If you are looking for fun STEM activities to incorporate into your child's daily schedule, look no further! Below I have a list of fun, easy STEM challenges your child can complete at home. These activities do not require an electronic device. If you are looking for interactive apps and websites for your child to explore, check out the Apps and Websites tab.
»»» New Challenge!
Build your own foosball table!
This challenge is appropriate for students' grades 3-5.
Foosball is a tabletop version of soccer in which players turn rods fixed on top of a playing box and attached to miniature figures of players, in order to flick the ball and strike it toward the goal.
Your challenge is to create your own foosball table using materials you can find around your house!
- A cardboard box. You can use any size box, but rectangular ones works best.
- Wooden craft sticks. You need them to make the players. If you don't have craft sticks, use something you have at home like plastic spoons or clothespins.
- Wooden dowels or straws. These will be used to spin the players. You just need something long, skinny, and sturdy.
- Tape, hot glue, or regular glue to stick the players to the spinning sticks.
- A small ball for when you are ready to play! A ping-pong ball works well.
- Make the holes in your box for the poles (kickers) to go through. I would stick to two rows per team (four rows total). Measure and make sure they are lined up properly. This is a step where adult help is needed as a sharp object is necessary to poke the holes.
- Decorate your players. Make sure the teams have different colors.
- Attach your players to the poles (kickers).
- Decorate the rest of the box.
- Optional: cut out a square on each end for the goal. You could also just draw the box for the goal.
- Find someone to play
Note: It takes a lot of testing to make sure everything works properly. You may have to improve your design a few times before your Foosball table is ready for a game!
»»» New Challenge!
Build Chirp a Nest!
This challenge is appropriate for students' grades K-2.
This lesson works best by beginning with the episode Chirp Builds a Nest. Click on the underlined title and it will bring you to the video.
Chirp wonders if building a nest will help her learn how to fly. Peep and chirp work together to build a nest. Their first try does not work, and they have to improve their design. Use the Engineering Design Process to design and build a nest for Chirp!
Use whatever you can find at home! Set out a pile of materials for your child to choose from and let them be creative when building their nests. Some examples of great building materials you may have at your house are listed below.
- Sticks from outside
- Craft sticks
- Hair pins
- Decide what type of nest you want to make. Ask questions about bird nests and what it needs to do. (Hold eggs, protect the bird and the eggs, etc.)
- Imagine different designs for your nest. Draw out at least four different options.
- Make a plan. Draw your final design and decide what materials you will need to make your nest.
- Create your nest, following your plan and using the materials you chose.
- Show someone your nest for Chirp, explaining why you created it and what it does. Improve your nest after your conversation.
Draw your own Chirp for your nest, or make a Chirp out of things you can find around the house! See if your nest fits your Chirp.
Build your own robot!
This is a challenge appropriate for students grades K-2.
You may want to begin this challenge by listening to the book Robot Rumpus. Click on the title and it will bring you to the read aloud.
There are many different types of robots in our world. They all look different, and have different purposes. There are some robots that help build things, others that help clean, and different robots that help us to cook! Your challenge today is to create your own robot, making sure it is designed for it's assigned job!
Our story had many different types of robots. Think about what kind of robot you want to make.
Use whatever you can find around the house. Give your student a bunch of different options and allow them to choose what they would like for their robot. The more options you have, the more creative they can be! Below are some examples of materials that may work well.
- Paper cup
- Toilet paper roll
- Construction paper
- Craft sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Cotton balls
- Plastic water bottles
- Decide what type of robot you want to make. Ask questions about the robots function and what it needs to be able to do.
- Imagine different designs for your robot. Draw out at least four different options.
- Make a plan. Draw your final design and decide what materials you will need to make your robot.
- Create your robot, following your plan and using the materials you chose.
- Show someone your robot creation, explaining the different parts of your robot. Improve your robot after your conversation.
Create your own game!
This activity is appropriate for students grades 3-5.
It is hard to keep busy during these long days at home. Here are some challenges that allow your child to create games of their own that will keep them busy for days! There are specific materials necessary for each challenge, but you can be creative and switch out materials for what you have available at home! Send me pictures of the awesome games you create.
Game #1: Build your own gameboard and code your way out
- Get a square piece of paper or a large square of cardboard.
- Have your student make it into a checkered gameboard. They can do this with markers or tape. It doesn't matter how many squares there are, that is up to the creator!
- Now your student needs to write "start" somewhere on their board, and decide where they want to write "finish."
- They may use action figures they have, or create their own obstacles out of household materials. They could create natural landmarks or make it fictional. They get to be creative!
- Once their obstacles are in place and they've chosen a start and finish place, they can play their game with someone at home. The goal is to program the person through their game from start to finish without running into any of their obstacles.
- Make it more difficult by adding more obstacles or move them around each time for a new game! You could even add spaces with prizes or gems that you need to program your character to grab.
It's time to build!
This challenge is appropriate for students of all ages.
If you have Legos, blocks, or another building tool this is super easy for you to do at home. If you follow the directions below, the students will use the Engineering Design Process to guide them through this challenge.
- Choose a challenge from the list below. Tell our child the challenge and the materials they will be given for the challenge.
- Have them ask you questions about the challenge. Ex: How much time? How big does it need to be? Do I have to be able to transport it?
- Allow them to imagine 4 different designs for their challenge. They should draw them on a piece of paper.
- Tell them to pick their favorite design and create a plan. They should draw their favorite plan on the other side of the paper and briefly write how they are going to build it.
- Create! Give them their materials, a space to work, set a timer, and allow them to work!
- When they are finished, talk about their creation with them. I guarantee you'll get some very cool responses. Also, give them a chance to improve their design.
- Build your name out of your building materials.
- Build a pyramid.
- Make a boat that really floats in water.
- Make a Lego car that really drives.
- Build a fire station.
- Build something that flies.
- Make something that is symmetrical- the same on both sides.
- Build a chair that can hold a stuffed animal.
- Build a rocket.
- Build a bridge that a toy car can drive across/can hold weights.
- Build a house with rooms.
- Build a rainbow with all of the colors.
- Build a model of your bedroom.
- Create a jungle.
- Create a treasure map.
Come up with your own challenges as well! You will be amazed by what your child can create with limited materials :)
More Lego STEM Challenges!
Fun STEM challenges to fill your days. You can go to the apps and websites tab to find some resources to complete these challenges!