Skip to Content

How to Set Up a STEM Center at Home

Save this idea for later!

As a parent, you want your child to succeed. Adding more STEM learning for your children is a way to help them become problem-solvers, innovators, and critical thinkers.

But if you want more STEM education than what your school provides, you can set up your own STEM center at home. Follow along with this guide on how to set up a STEM center at home.

You can set up your own science center at home. Follow along with this guide on how to set up a STEM center at home.

Don’t miss the complete quick start guide to teaching STEM at home!

And if you love working with preschool science, try these preschool science experiments!

What is a STEM Center?

A STEM center is an area where children are allowed to explore the concepts of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) together as a unit to solve challenges or problems.

You’ll find many elementary teachers using STEM centers in the classroom, but parents can also create their own STEM center at home.

How to Set Up Your STEM Center at Home

You can set up your own science center at home. Follow along with this guide on how to set up a STEM center at home.

If you’re ready to set up a STEM center at home, follow along with these easy steps!

STEM Center Station Ideas

hand2mind STEM Bins by Brooke Brown, 12 Ready-to-Fill Plastic Bins with Manipulative Labels (Bins Only)hand2mind STEM Bins by Brooke Brown, 12 Ready-to-Fill Plastic Bins with Manipulative Labels (Bins Only)hand2mind STEM Bins by Brooke Brown, 12 Ready-to-Fill Plastic Bins with Manipulative Labels (Bins Only)Storex Flat Storage Tray with Lid, Letter Size, 10 x 13 x 3 Inches, Green, 5-Pack (62539U05C)Storex Flat Storage Tray with Lid, Letter Size, 10 x 13 x 3 Inches, Green, 5-Pack (62539U05C)Storex Flat Storage Tray with Lid, Letter Size, 10 x 13 x 3 Inches, Green, 5-Pack (62539U05C)Guidecraft Wooden 8 Shelf STEM Storage Unit - Rolling Science, Art Storage Cubby and Organizer, Kids Classroom Furniture, School SupplyGuidecraft Wooden 8 Shelf STEM Storage Unit – Rolling Science, Art Storage Cubby and Organizer, Kids Classroom Furniture, School SupplyGuidecraft Wooden 8 Shelf STEM Storage Unit - Rolling Science, Art Storage Cubby and Organizer, Kids Classroom Furniture, School SupplyGratnells MakerSpace Cart with 3 Deep and 12 Shallow Royal Blue Trays, 12 Mini bins, School Education Organizer Caddy, STEM STEAM, CastorsGratnells MakerSpace Cart with 3 Deep and 12 Shallow Royal Blue Trays, 12 Mini bins, School Education Organizer Caddy, STEM STEAM, CastorsGratnells MakerSpace Cart with 3 Deep and 12 Shallow Royal Blue Trays, 12 Mini bins, School Education Organizer Caddy, STEM STEAM, CastorsGuidecraft IO Blocks Center: 458 Building Pieces, 400 IO Blocks and 4 Storage Bins with Activity Table for Kids - STEM Educational and Learning Toy for ToddlersGuidecraft IO Blocks Center: 458 Building Pieces, 400 IO Blocks and 4 Storage Bins with Activity Table for Kids – STEM Educational and Learning Toy for ToddlersGuidecraft IO Blocks Center: 458 Building Pieces, 400 IO Blocks and 4 Storage Bins with Activity Table for Kids - STEM Educational and Learning Toy for ToddlersStorex Small Book Bin, Linking Storage Bins, Dry Erase Surface, 11.75Storex Small Book Bin, Linking Storage Bins, Dry Erase Surface, 11.75Storex Small Book Bin, Linking Storage Bins, Dry Erase Surface, 11.75UTEX 2-in-1 Kids Multi Activity Table and 2 Chairs Set with Storage (White)UTEX 2-in-1 Kids Multi Activity Table and 2 Chairs Set with Storage (White)UTEX 2-in-1 Kids Multi Activity Table and 2 Chairs Set with Storage (White)Milliard Kids Table and Chair Set Wood with Storage Baskets on Shelves, Activity Playset Furniture with Modern Gray ColorsMilliard Kids Table and Chair Set Wood with Storage Baskets on Shelves, Activity Playset Furniture with Modern Gray ColorsMilliard Kids Table and Chair Set Wood with Storage Baskets on Shelves, Activity Playset Furniture with Modern Gray ColorsKidKraft Kids Study Desk with Chair-WhiteKidKraft Kids Study Desk with Chair-WhiteKidKraft Kids Study Desk with Chair-White

 

Finding a Location for Your STEM Center

Once you pick what your STEM center will be (ours is just a white table with wheels from Ikea), then you can find a place for it.

