Science is generally a subject that has been neglected in modern education. I'm sad to say that it also can be something that gets neglected in my home school as well. There are just so many things to get done, it tends to find itself on the back burner.
This is not my desire! I'm utilizing stations in my home to help fill in the gaps of my student's education in a fun and engaging way. Therefore, I'm starting off my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning Stations with hands-on learning stations that center around the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Get Hands on With Construction Fun
Kids love to build. From blocks when they're babies, to legos as they get older, construction is a great activity to engage minds with play. This is a great station for all ages. Here's how to make it happen:
For Toddlers and Preschoolers:
Since their fine motor skills aren't quite developed yet, bigger materials will be better. Here are some great options:
- Jumbo Cardboard Blocks by Melissa and Doug. I remember playing for hours with these when I was a kid. Knocking them down was just as fun as building it up!
- Bristle Blocks by Battat. These chunky blocks fit together in a variety of ways. They also provide great tactile stimulation for young ones.
- Toilet Paper - as cheap as you can find. Seriously, what toddler doesn't enjoy playing with toilet paper. Give them a few rolls you bought at the dollar store, and demonstrate stacking them and knocking them down, and they'll love replaying the action over and over.
For Elementary Aged Kids
As your kids get a little older, they'll be ready to take on building with other materials that might be a bit more tricky. With the right materials, they'll love the challenge.
- Try tooth-picks and marshmallows. We're studying Medieval history right now, so with a few good castle books from the library, we were pretending to be building castles!
- Popsicle sticks
- Cardboard boxes
- Toilet paper rolls
- Recycled items
- Old cans
- Pipe cleaners
- a deck of cards
Really, sometimes the more mundane of a material, the more creative they become.
For Upper Elementary and Middle Schoolers
The construction station fun doesn't have to end as kids get older. It just gets more exciting! There are so many ways to incorporate learning through construction and deconstruction. Try some of these ideas:
- Take apart an old clock, or broken item in your home. Let them see what it's made of, and attempt to put it back together.
- Try a Creation Crate for a monthly delivery of new construction inspiration
- Expand your Lego lover's horizons with a Lego Mindstorm robotics kit.
The sky is the limit with fun construction ideas to inspire young builders, scientists, and engineers. What's better is that they won't even realize that they're learning because they're having so much fun!
What do your kids love to build with?
Check out more hands-on learning stations inspiration in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning series! Here are some more hands-on learning stations that feature science concepts.
- Snap Circuits
- Balance Practice
- Engineering Feats
- Investigate Nature
- Cultivating Curiosity with Documentaries
- Computer Science
- Fire Prevention and Safety
Check out the rest of the series for stations featuring other subjects: