Itsy Bitsy Science: STEAM @ the Library

We’ve been trying a monthly preK STEAM series at my library and this session was our most popular one yet. It was loosely themed around penguins. Everyone seemed to have a good time trying the different activities, adults included.

We had a tinkering station that was inspired by this one I saw at a workshop. It’s a fully stocked tinker table with pretty much all of the things one could want from feathers to wire cutters. Oh, to have these materials on hand all the time!

I would highly recommend doing a tinkering station program or as an activity within a program. It was the most popular activity. It will require lots of materials so start stockpiling early.

The tinker table was quickly being depleted!

This was the maker station where patrons could create and take home whatever they wanted using materials from the tinker table.

One of the activities was building a raft for a penguin. I adapted an idea I found here. These kids couldn’t wait to test out their designs. The young man on the right kept testing, tweaking and retesting. It was fascinating to watch him try different things and figure out what worked best to keep his raft afloat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also made Epsom salt snowflakes and discovered how penguins stay dry in the water. So much fun and learning through play!

The only problem with doing a successful program is following it up with another one!

 

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What We Did at the Library: Itty Bitty STEAM Club

This past weeked was the second installment of a pre-K STEAM series. The first program was a menagerie of activities. This time I did an autumn-themed STEAM program. Here’s what we did!

We read…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we read we talked about the signs of fall which included hibernation and migration. Love anytime I can naturally work in big words with little people. It was the perfect segue into reading It’s Fall!. 

The good thing about STEAM at the preschool level is that it can be simple. And preschoolers are a very forgiving crowd. So when an experiment doesn’t quite go as planned, you know-for example, they’re completely unfazed.

We did…….

A Reggio-inspired math exploration table 

This was a big table with all sorts of items for kids to count, sort and weigh. I made number and dot cards and borrowed kitchen scales to use for weighing. There were rocks, pine cones, twigs, seashells, wooden shapes, small wood blocks, glass stones, corks, silk flowers. Use whatever you have on hand. Kids got a kick out of using the scales and seeing what was heavier or lighter.

We painted a branch. An activity that was exactly what it sounds like. I found a big branch about 4′ long and set out lots of colors and brushes.

Apple stacking with play dough and real apples!

 

 

 

 

 

A simple science experiment illustrating why leaves change colors. 

A 5 Little Pumpkins engineering challenge using wooden and Kapla blocks. The challenge was to use the blocks to build a bridge that would support the weight of one or more small pumpkins. One child built a bridge that held all five pumpkins!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fall!