I recommend placing it in an area of your home that is accessible to your kiddos, but also in a place where you can keep an eye on things. Placing your STEM center in an area of the house with a hard floor is highly recommended.

We currently have our STEM center in our filming studio, because we use it to film the Jarring Science Club lessons. But before we started the Jarring Science Club, we had our STEM center in our breakfast nook off of the kitchen.

If you have a garage that doesn’t get too hot or cold, that also makes a good location for a STEM center. You want to pick a location with a good amount of natural light, and a place where you can leave projects undisturbed overnight.

How to Set Up at STEM Center

set up science center at home

If you have the space, it works well to store your STEM supplies either by type of resource or by type of challenge.

We use the closet in our filming studio to store our STEM materials and we also have a large shelf in the garage where we store things. I like to store them by type of resource, so we have LEGOs together, science experiment supplies together, microscope stuff together, building materials together, and so on.

I bought little dish tubs to store our items in. You could also use stacking containers, but I found that when we stack supplies, no one puts them back, so we use open containers in just one row.

That way kids can just toss things back into the appropriate bin when they are done with them.

make at home stem center

You also should have a cleanup station with tons of paper towels, rags, and a trash can. These STEM activities can get messy, so having some tools to make clean-up easier will help a lot.

Supplies for an at-Home STEM Center

stem challenge worksheet

You’ll want to stock your STEM center with age-appropriate STEM supplies. We like to use recycled materials for building, blocks and building tools for engineering challenges, Squishy Circuits for electrical engineering activities, and basic science supplies for science investigations.

You can watch the video below for some of what we include in our STEM center at home, or go here for a complete, printable STEM supply list.

