particles, forming a visible cloud

3. Water Cycle Bag

This method effectively imparts the concept of the water cycle to kids, elucidating the continuous process of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. It is one of the most simple summer STEM activities for kids as it only requires a plastic bag and some water.

easy stem activities for kids

Fill 1/4th of the bag with water, adding blue food coloring for easy observation. Seal the bag and affix it to a nearby window or any sunlit area. Over time, witness the water transforming from liquid to vapor through evaporation and back to liquid upon condensation.

4. Oil Spill

This is one of the best free stem activities for elementary kids. It is a great way for kids to understand the environmental impact of oil spills and explore possible solutions for cleaning them up.

stem activities for kids on a car ride

Follow these steps for the activity: Fill a shallow container with water, leaving space at the top. Pour a small amount of vegetable oil onto the water surface and sprinkle cocoa powder or coffee grounds over the oil. Provide cotton balls or paper towels to the kids and instruct them to clean up the oil spill using these materials.

5. Building a Hand Crank Winch

This is one of the best winter STEM activities for kids that will keep them occupied for a long time. It is suitable for kids aged 8 and older. Building this cute hand crank can teach kids the foundations of mechanics and improve their engineering and logic skills.

what are stem activities for kids

All you need is some cardboard paper towel rolls, a spool of ribbon and scissors. Cut the cardboard paper towel rolls to desired lengths, stack them, and secure them together to form a sturdy cylindrical structure.

Attach one end of the ribbon to the top of the cardboard cylinder and wind it around the structure, creating a hand-cranked winch using the ribbon as the winding mechanism.

Fun Stem Activities for Kids to Help Them Think Differently

Now that we’ve explored the easy STEM activities that can keep kids occupied, let’s discover fun STEM activities for kids that are crafted to encourage young minds to approach problems with curiosity and a fresh perspective.

6. Lemon Volcano - Acid and Base Reaction

If you are looking for STEM activities for kids affordable and exciting, you can try this one. Kids can grasp fundamental principles of chemistry with this activity, such as reactants, products, and the concept of chemical changes, by witnessing the transformations of lemons.

stem activities for kids on a car ride

Cut lemons, add food coloring, and introduce baking soda for a visually stunning eruption. This easy activity will spark kids' curiosity and interest in science, encouraging them to think more critically as they observe, hypothesize, and draw conclusions about the outcomes.

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7. Paper Roller Coaster

This might be one of the most popular STEM activities for kids who enjoy arts and crafts projects. The activity fosters problem-solving skills as children design, test, and iterate their roller coaster structures, enhancing their understanding of engineering concepts in a fun and engaging way.

stem activities for kids using pencils

To set up the activity, you only need everyday materials like craft sticks, paper, tape, and cardboard. Kids create a track for a ping pong ball, aiming for a safe landing in a cup at the track's end. It will be an exciting experience for them, helping them understand principles such as gravity, momentum, and friction in a practical setting.

8. Germination Activity

Seeds initiate growth through a process known as germination, marking the inception of plant development. That’s why this is one of the best STEM activities for kids that will provide them with a tangible and interactive way to learn about plant life cycles and biology.

summer stem activities for kids

To create a germination activity for kids, provide them with small pots or cups, potting soil, and seeds. Have the children plant the seeds in the soil, water them appropriately, and place the pots in a sunny location, allowing the kids to observe and document the germination process as the seeds sprout and grow into seedlings.

9. Water Walking Activity

This is not one of the STEM activities for kids on a car ride, but discussing the results of the activity can be a great idea to keep kids talking and thinking about science on road trips. To try the Water Walking activity, set up six cups in a row—three with colored water and three empty.

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Connect the cups with paper towels, creating a train-like structure, and witness water flowing into the empty cups through capillary action. This one of the most simple summer STEM activities is both fun and educational, ideal for engaging kids aged 8 and up.

The Most Popular STEM Activities for Kids

Last but not least, let’s take a look at the most popular STEM activities for kids that will spark an early interest in science, technology, engineering, or math.

