Recently I attended a workshop at the UNL extension office in Lincoln titled STEAM* in Early Childhood. STEAM stands for *Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math.
The training included several hands-on activities including taking an ice ball formed in a balloon and adding salt and food coloring to it. The food coloring showed the patterns made by the salt melting the ice. This activity was really fun! Here’s a photo:
We also built structures out of newspaper and made a birdseed feeder with cookie cutters.
The training informed us about the inquiry process and how to facilitate it for preschooolers by encouraging inquiry, giving them time, fostering questions and helping them to reflect.
I included this process in my boat themed storytime. I had the children make rafts of popsicle sticks and colored duct tape. We took the rafts down to the courtyard to a small wading pool with a couple of inches of water. The children were able to see if the rafts actually floated. We provided small plastic animals for them to experiment with as well. Incorporating STEAM activities is easy and fun!
Here’s a link to building boats from recycled materials: https://frugalfun4boys.com/building-boats-from-recycled-materials/
Here is a link to water themed activities. http://handsonaswegrow.com/water-experiments-for-kids/
Here are some titles for encouraging water experimentation for children.