Stave off the dreaded “I’m bored” syndrome that hits partway into any vacation or downtime with a few of the BEST simple STEM activities that cost almost next to nothing. We have a bunch of easy STEM challenges to get the juices flowing, keep the kids thinking, and best of all learning. As always we have plenty of science experiments and STEM activities to get through a whole year. Shhh, don’t tell them!

BEST EVER SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES TO KEEP KIDS BUSY!

Stave off the dreaded "I'm bored" syndrome that hits part way into any vacation or down time with a few of the BEST simple STEM activities that cost almost next to nothing. We have a bunch of simple STEM challenges to get the juices flowing, keep the kids thinking, and best of all still learning. As always we have plenty of science and STEM to get through a whole year. Shhh don't tell them!

EASY STEM CHALLENGES

So you ask, what does costing next to nothing look like for a simple STEM activity? What materials do I actually need to do fun STEM activities? If I don’t know a whole lot about STEM, can we still do these activities?

Well, easy STEM activities can look exactly like grabbing items from the pantry, recycling bin, junk drawer, and maybe a trip to the dollar store too. I always like to make sure I have a few basic supplies on hand as you will find in our engineering kit for kids.

WHAT IS STEM?

First, if you don’t know a whole lot about STEM, we have a few great STEM resources to start with to get your feet wet.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, and activities involving these fields have a huge impact on kids. Even the simplest STEM activities like the catapult I talk about below provide numerous opportunities for kids to learn and explore STEM.

It might look like your kids are just playing, but they are doing oh so much more. Look closely, you will see the design process in motion. You will see experimenting and critical thinking in action, and you will notice problem-solving at its finest.  When kids play, they learn about the world around them!

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges. 

STEM TEACHES LIFE SKILLS

There are some great vacation or distance learning STEM activities here that will really keep everyone busy. I highly encourage you to get in on the fun if you can but hold back on providing the answers when things don’t go as expected.

Read more on how STEM provides real-world skills!

Younger kids may need more assistance while older kids might choose to work independently.

Frustration and failure go hand in hand with success and perseverance. You can provide encouragement when things aren’t working well and offer congratulations for a successful challenge completed.

It’s always good to talk about the importance of failing with our kids. Some of our greatest inventors like Darwin, Newton, Einstein, and Edison failed and failed time again only to make history later on. And why is that? Because they didn’t give up.

10 SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

So let’s get started with some of the best, simplest, and most fun STEM activities that will have your kids chanting your name and eagerly waiting for the next awesome idea.

Each of these easy STEM activities will provide you with a materials list or you can read about it under the descriptions below. The STEM supplies are pretty simple and you probably have most of it floating around the house.

1. Build a Catapult 

Time to storm the castle with a homemade catapult that explores many parts of STEM and that is entirely playful. The kids will come back to this one over and over again. We have several popular versions of the homemade catapult, the best being made out of craft sticks and rubber bands.

POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT

PENCIL CATAPULT

MARSHMALLOW CATAPULT

LEGO CATAPULT

popsicle stick catapult

2. Build a Balloon Rocket 

Oh, the fun you can have with Sir Isaac Newton, a balloon, a straw, and some string. Explore Newton’s Third Law of Motion when you design a balloon rocket. Have races, conduct experiments, and explore physics while you play.

Here’s our Christmas theme balloon rocket… MAKE A BALLOON ROCKET

Alternatively, you can make a balloon car!

3. Build Structures

All you need is a box of toothpicks and a bag of mini marshmallows, gumdrops, or styrofoam peanuts. Turn it into a challenge to build a certain style of a bridge, a famous monument, or simply an abstract creation. Or you can challenge the kids to build a tower 12″ tall (or any other height).

GUMDROP STRUCTURES

GUMDROP BRIDGE BUILDING

POOL NOODLE STRUCTURES

EDIBLE STRUCTURES

STYROFOAM BALLS

8

4. 100 Cup Tower Challenge

Grab a bag of 100 cups at the grocery store and challenge the kids to build a tower with all 100! That will keep them busy. Grab a free printable too.

CHECK OUT: 100 Cup Tower Challenge

5. Think Like the 3 Little Pigs (Architectural Activity)

What happens when you take a classic fairy tale like The Three Little Pigs and you join it with architectural inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright? You get an awesome STEM picture book called The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale written by Steve Guarnaccia. Of course, we had to come up with an easy STEM project to go along with it and a free printable pack too!

CHECK OUT: DESIGN A HOUSE (with printables)

6.  Learn Basic Coding

Computer coding with LEGO® is a great introduction to the world of coding using a favorite building toy. Yes, you can teach young kids about computer coding, especially if they are highly interested in computers and how they work.

CHECK OUT:

PRINTABLE ALGORITHM GAMES

LEGO CODING ACTIVITIES

SECRET DECODER RING

CODE YOUR NAME IN BINARY

Lego Computer Coding Binary Alphabet

7. Build a Marble Run

Building a marble run is full of design possibilities and really encourages those engineering skills. You can build it on the wall with cardboard tubes and tape, with LEGO bricks on a baseplate, or in a box top with tape, craft sticks, or straws.

CHECK OUT:

LEGO MARBLE RUN

CARDBOARD TUBE MARBLE RUN

POOL NOODLE MARBLE RUN

8. Paper Chain Challenge

Only one sheet of paper needed to get started with this super easy to set up STEM challenge. As long as your kiddo can use scissors safely, this is a great challenge to try! Perfect for different ages, groups, and team building!

CHECK OUT: Paper Chain Challenge

9. Egg Drop Challenge

If you can stand to give your kids a carton of raw eggs, this type of STEM challenge will be a blast. Have each kid design a mechanism that will protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped. Look around the house for items that could work. Challenge your kids to only use what they can find and not buy.

CHECK OUT: EGG DROP PROJECT

egg drop ideas for kids to try

10. Build A Simple Machine

Simple machines make our lives so much easier. Do your kids know all 6 simple machines? Have them do some investigative research and find a simple machine they can build from materials on hand.

CHECK OUT:

LEGO SIMPLE MACHINES

HOMEMADE PULLEY SYSTEM

BUILD A WINCH

 Winch Simple machines Recycled STEM Activity

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges. 

CHECK OUT MORE FUN STEM ACTIVITIES

SET UP SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES AT A MOMENTS NOTICE!

Discover more fun and easy science & STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.

Best ever STEM and science activities for kids.

2 Comments

Comments are closed.