If you’re interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, then you’ll love this list of STEM activities for kids that you can do in the classroom or at home.
A STEM activity is similar to science experiments for kids, but instead of just involving science, the activity includes other elements that round-out the study and foster a love of exploration and discovery that children can take with them beyond school into their future careers and lives.
A child interested in STEM topics is a child who will succeed throughout life and have a thirst for knowledge that can’t be quenched.
STEM Activities for Kids for Every Season, Grade, and Holiday!
Use these STEM activities for kids in your classroom or at home to expand on your STEM themes and make STEM learning a lot more fun!
Find STEM activity ideas for kids from toddlers through middle school below!
Table of Contents
What Is a STEM Activity?
STEM is not so much a topical study as it is an approach to teaching and learning the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM uses all of these subjects together to solve real-world problems.
A STEM activity uses elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to solve problems. All STEM projects are inquiry-based, which means they are designed to answer a question (often a question the child creates herself).
STEM based activities encourage children to see subjects like math and science in a new light, and how to use those subjects to solve their day to day problems and the problems that they might face as adults.
All STEM experiments should contain elements of at least two disciplines in STEM, and all of them when possible!
As critical thinking and creative thinking become more and more important, STEM activities provide a safe and fun way for children to explore the concepts of science, math, engineering, and technology in a kid-friendly and fun way.
Even if a child never goes into a STEM field as an adult, engaging in STEM will encourage problem-solving, logical thinking, and creativity in any industry.
At the pre-elementary and elementary level, STEM experiments are about exploring STEM subjects in a fun and hands-on way.
We’re passionate about STEAM activities and have tried hundreds of projects over the years. Use this resource as a simple way to get started with your own STEM studies.
The Benefits of STEM Activities for Kids
Many schools require some form of STEM education in the classroom. But you don’t have to be a teacher to do STEM lessons with kids. You can also try some at home, during school holidays or over the summer.
Not only do STEM projects help children learn how to solve problems on their own, but it also allows hands-on kiddos to learn in a way that makes sense to them.
Children who need to touch and feel to learn effectively will thrive in a STEM-focused classroom or home.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame has this to say about the benefits of STEM education for kids.
STEM-based education teaches children more than science and mathematics concepts. The focus on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets, including creativity and 21st-century skills.
21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility and initiative. Other skills attained through STEM education include problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more. Regardless of the future career path considered by these children, these skill sets go a long way to preparing them to be innovative.What is the Value of STEM Education?
How to Teach STEM
You don’t have to be a professional teacher to teach STEM! I have never taught full-time in the classroom, but I am so happy I started doing STEM activities with my kids at home anyway!
If you’re not a teacher, you’ll want to check out my guide on how to teach STEM at home.
There are tons of STEM activity ideas out there, but not all of them are as creative as others! These creative STEM activities for kids are hands-on, fun and will appeal to kids who aren’t necessarily into science already.
A good place to start is with these no prep STEM challenges!
Super Fun, Hands-On STEM Activities for Kids from Toddlers Through Teens!
Find everything you need for STEM activities for kids with these lists of 100s of fun science activity themes!
Elementary school science fair projects provide a foundation to STEM studies and are usually the kids’ favorite projects!
These science experiments for kids are all made using basic household supplies and will provide the “wow” factor that your STEM studies need!
These fun technology activities for kids help kids use technology in their studies. We believe all kids should learn to code! Our list of Technology Activities for Kids includes resources for coding, electrical engineering, measuring weather and climate, and more!
Engineering is an important part of STEM. Engineering teaches out-of-the-box thinking, critical thinking, and creative learning!
Engineering can be as simple as fitting the pieces of a puzzle together or as complicated as building a backyard swing set.
Engineering skills will stay with a child for life and benefit her/him in creative thinking, logic, critical thinking, and common sense. Don’t miss our best Engineering Activities for Kids.
Although not all adults use all forms of math in their lives, math provides an essential foundation for learning how to think logically and solve problems in a calm, clear way.
Even if your child never even calculates the tip at a restaurant when they get older, learning math skills will create logical thinking patterns that will benefit your child in every way.
But that isn’t to say math can’t be fun! We love doing these hands-on math activities for kids.
STEM Activities in a Box!
Sometimes it is easier to just buy a STEM kit pre-made with everything you need in one box. These are our favorite STEM and science kit providers:
- Young Scientists Club
- Zoob STEM in a Box
- Discovering STEM Newton’s Laws Box
- Snap Circuits
- STEM Discovery Box
- KLUTZ LEGO Chain Reactions Box
- Makeblock Robot Kit
STEM Activities For Kids Age 2-14!
STEM challenges and projects are important for every grade level. Research suggests that the more hands-on STEM learning a child has as they grow and develop, the better they will do in life as they become adults.
Multiple types of research have identified how important it is for kids to engage in hands-on STEM learning to maximize knowledge and skills.
Mathematics and Science are practical and activity-oriented and can best be learnt through
inquiry and through intelligent manipulation of objects and symbols.(Okebukola in Mandor, 2002)
Informal learning environments increase students’ interest in STEM.(e.g., Mohr‐Schroeder et al. School Sci Math 114: 291–301, 2014)
But over and over what these studies show is that during the early years, it’s not the complicated, in-depth exposure to STEM topics that help children succeed in the future, it really is just the chance to learn, experiment, and play hands-on.
