Do you want to encourage your child’s love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)? It can be hard to know where to begin. After all, while you want to provide them with meaningful opportunities to develop their STEM knowledge, you also want to make these experiences enjoyable.
If you’re after some fun ways to encourage a love of STEM, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve shared 3 ideas that will foster a love of STEM for years to come.
1. Teach Them How to Play Chess
As you may already be aware, chess is one of the most popular games in the world. While we can’t know for sure precisely how many people play, estimates generally range from hundreds of millions to a billion players worldwide.
If you’re a chess player yourself, you’ll understand what makes this game so appealing. Not only does it get your mind ticking, but it’s also incredibly entertaining to play. Chess is also known for helping enhance STEM skills in children, in particular mathematical abilities.
As ChessEdu points out, chess is a “terrific way” to introduce STEM to children, and can also help them to develop a whole host of useful life skills such as critical thinking, abstract reasoning, strategic planning, problem solving, and creativity.
So if you’re looking for a fun way to encourage a love of STEM, chess is it. The only problem is that for many children, this game can seem overly confusing and even intimidating to play. That’s why it’s important to ensure the game is presented in an accessible and enticing way to them.
This isn’t hard to do if you’re playing on a Square Off automatic chessboard. Branded “The World’s Smartest Chessboard,” Square Off is designed to support learning and understanding of the game, while making the experience as thrilling as possible. Your child’s eyes are sure to light up each time they play against the built-in AI, or they test out a new move on you. In short, this unique chessboard will offer your child all the support they need to develop their chess skills, and in turn, their STEM skills.
2. Go Stargazing
Another fun way to encourage your child’s love of STEM is to buy them a kid-friendly telescope. A telescope will equip them with the means to explore the wonders of outer space, from shooting stars, to constellations, to planets.
There are many reasons why telescopes make such an excellent STEM-focused learning tool. For starters, using one will help to foster their curiosity in astronomy and lead to further learning opportunities. The topic already naturally lends itself to questions, so don’t be surprised when your child bombards you with questions about after their stargazing sessions!
Another reason why telescopes make such a great STEM-focused learning tool is that they can be surprisingly affordable. There are all kinds of telescopes for kids in a range of price points, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your needs and budget. To give you an idea of just how affordable some options are, one of the best budget ones around has a price tag of just $36!
Telescopes for kids are also designed to be easy and enjoyable to use, so you won’t have trouble trying to convince your child to give it a go. In fact, the only problem you may encounter is trying to pry your child away from it!
3. Make Use of Online Resources
Most kids will jump at any excuse to use a laptop or tablet. So why not make the most of their love of technology (which is, in fact, the ‘T’ in STEM!) and introduce them to some useful STEM-related online resources?
There are a plethora of resources available in a range of formats. Some ideas include STEM-related:
- YouTube channels, such as SciShow Kids
- Audiobooks, such as the Hidden Figures audiobook for young readers
- Websites, such as STEM-Works
- Projects, such as those from BrainPOP
Depending on your child’s age, you can either work through the activities together, or leave them to their own devices.
“It’s always a good idea to follow up with your child after they complete any STEM-related activities,” says Angela Stringfellow from Girls Who STEM. “Asking them relevant questions about their experience will give them a chance to reflect on it and to consolidate their learning.”
Engaging your child in STEM learning doesn’t need to be boring. There are countless ways to make STEM learning fun. The 3 ideas we shared above are a great place to start, and will hopefully spark a lifetime love of STEM in your little one.
Check out the world’s smartest AI chess board, that makes its own moves!