Spring is here! I love spring and all that the season has to offer. From the warm spring breeze and the returning sound of birds chirping to flowers blooming and new life all around, how could you not love spring? To celebrate the start of the season, I created a new Spring STEM activity for kids.
When I create new STEM activities and challenges I love to try them out in my kindergarten class with my students. The activities that are the most popular, and the kids favorites, are the ones that I then share with you because I’m confident your kids will love them too.
A STEM activity is a hands-on activity that incorporates one of more Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math skills. The activities typically use simple materials and are largely open ended and child led.
This Spring STEM activity only requires a few materials that you may already have on hand. It’s a fun activity for children to problem solve and try different strategies in order to find a solution. It also has a fun spring theme which engages kids even more.
If you are looking for even more STEM ideas and STEM challenges, check out my collection of over 45 STEM Challenge Ideas for kids. These challenges can be used year round!
Spring STEM Activity – The Challenge
For this STEM activity, the challenge is simple. Use the materials to create a path for your egg to move from the ‘Start’ to the ‘Nest’ at the other end. It cannot fall off the table, so your path must keep the egg within its boundaries, but also allow it to move to the end. You will blow the egg, either with a straw or your mouth, to move it from one end to the other. You cannot touch the egg.
It can also add to the fun and engagement if you tell children to imagine that they found an egg and they need to get it safely back into the nest, without touching it. The egg is light so they have to blow on it to gently get it back to its home/nest.
I have included free printable Spring STEM activity cards that you can print and post with the activity or send home as an activity kit. A printable to attach to the nest is also included.
Spring STEM Challenge Materials
As with any STEM activity, I encourage you to use materials that you already have. STEM activities should not be expensive and it is a great chance for kids to use familiar materials in a whole new way.
For this Spring STEM activity, you will need:
- Play Dough
- Popsicle Sticks (Optional)
- Egg(s) (I’ve included some ideas below)
- Straws (Optional)
- Small Container
- Printables (Link for the free printables is included at the bottom of this post.)
You can do this activity without the popsicle sticks. When I did this activity with my students, I included the popsicle sticks and the kids enjoyed using them and came up with some great ideas, so I have included them here. The sticks can also help if you don’t have a huge amount of play dough to use.
For the eggs, I used white plastic eggs from a dollar store. However, you could use plastic Easter eggs or even a real egg. If you choose to use a real egg, you would need to blow out the yolk and empty the egg so that it is not as heavy.
Spring STEM Challenge Set-Up
Another great thing about STEM activities is that the prep time and set up are typically quick and easy.
On the table, either in dry erase marker or even on a piece of tape, print Start and Nest. Where the word Start is place all of the play dough you have for children to use as well as the popsicle sticks, straw(s) and an egg.
On the other end of the table, print the word Nest. To add to the challenge you can print nest at the opposite corner of where you have printed start. This way players have to change the direction of the egg and create a path that curves. Doing this makes creating a path harder, but it’s a great extra challenge.
Below the word Nest, attach a small container and the (free printable) picture of a nest. I secured the container with tape over the side of the table. I added some strips of brown paper to make it look a bit more like a nest, but this extra paper is not necessary for the challenge.
This is where children are trying to get their egg into. It doesn’t need to be a big nest/container, and the smaller you make your nest, the more challenging the activity becomes.
Spring STEM Activity Solutions
I always love doing STEM activities with kids because I truly enjoy seeing what they come up with to solve the challenge. There are always ideas and answers that I never would have thought it. Often there are no two solutions that are the same either.
STEM activities are a wonderful chance to give children the opportunity and freedom to be creative and show some of their unique ideas and potential. Imagine what this kind of thinking and creativity can lead to in the future!
Once you have given children the materials, and explained the challenge, the rest is up to them! A few possible solutions are included below.
Some children used the materials to create a path with the play dough. They then tested their path by blowing their egg from the start to the nest. However, sometimes the egg went up over the play dough and off track. The group then used the popsicle sticks to create a wall to prevent the egg from going off.
This solution used a lot of play dough, but it ultimately worked and they got the egg into the nest.
Children had fun blowing their egg through the path and into the nest. I challenged them to get three eggs into the nest before claiming that they had found a solution. If it worked every time after three times in a row, then it was safe to say they were successful!
Other groups only used the play dough to help stand up their popsicle sticks. They created small balls to squish the sticks into to create their path.
Other groups simply created something like a funnel at the end near the word nest and around the edges of the table. They were confident that they could blow their egg carefully into the nest so they only blocked around the edges, just in case.
They did not create a path, but they did still find a solution to the challenge.
Spring STEM Activity Kit
If you are looking for a prize, gift or educational activity to give to children to work on at home, creating a Spring STEM Activity kit is an easy option.
Grab a large sealable bag and put the materials needed for the challenge. With the free printables, there are full size activity cards and a page with smaller activity card sheets. (Four to a page)
Seal up the bag and the child can do the activity at any time! The materials are also reusable so they can create and create again.
All of the pages that you see in the Spring STEM Activity can be downloaded, for free, from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. Click the image below to subscribe and you will receive a link to the Free Resource Library, filled with printable resources that you can use today. There are always new products being added and you can use any that are of interest to you.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
Looking for more hands-on teaching ideas? Check out the activity ideas below for more learning resources. From more Spring STEM activities and spring outdoor ideas to science experiments and bridge building challenges for any time of year, there is lots of ideas to keep kids learning at home, or school.