“STEAM skills” is a buzz phrase for good reason. After all, science + tech innovations are becoming more and more essential as our society moves toward globalization in a knowledge-based economy. In the words of the National Science Foundation, our youngest kids are being challenged to develop their capabilities in STEAM areas to levels “much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
Sounds so daunting, right? How are we as parents supposed to prepare our kids for such a massive responsibility? How do we ready them for such technological advancements? Does this mean we should just throw an iPad at our kids and see what sticks?
Not so fast. Below, learn the the simplest way to foster STEAM skills in your kids under 7 – along with a reading list for further boost those brains!
Time is the #1 ingredient
Guess what? Young children are, by nature, our world’s greatest STEAM experts already.
Allison Gopnik, American professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, argues this: “It’s not that children are little scientists — it’s that scientists are big children. Scientists are the few people who, as adults, get to have this protected time when they can just explore, play, figure out what the world is like.”
In other words, the best, simplest way to offer our kids a STEAM-forward environment by gifting them a scientist’s greatest resource: time. Time to explore and play, to figure things out. This means our job isn’t about creating more hard drive space for apps; it’s about creating more space for childhood.
Did you know?
The word “physics” stems from the Greek word physica, which means “natural things.” Science is all around us already! The whole world is a laboratory teeming with things to discover! All we need to do is get out of the way and let our children explore their natural world.
Tower building. Blowing bubbles. Racing Matchbox cars down makeshift cardboard ramps. Shadow puppets with a flashlight and a pair of hands. Paper airplane races.
The bottom line is this: STEAM skills aren’t only to be developed in a sterile laboratory or microscope-clad classroom. They’re right in front of us – day after day – if only we have eyes to see.
BONUS: READING LIST
Ready to take your STEAM experiment a step further? These 9 classic titles are sure to bend your kid’s ears toward their own STEAM experience, sparking dozens of ideas for play, exploration, and innovation:
- Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty
- The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires
- Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell
- Dreaming Up, by Christy Hale
- Perfect Square, by Michael Hall
- What To Do With a Box, by Jane Yolen
- After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again), by Dan Santat
- The Girl Who Thought in Pictures, by Julia Finley Mosca
- Grandfather Tang’s Story, by Ann Tompert
Plus, 5 STEAM Skills Lessons to Try
Want to build your young child’s STEAM skills under your own roof, using items you already own, in a simple, no-fuss, zero-pressure way? Don’t miss our STEAM Skills Bonus Pack in the Marketplace here – just $5!