The kids are off from school all week. Here are FIVE things you can do this winter break to keep them engaged and focused on STEM activites.
1. Christmas Card Towers - What can you do with all the Christmas cards you received this year? Have a contest to find out who can make the tallest free standing tower of Christmas Cards in 10 minutes. You can have your children work together or individually. It's fun, educational, and a little competition is healthy.
2. Play a game of Chess - It's never to early to teach your child how to play the most famous game in the world. There are many benefits of learning how to play: improved concentration, builds strategic skills, independence, and many more. If you don't know how to play, don't worry. Parents can download the app Chess- Play & Learn on your phone or tablet or go to www.chess.com
3. Winter Bubbles - Make a mixture of heated dish soap and water. Then go outdoors to blow bubbles through a bubble wand. If the weather is close to 0 Farenheit you can observe the bubbles freeze right before your eyes. Children of all ages will love this winter experiment!
4. Register for a FREE Trial STEM class at The STEM Shoppe. Visit www.TheStemShoppe.com to choose either a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurday at 4:30PM or Saturday at 10:30AM.
5. Hot Chocolate Experiments - The challenge is to melt three marshmallows in hot cholocate. You will need instant hot chocolate packs, mini marshmallows, styrofoam cups, spoons, boiling milk and water. First, boil milk and water. in seperate pans. Then have the children pour one packet of instant hot chocolate into two styrofoam cups, pouring half of the packet into each cup. Next, you will conduct the milk experiment first. Add 6oz of milk. Have the children stir their hot chocolate. Finally, the times has come to give each child three marshmallows. Each child inserts their marshmallows at the same time and the timer begins. Have your children stir or dunk their marshmallows into the hot chocolate. Use a timer to accurately determine the time. Repeat the experiment with water. Will the marshmallows melt faster in hot chocolate made with milk or water?
Delia Bayna, M.Ed. is an elementary educator and frequently provides professional development opportunities for K-6 teachers state-wide.