Exploring science concepts from an early age isn’t about chemical experiments or understanding Laws of Gravity; it’s about fostering a love of exploration, discovery and imagination. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering) is hands-on in nature, making it a natural fit for children to love.
STEM is about the process as much as the outcome – giving children the space and time to explore, problem solve, hypothesize and encourage communication.
Stereotypes of STEM often conjure images of beakers and gauze mats in the schooling years, and even volcanoes from the early years – but what are simple science and engineering concepts that can be introduced to babies?
So what does STEM look like for babies?
Typically, babies explore through hands-on manipulation of resources like:
Investigating materials through sand and water play, or making waves in the bath
Discovering physics by playing with magnets
Comparing sizes and shapes with different objects in the house
Learning about opposites through filling and emptying buckets, or wet and dry sand
Supporting science at home
Especially for little learners, supporting STEM at home is easiest through describing actions and items you see. Even though your baby may not understand your words, it’s about introducing language and encouraging them to notice differences and action-reactions as well. For example:
‘When you dropped that toy, it made a sound’
‘When you dropped the ball, it fell to the ground’
‘When the colours start mixing, they start to create a new colour – what is that colour?’
‘The light was off, and it was dark. The light is on now and it’s bright!’
Learn more about the importance of exploring science and STEM from an early age, and how our Lifelong Learning Centres facilitate child-led exploration and a love of learning through the Healthy Minds program.
Find your closest Lifelong Learning Centre online today or call 1800 CHILD CARE.