10. Christmas Geometric Shapes

This is one of the most creative and engaging STEM activities for kids at home. Kids can create Christmas geometric shapes using household items by cutting and arranging paper or cardboard into shapes like triangles, squares, and circles to form festive decorations.

stem activities for kids using pencils

Kids can then use everyday items such as buttons, beads, or pasta to embellish the shapes, turning them into personalized ornaments or festive geometric artwork for the holiday season. This activity not only enhances their geometric understanding but also promotes creativity and holiday spirit through hands-on crafting.

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11. Building a Christmas Tree

Here's a straightforward STEM activity for kids that is adaptable to your available building toys, sets, or supplies. Encourage children to construct a Christmas tree, and they can enhance it by adding ornaments.

stem activities for kids on a car ride

Consider using materials like LEGO bricks, magnetic tiles, colored craft sticks, plastic cups, or any other creative items you have on hand! The activity will encourage kids to make decisions about decoration design, fostering imagination and fine motor skills as they handle and place ornaments on the tree.

12. Crystal Sun Catchers

If you are looking for simple yet exciting STEM activities for kids, you should definitely try this one. It is a great activity for kids aged 8 to 12. To make Crystal Sun Catchers, kids can string clear beads onto fishing lines or transparent thread, creating a desired pattern or design.

stem activities for kids using pencils

Attach a larger crystal or prism at the bottom, and then hang the completed string near a sunny window. When sunlight passes through the crystals, it will create beautiful reflections and colors, adding a touch of sparkle to the room and providing a simple yet creative DIY project for children.

13. Create a new plant or animal

This particular project is one of the best animal STEM activities for kids. They'll be challenged to conceive a completely original plant or animal, exploring uncharted territories of imagination.

animal stem activities for kids

What's truly exciting about this endeavor is its adaptability. It's a versatile project that can be tailored to suit kids of all ages, allowing for varying levels of complexity based on the kid's depth of scientific understanding. But here's the twist—it's not just about fanciful designs; they'll need to delve into the scientific intricacies, detailing the biology that makes their creation plausible.

14. Paper Airplane Challenge

This is a hands-on STEM activity for kids that enables them to explore principles of aerodynamics and engineering through the art of paper airplane design. The activity teaches kids about the factors that affect flight, such as wing shape and weight distribution,

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To conduct the Paper Airplane Challenge, all you need is a supply of paper and a space for testing flights. Kids can start by experimenting with different paper sizes and folding techniques to create unique airplane designs. Folding methods like the classic dart or glider can be explored.

15. Nature Scavenger Hunt

This STEM activity encourages kids to connect with nature by identifying and collecting various items in their environment. The activity promotes observation skills, environmental awareness, and a love for the natural world.

simple stem activities for kids

To organize a Nature Scavenger Hunt, start by creating a list of items for participants to find in the outdoor space. Provide participants with a container to collect their treasures. Divide them into teams or let them explore individually, armed with the scavenger hunt list and a sense of curiosity.

The Benefits of Simple Stem Activities for Kids

STEM activities for kids not only provide entertainment for kids. Let's uncover the distinct advantages that these hands-on experiences bring to young minds.

  • Cultivates kids' adaptability and flexibility skills by challenging them to adjust strategies or adapt to unexpected outcomes.
  • Teaches kids to evaluate consequences, consider moral implications, and make decisions based on ethical reasoning.
  • Fosters out-of-box thinking in kids through an experimental experience.
  • Help kids develop an appreciation for nature, understand the importance of sustainability, and become more environmentally conscious.
  • Feeds kids' curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills by challenging them to find creative ways to solve problems.
  • Children learn to navigate group dynamics, understand diverse perspectives, and manage emotions effectively.
  • Kids can see the practical applications of STEM concepts, connecting classroom learning to the real world.
  • Overcoming challenges in STEM projects helps kids to develop persistence and resilience in the face of obstacles.
  • Many STEM projects are designed to be enjoyable, making learning a fun and rewarding experience for kids.

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