Teaching children about the world is one of the greatest challenges with long-lasting rewards. Children of all ages must learn the necessary skills to best handle the physical, emotional, social, and educational knowledge they will need to grow into a healthy and stable adult.
Many schools are now implementing a learning strategy called STEAM education — this includes the core curriculum of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Here’s a list of four interactive activities, products, and online tools parents can use at home to include the STEAM curriculum outside of school.
- Video Chat with Overseas Friends — In our increasingly globalized world, most of us have at least one or two friends who are currently living somewhere else in the world. Invite your overseas friend to have a video chat with your family. Prepare your child in advance by telling him/her a little about the country where your friend lives. Help your child make a list of questions he/she might want to ask your friend. Using an online video chat service not only makes meaningful use of technology, but also provides an opportunity to learn another culture!
- Itemized Piggy Bank — Help your child learn important math skills by saving and spending money with an itemized piggy bank. The Money Savvy Piggy Bank is one example. This particular model is translucent, allowing children to see how many coins have accumulated. It also has four labeled slots to “Save,” “Spend, “Donate,” or “Invest.” Giving children these four options gives them the opportunity to make choices on how the money is used and increases their financial awareness. When your child decides it’s time to empty one of the categories for use, a real-world application to count the money using math is used.
- Educational Apps — Learning can be fun too. There are several mobile and web game apps that help children learn important educational skills such as math, language, coding and software engineering, and science. Common Sense Media offers learning ratings to help parents sort through the most age appropriate apps for specific skills. Find a few that will help your child in the areas he or she is struggling with the most.
- Dinner & Movie Conversation — Family dinner time is a great place to discuss new ideas with children. Parents can share interesting science, technology, or medical news and ask their child what his/her thoughts are on the subject. Even movies and TV shows often include tidbits regarding current events. Watch a favorite episode with your child to see if any educational topic can be promoted from the show. For example, after watching the movie Dolphin Tale, parents can discuss with children the language twist of the name or the science role humans play with animals.
Fostering an educational environment with children helps them become interested in topics like science, math, engineering, technology, and the arts. Regular encouragement at home and in common activities will help your child develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Using simple interactive activities, products, and online tools will help your child grow into a well-rounded individual.
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