So whether you are a teacher trying to find activities to meet Next Generation Science Standards by grade level, a daycare worker or after-school program looking to find education-focused activities, or just a parent hoping to encourage a love of STEM in your child, you don’t have to worry about getting things “right” or “perfect.”
What matters is that a child is exposed to STEM themes and excited in the activities. That is the piece that a child will remember for life and will benefit them in more than just math and science as they grow up.
So, find age-appropriate STEM lessons below for ages toddler through middle school!
STEM Activities by Topic
There are so many fun ways to complete STEM activities! Here are some of our favorite STEM activity themes that we’ve tried.
- Pirate STEM Activities
- STEM Mermaid Activities for Kids
- Circus STEM Activities
- LEGO STEM Activities
- Disney STEM Activities
- Insect STEM Activities for Kids
STEM Activities by Grade
Here you’ll find a list of STEM activities by grade from toddler through middle school!
Even toddlers can explore STEM! Check out our main idea list of STEM Projects for Toddlers and find a STEM activity even a one year old can try!
For preschoolers, STEM is all about learning how things work and the whys behind everyday occurrences. Check out the complete list of preschool STEM activities and then check out these seasonal STEM activities for preschool!
If you’re following the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten, you’ll love this list of STEM Activities for Kindergarten.
2nd grade STEM activities are all about hands-on learning for basic science concepts and themes! We have a bunch of seasonal STEM for 2nd grade, including:
- Winter STEM Activities for 2nd Grade
- Spring STEM Activities for 2nd Grade
- Halloween STEM Activities for Second Grade
- Thanksgiving STEM Activities for 2nd Grade
- Christmas STEM Activities for 2nd Grade
In third grade, things start to get a bit more involved! Kids complete science fairs, start putting the pieces of ecosystems and climate together, and learn about properties of matter! Check out our third grade STEM activities below.
- Winter STEM Activities for 3rd Grade
- Spring STEM Activities for 3rd Grade
- Halloween STEM Activities for Third Grade
- Thanksgiving STEM Activities for 3rd Grade
- Christmas STEM Activities for 3rd Grade
In 4th grade, kids learn a lot! These fourth grade STEM activities cover all the core 4th grade science concepts, plus add in a fun seasonal twist!
- Winter STEM Activities for 4th Grade
- Valentine STEM Activities for 4th Grade
- Spring STEM Activities for 4th Grade
- Halloween STEM Activities for Fourth Grade
- Thanksgiving STEM Activities for 4th Grade
- Christmas STEM Activities for 4th Grade
STEM starts to get serious in 5th grade! Check our our full list of STEM Activities for 5th Grade, but also check out these seasonal activities, because 5th graders love to have fun, too!
- Winter STEM Activities for 5th Grade
- Spring STEM Activities for 5th Grade
- Halloween STEM Activities for Fifth Grade
- Thanksgiving STEM Activities for 5th Grade
- Christmas STEM Activities for 5th Grade
Calling all middle school teachers! Middle school STEM activities are still hands-on and can be lots of fun.
If you love science and STEM but don’t like hunting for supplies, we love the Mel Science kits. They have options for elementary and middle school, and each kit comes with all the supplies needed for each experiment!
STEM Activities for Every Season
Try these fun STEM activities to offer fun variety and seasonal themes for kids!
Winter STEM Activities
When it’s cold out, try these winter STEM activities for kids!
When December rolls around, we think holiday and Christmas fun! Kids will love these STEM activities for December with these fun December themes.
If you want STEM activities for January, check out this list of January STEM Activities!
These March STEM Activities teach kids about weather, growing new plants and seeds, the rain cycle, and a whole lot more!
Spring STEM Activities
When things start warm up and flowers emerge, these spring STEM activities will teach kids all about it!
Why not try these fun April STEM challenges when April arrives?
When it’s time for May showers, these May STEM activities are perfect!
Summer STEM Activities
When summer rolls around, try these summer STEM activities at school care programs, summer camps, or at home!
Celebrate the summer with these June STEAM activities for kids.
If you want to run your own summer camp or after-school program, check out these fun STEM Summer Camp Themes!
Sometimes July is the hottest month of the year and summer gets really serious! Kids will love these refreshing July STEM activities during July.
August is for back to school STEM and other fun early fall STEM themes! Check out our favorite August STEAM activities here.
And here are some fun back to school STEM activities to try!
Fall STEM Activities
STEM activities for fall will keep kids learning all fall long with fun themes that include pumpkins, leaves, acorns, Thanksgiving, kitchen science, and more!
If you need more fall, these fall STEM activities are for you!
And if you have older students, check out the fall STEM challenges!
September means apples, acorns, and falling leaves! Celebrate the early fall with these September STEM activities.
Halloween, pumpkins, and other fun fall themes can be found in these October STEM activities.
Say goodbye to fall when you do these fun November STEM activities with fun themes like Thanksgiving, cooking science, and more!