STEAM in the Early Years
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Maths. You may know the acronym STEM better, but the arts are often added to acknowledge the role of creativity and design in STEM fields. It’s also meant to pull in children for whom STEM may not directly appeal and works particularly well in the early years to make these disciplines more tangible.
Why is STEAM so important in the Early Years?
Young minds are information sponges. While toddlers and preschoolers are too young to comprehend complex equations or sit down with a science textbook, they can still develop a love of learning about the STEAM subjects through play.
STEAM in the early years focuses on self-directed play and exploration rather than directed teaching of concepts. Think about scientists conducting experiments - these are the kinds of curious and inquisitive minds to encourage in children.
STEAM learning is becoming increasingly common in the years before formal school education begins. It’s the best way to prepare young children for the educational journeys that await them, while retaining the need for fun and excitement so important at this age. Children that undergo this type of learning in their infancy are shown to have a better chance of transitioning into school life with ease, with this comfort and confidence translating to better performances too.
So, how can you get involved in STEAM at home?
1. Provide the right resources
Many of the best STEAM experiences come when children are playing outdoors with natural materials, like in a mud kitchen.
You can also create your own STEAM environments indoors by providing a selection of resources to play and experiment with. When they’re in the bath for example, provide a range of tubes, funnels and
containers to investigate pouring, measuring and comparing quantities.
2. Engage in play beside them
While it’s important to allow your child to lead their own investigations, having you alongside them to make observations modeling the appropriate language is very important.
Notice what your child is doing and then provide language to explain what they see. For example “Oooh look the water comes out of the bigger funnel more quickly!”
Appearing interested in what they’re investigating (even if you’re not!) will foster their own enthusiasm.
3. Encourage curiosity
This is another part of playing alongside your child. I can spot a teacher a mile off when they’re talking to their children as they’ll be asking questions and encouraging their child to come up with answers themselves.
Try saying “I wonder what will happen if….” or asking “What do you think will happen when…?” If they’re not initially interested, just go about finding out yourself and show them that when you wonder about something, you then investigate to find out the answer.
4. Join us Online
At Little STEAMers, we run classes for 2-5 year olds to introduce new concepts in age appropriate ways and provide ideas for follow up play and exploration together at home.
You can join our interactive classes via Zoom or watch our recorded classes on demand covering subjects like potions, floating and sinking, engineering bridges and even gravity!
We hope you’ll join us to explore together soon.
Little STEAMers are home-based science classes for 2-5 year olds. Led by a qualified teacher, they bring fun hands-on learning to children and give them a head start on their school journey ahead of them.
Little STEAMers classes are ideal for nannies to join with children as they can be done on your own schedule at home, giving you educational activities together without the need for extra planning. Nannies can get their own login to access classes as well as parents so it's as flexible as you want it to be.
They're offering Homebodies nannies and parents their first class for free which you can either join live or download an on-demand class. Live classes run on Thursdays at 4pm, Fridays at 10am and Saturdays or Sundays at 10am.
Click here to find out more and try your first class free. Make sure to mention in your sign-up form that you hear from us :)