STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a hot topic right now. As technology continues to advance, these subjects will continue to be important in school and beyond. But you don’t have to wait until elementary school to begin STEM activities for kids. Even toddlers can get in on the action with these simple STEM activities for toddlers.
At the toddler level, STEM projects for toddlers are all about exploring the world around the kids and learning the basics of math, spatial awareness, cause and effect, the scientific method, and how to have fun with learning!
Toddlers can use the skills learned during STEM activities and science experiments all throughout their school years, which will give them a big advantage over non-STEM-educated peers.
Why Do STEM Activities with Toddlers?
STEM projects for toddlers help children explore a variety of thinking skills that boost both their creativity, logic, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. Toddlers who engage these systems, versus toddlers who largely learn from screens and immobile activities have a huge advantage once they reach school-age. Today’s kids get less interaction with the world and their environment than kids in decades past, much to the detriment of their development.
A toddler STEM activity is simply a structured, yet open, activity for children to explore their natural curiosity while developing essential mental and physical skills that are essential to growth and learning.
What Do Toddler STEM Activities Include?
A toddler STEM activity looks nothing like an elementary school STEM activity, but the principles remain the same.
Toddler STEM activities work by applying STEM thinking to everyday toddler activities.
A typical toddler STEM project might include elements of science, technology, engineering, and math in the following ways:
Science: Exploring cause and effect. Manipulating and combining objects to see what happens. Exploring textures, tastes, and smells.
Technology: Using basic tools like magnifying glasses, large screws, and glue to create something new.
Engineering: Exploring how objects work together and identifying the best material for a task (for example, finding out that blocks are better for stacking than stuffed animals).
Math: Counting, weighing, and measuring objects. Exploring basic properties of physics, motion, and gravity.
Get the Toddler STEM Challenge Cards!
Use these toddler STEM challenge cards to take your toddler and preschool STEM activities to the next level!
24 Simple and Educational STEM Projects for Toddlers
Use these STEM projects for toddlers to spark ideas for your own toddler STEM activities! There is almost no end to the STEM learning you can do with little ones. Adapt any of these activities to the skill level of your toddler. Some toddlers will be ready for the more advanced activities in this list, while other toddlers are best suited to the simplest toddler STEM projects.
When you’re just starting out, try the simplest challenges and gradually increase in difficulty when your toddler is ready for more challenging STEM projects and activities.
The Ultimate List of Toddler STEM Activity Ideas
Foam Block Towers from No Time for Flash Cards
Build a Model Lung from Life Over Cs
Building Block Challenge Cards from Life Over Cs
Mini Boot Gardens from Life Over Cs
Color Mixing Play Dough from Tiny Rotten Peanuts
Butter Chemistry STEM Activity from Lemon Lime Adventures
Magnetic Paperclip Trees from Preschool Powol Packets
Drops on a Coin STEM Activity from Playground Parkbench
DIY Foam Geoboard from Little Bins for Little Hands
Blowing Bubbles with Household Objects from Playground Parkbench
Umbrella Counting STEM Activity from Artsy Craftsy Mom
Portable Tinkering Kit from Left Bain Craft Brain
Homemade Lava Lamp from Little Bins for Little Hands
Ice Block Building Challenge from Where Imagination Grows
More Activity Ideas for Toddlers