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment KitScientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment KitScientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment KitLearn & Climb Science Kit for Kids - 21 Experiments Science Set, Hours of Fun.Learn & Climb Science Kit for Kids – 21 Experiments Science Set, Hours of Fun.Learn & Climb Science Kit for Kids - 21 Experiments Science Set, Hours of Fun.4M Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit - Easy DIY STEM Toys Lab Experiment Specimens, A Great Educational Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls4M Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit – Easy DIY STEM Toys Lab Experiment Specimens, A Great Educational Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls4M Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit - Easy DIY STEM Toys Lab Experiment Specimens, A Great Educational Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & GirlsUNGLINGA Kids Science Experiment Kit with Lab Coat Scientist Costume Dress Up and Role Play Toys Gift for Boys Girls Kids Age 5 - 11 Christmas Birthday PartyUNGLINGA Kids Science Experiment Kit with Lab Coat Scientist Costume Dress Up and Role Play Toys Gift for Boys Girls Kids Age 5 – 11 Christmas Birthday PartyUNGLINGA Kids Science Experiment Kit with Lab Coat Scientist Costume Dress Up and Role Play Toys Gift for Boys Girls Kids Age 5 - 11 Christmas Birthday PartyDiscovery Extreme Chemistry Stem Science Kit by Horizon Group Usa, 40 Fun Experiments, Make Your Own Crystals, DIY Glowing Slime, Fizzy Eruptions, Gooey Worms & MoreDiscovery Extreme Chemistry Stem Science Kit by Horizon Group Usa, 40 Fun Experiments, Make Your Own Crystals, DIY Glowing Slime, Fizzy Eruptions, Gooey Worms & MoreDiscovery Extreme Chemistry Stem Science Kit by Horizon Group Usa, 40 Fun Experiments, Make Your Own Crystals, DIY Glowing Slime, Fizzy Eruptions, Gooey Worms & MoreNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Fossil Dig Kit - Excavate 15 real fossils including Dinosaur Bones, Mosasaur & Shark Teeth - Great STEM Science gift for Paleontology and Archeology enthusiasts of any ageNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Fossil Dig Kit – Excavate 15 real fossils including Dinosaur Bones, Mosasaur & Shark Teeth – Great STEM Science gift for Paleontology and Archeology enthusiasts of any ageNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Fossil Dig Kit - Excavate 15 real fossils including Dinosaur Bones, Mosasaur & Shark Teeth - Great STEM Science gift for Paleontology and Archeology enthusiasts of any ageScientific Explorer Disgusting Science KitScientific Explorer Disgusting Science KitScientific Explorer Disgusting Science KitCrayola Color Chemistry Set For Kids, Gift for Age 7+Crayola Color Chemistry Set For Kids, Gift for Age 7+Crayola Color Chemistry Set For Kids, Gift for Age 7+Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit - Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit – Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit - Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!CIRO solar robot kit 12 in 1 educational STEM learning science building toys for kids age 8-12CIRO solar robot kit 12 in 1 educational STEM learning science building toys for kids age 8-12CIRO solar robot kit 12 in 1 educational STEM learning science building toys for kids age 8-12Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit, Kids Building Projects Kits, Stem Engineering Toys for Kids 8+Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit, Kids Building Projects Kits, Stem Engineering Toys for Kids 8+Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit, Kids Building Projects Kits, Stem Engineering Toys for Kids 8+TELMU Microscope 40X-1000X Dual Cordless LED Illumination Lab Compound Monocular Microscopes with Optical Glass Lenses & 10 SlidesTELMU Microscope 40X-1000X Dual Cordless LED Illumination Lab Compound Monocular Microscopes with Optical Glass Lenses & 10 SlidesTELMU Microscope 40X-1000X Dual Cordless LED Illumination Lab Compound Monocular Microscopes with Optical Glass Lenses & 10 Slides

 

Easy STEM Challenges to Add to a STEM Center

build at home stem center

Try these fun STEAM challenges with your kids and add these challenges to your STEM center at home!

elementary stem challenge cards

STEM Challenge Idea Sparks

Carson Dellosa - Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideCarson Dellosa – Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideCarson Dellosa - Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up - TOTY Game of the Year FinalistThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up – TOTY Game of the Year FinalistThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up - TOTY Game of the Year FinalistCarson Dellosa - STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideCarson Dellosa – STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideCarson Dellosa - STEM Challenges Learning Cards for Grades 2-5, 30 Activity Cards, Ages 7-11 with Resource GuideMaking and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young ChildrenMaking and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young ChildrenMaking and Tinkering With STEM: Solving Design Challenges With Young ChildrenSuperScience STEM Instant Activities: Grades 4-6: 30 Hands-on Investigations With Anchor Texts and VideosSuperScience STEM Instant Activities: Grades 4-6: 30 Hands-on Investigations With Anchor Texts and VideosSuperScience STEM Instant Activities: Grades 4-6: 30 Hands-on Investigations With Anchor Texts and VideosThe Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsThe Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsThe Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsSTEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for KidsSTEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for KidsSTEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for KidsSTEM Lab (Maker Lab)STEM Lab (Maker Lab)STEM Lab (Maker Lab)STEM Activity Book: Science Technology Engineering Math: Packed with Activities and Facts (STEM Starters for Kids)STEM Activity Book: Science Technology Engineering Math: Packed with Activities and Facts (STEM Starters for Kids)STEM Activity Book: Science Technology Engineering Math: Packed with Activities and Facts (STEM Starters for Kids)

 

More STEM Challenges for Kids

If you like these challenges, you may also want to check out our list of STEM activities for kindergarten, STEM activities for elementary, STEM activities for toddlers, quick STEM activities, easy STEM activities, preschool STEM activities, and no-prep STEM activities!

Save this idea for later!

Blythe

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Hi Thank you that was very interesting im setting up a STEM area at our Preschool. The list would be a great help. 😀

Brenda Priddy

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Glad you're finding it useful! Did you sign up for the quick start guide?