Fostering and encouraging your child’s interests, no matter what they are, is an important role we all play as parents.
For kids who are interested in science, math, engineering or similar, encouraging their love of STEM can be educational and fun for the whole family. Creating a deep understanding of all things STEM goes beyond the classroom and can be easily fostered at home. After all, parents who are willing to learn and explore alongside their kids help to foster new experiences and be a positive role model.
Keep reading for more fun ways to encourage STEM skills at home!
What Is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This umbrella term encompasses various types of learning, including science, coding, engineering, math, computer science, and so much more! The learning opportunities for children interested in STEM are endless, and these interests can lead to many different types of hobbies, interests or careers.
One of the best ways to foster STEM skills at home is to model curiosity for your children. Children are known to ask questions, sometimes endless amounts of them. And sometimes we don’t have the answers! Help encourage your child’s curiosity by modelling ways to research and find answers to unknown questions.
And remember: our children are experiencing many things in our world for the first day. Encourage their observation and questioning skills by asking “What” and “Why” questions.
Not sure what questions to ask, here are some of our recommendations on probing questions to pose to your child as they are learning:
- Why do you think that is?
- What do you think this does?
- What Why do you think would happen if you do…?
Get Outside and Explore the Science Around Us
Not sure what STEM interests your child might have? Then it’s time to explore! Plants, bugs, stars, weather, changing seasons can all provoke wonder and encourage exploration and discussion with our kids. Don’t be discouraged if these interests seem to ebb and flow. It’s completely normal for our kids to be interested in dinosaurs one day and space the next, it’s all part of their exploration of our natural world.
Some potential STEM-focused activities could include:
- Going to a pond and counting how many different stones you can find
- Observe animals, leaves, types of flowers…anything!
- Discuss weather changes or clouds
- Learn more about different types of life in our world - plants, bugs, animals etc.
Experiment in the Kitchen
The kitchen is a perfect place to experiment and get messy. Baking, freezing, melting and blind taste testing are just some of the ways to get kids to think about foods they already love in new ways.
Some kitchen-specific STEM activities could include:
- Freeze different materials and forming a hypothesis on what will freeze the fastest
- Get messy with baking soda and vinegar
- Test “super cooling: with our SuperFruit Freezies
Bringing STEM to the kitchen is where our DeeBees crew shines! After all, our SuperFruit Freezies were created by Dr. Dionne and her kids creating TeaPops in their home kitchen!
Use STEM-Focused Language
For kids, the language they hear and absorb every day will be the language they model throughout their lives. Using STEM-focused language in everyday settings helps children label their actions and understand the role of STEM in their lives. Some examples of STEM language include: observe, predict, collaborate, discuss, design, plan, investigate, construct, explain, use their senses (see, feel or hear), problem-solve and communicate.
Identify Role Models
The opportunities for learning in STEM are endless, and having positive role models in this field can do wonders for children's interests and self-confidence. Using books, personal connections, media or everyday life, parents can help their children build links between the STEM lessons they are learning and the real-life applications.
Why Does Encouraging STEM at Home Matter?
Encouraging learning in STEM for children is near and dear to our DeeBee’s Organics’ hearts. As a Ph.D. medical scientist, our founder Dr. Dionne is passionate about science and staying curious led her to creating our SuperFruit Freezies! For more on Dr. Dionne and DeeBee’s Organics story, check out our founding story.
Looking for a real-fruit, organic, non-GMO treat for all your STEM learning? Check out our full range of SuperFruit Freezies created by a real scientist and mama!