As children develop, it is important that they are exposed to a variety of fun and engaging activities. Quality activities help them grow and learn. Additionally, the more activities they are exposed to, the better chances they will have of finding things that pique their interests. This could help lead them down a certain academic or career path in the future! Many parents have heard of STEM activities. This is where science, technology, engineering, and math concepts are the focus, and children learn these by being hands-on. However, there has been a recent push to include another topic. Studies have found it helps children grow in ways that STEM subjects do not – this is art. Art includes the humanities, drama, music, painting, and more, allowing children to develop a creative side. As STEAM is becoming more popular, it is helpful to know various activities that you can do with your child to help them grow.
Why is the “A” in STEAM Important?
To understand why STEM is now including art, it is helpful to know what the research shows about the importance of art in a child’s development. According to PBS, art helps children develop motor skills, language skills, and the ability to make decisions. It also nurtures inventiveness, problem-solving skills, and cultural awareness. Studies show that there is also a correlation between art and improved academic performance. With so many skill-building opportunities that are uniquely developed through art, it is clear that it has a place in the buzz around STEM.
Tracing the Veins of a Leaf
This sounds simple, but it is a great way to incorporate science and art. Have your child get a leaf from outside and use a marker to trace its veins from the stem to the edges. You can have a conversation about the structure and importance of the veins and how it helps the leaf get water and nutrients.
Get a piece of paper or a paper plate and have your child set it next to an object that casts a shadow. Ask them to trace the outline of the shadow, then return in an hour or two to see how the shadow has moved. Talk about the earth’s rotation around the sun and how that causes shadows to move throughout the way.
Baking Soda Paint
This is a modified (and less messy) version of the classic exploding volcano that is often done as a science experiment. It still uses the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar. Use equal parts of both ingredients and add some food coloring. Mix, then allow your child to use the “paint” to create their own works of art. Discuss how the two ingredients combined to form something different, a simple conversation about chemical reactions.
This activity combines creating art with learning about magnetism. Place some magnetic objects on a paper plate, then squirt different colored paints over each object. Next, have your child take a magnet and drag it over the plate. The objects will attach to the magnet and drag through the colored paints, creating a unique piece of artwork.
Give Your Child a Head Start
Doing STEAM activities will help develop your child and be prepared for a successful future. Providing them with quality child care will do the same. Studies show that good child care allows children to develop important emotional, social, and cognitive skills. If you are looking for child care in Newport News, check out options through Wonderschool. We provide information on a variety of child care services in the area, from preschools to daycares to in-home options. We believe that every child should have access to child care to help them reach their potential. For parents searching for Newport News child care, visit Wonderschool at https://corp.wonderschool.com.