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5 STEM Activities Kids Will Love More Than Screen Time

yellow scope blog | stem summer activities

AVOID THE SUMMER SLIDE WITH STEM!

Summer, glorious summer! A time for relaxing, vacations, and unplugging... We’re several weeks into summer, and if your family is anything like ours, that last one might be a challenge. As an antidote to too much screen time, we’ve put together a list of STEM-based activities.

Not only will these activities help prevent the summer learning slide, they’ll also encourage kids to put down those screens for a bit. That’s what we call a win-win!

Some of the activities involve apps and online research. You can mix and match to strike a healthy balance between hands-on activities and educational online resources.

    1. DO SOME HANDS-ON EXPERIMENTS

      Yellow Scope | Summer STEM | Acids and Bases kit

      Does making elephant toothpaste, fizzy lemonade, or invisible ink sound fun? Check out these free resources for these and more exciting experiments:

      At home: Check our Yellow Scope’s 20 Minute Labs for a series of quick and fun hands-on experiments! Sign up for our email list and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for new labs every month.

      Send your kids to “camp”! Our Camp Yellow Scope  is a digital series of eight chemistry-based experiments, including printable instructions and worksheets to hypothesize, record, and analyze data.

      Online: There are some excellent online STEM resources to keep kids engaged. Check out Nova labs  from PBS. They cover topics ranging from cybersecurity to the sun.

      Science kits: If you are looking for convenience and real science equipment, consider everything-in-the-box science kits such as Yellow Scope’s Foundation Chemistry Kit or Acids, Bases & pH Kit. Your local library may also have science kits that can be checked out for free!

        2. GET OUT IN NATURE

          Yellow Scope | Summer STEM | Nature Walks

          Explore the natural world! Keep your eyes open and be curious.

          Identify plants: Learn the names of the plants in your own backyard or at your local park with the online projects like YardMap, or apps like PlantSnapp and Garden Answers.

          Take a hike: Hiking is not only good exercise, but can also stimulate your brain! Check out rock formations, birds’ nests, insects, and plants. Carry an inexpensive magnifying glass to get closer to nature. Bring along paper and markers to draw what you observe!

          Be a bird detective: Use this guidebook from Bird Sleuth to explore the world of birds in your neighborhood.

          Yellow Scope | Summer STEM | Stars, galaxies, meteor showerStars, galaxies, and more: Visit a local observatory to learn more about our universe. Keep a track of astronomical events that you can observe in your region even without a telescope.

          Mark your calendars for the Perseid meteor shower in August. Check out these other spectacular 2018 astronomical events. NASA is another great resource of online activities for kids.

          3. STEM BOOKS AND GAMES

           

          science books | Yellow Scope blogOnline: PBS and National Geographic are great resources for online STEM games for kids.

          Library: Check out STEM books or participate in STEM programs at your local library.

          STEM games: Check out these cool games that will keep your kiddos (and you!) busy for hours: Snap circuits junior, Lego Chain Reactions, Gravity Maze and Math for Love Prime Climb

          Subscribe to STEM magazines: Kids love getting mail! Consider a subscription to a STEM magazine. There are some great ones our there: SMORE, National Geographic, MUSE, or Strong Magazine.

            4. READ AND REVIEW REAL SCIENCE PAPERS

              Yellow Scope | Summer STEM activities | Frontiers for Young Minds- kids review science

              It’s true! There’s a science journal out there for kids. Real scientists submit papers there that are then reviewed by kids. If your kids are interested in learning more about scientific research and review process, sign them up for Frontiers for Young Minds. (for ages 8-15).

              5. MUSEUMS AND MOVIES

              Yellow Scope | Summer STEM | Science Museum

              Museums and science centers: Go visit your local science and technology museums. Explore the exhibits and participate in STEM activities there. 

              Movie night!: Grab the popcorn and queue up a science-themed Hollywood movie, such as Hidden Figures, Apollo 13, or The Martian. (Common Sense Media provides ratings and excellent descriptions of movies to help you determine if the subject matter is appropriate for your child.)

               

              SHARE WITH US!

              Let us know how your activities turned out! Did you identify a new plant or read any STEM book? Share your summer STEM photos and videos with us  on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We love getting your messages!




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