Why Are STEAM Activities Important for Elementary School Students?
In preschool, kids spend a lot of time working on their soft skills. They play games that improve their speech and listening, and work to develop their concentration, patience, and memory.
But once they enter elementary school, there’s an unfamiliar shift to hard skills subjects like science, math, and geography. This can make it difficult for kids to engage in learning because they’re expected to develop new abilities from scratch. That’s why many elementary schools have introduced STEAM learning.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. It’s like STEM, but with music, crafts, drawing, and other creative subjects added in. STEAM activities for elementary school students teach hard skills by including the kinds of hands-on tasks young children are familiar with. By using elements the child recognizes, these fun and easy elementary school activities let them pick up new ideas and concepts much more quickly.
That’s not the only benefit of STEAM activities for elementary school students, though. So let’s look at 5 more reasons why STEAM activities are important for helping young children learn and grow.
Benefits of STEAM activities for elementary school students
1) Encourages independent thinking
In traditional classrooms, kids are evaluated on whether they pass or fail a task. But STEAM activities treat failure as a stepping stone to future successes. By examining what did and didn’t work, students gain valuable knowledge to inform their approach next time around.
As such, STEAM offers a learning environment with little to no risk. Learners can go at their own pace and tackle challenges that are appropriate for their knowledge and skill level. They’re also encouraged to exchange ideas with their peers to find the path to success.
Take our STEAM Builder Bin as an example. This all-inclusive kit provides 15 categories of open-ended idea cards, each with three levels of difficulty. That means kids can choose a topic that interests them with a suitable degree of challenge and decide for themselves how they want to solve the task.
These types of elementary school hands-on activities give children the space to explore their own ideas with confidence. Rather than follow a textbook or script, they can exercise their own independent thinking. This helps them develop flexibility of thought that allows them to approach and overcome real-world challenges with resilience and creativity.
2) Promotes interdisciplinary learning
Most classes limit kids to one subject at a time. But when they reach adulthood, it’s rare that they’ll encounter a problem that doesn’t require a wide set of knowledge and skills.
STEAM encourages children to use multiple subject areas at once to tackle different tasks. It brings together a range of interests that support kids in finding appropriate solutions based on their unique strengths and attributes. By exposing them to many different ways of thinking, interdisciplinary learning teaches children to think outside the box, giving them a versatile skillset that prepares them for later life.
3) Supports active learning
STEAM activities for elementary school students take a hands-on, project-based approach to learning. Rather than asking abstract questions, they give children a realistic task that reflects their actual lives. This allows children to take an active role in their learning by choosing the types of challenges that engage them personally.
Similarly, while facts and data are important to STEAM, they’re not the ultimate goal. Instead, kids are encouraged to find a practical solution to the problem at hand. That way, they have the opportunity to select the skills they want to use and actively participate in the education process.
To support this freedom of choice and inspire a passion for learning, our team has produced a wide range of STEAM activity kits for elementary school students. From Amazing Chemistry to Exploring Vehicles to Pioneering Coding, every child can find a fun hands-on activity that captures their interest. That means you can support your child’s learning even while they play!
4) Supports future success
The skills a child learns while they’re young have a huge impact on their future success. And while technical knowledge is important for almost any industry, employers are placing a much greater emphasis on adaptability and creative problem solving.
STEAM activities for elementary school students removes the fixed procedure from learning and inspires open-ended inquiry that’s indistinguishable from play. In doing so, it encourages learners to develop a working understanding of many different subject areas without neglecting their imaginations. This valuable combination of skills makes it much easier for your child to enter college and start a satisfying career in later life.
5) Nurtures mental health and wellbeing
The pressure of formal schooling can be very stressful. If children don’t have an outlet for these emotions, they can grow and cause severe mental health problems in later life.
By including art, music, and other forms of creative expression, STEAM gives children a way to explore both positive and negative feelings. And since it uses a collaborative process that encourages the sharing of thoughts and feelings, children become better able to understand and support their peers. Together, these qualities create a healthy environment for learning that contributes to the overall wellbeing of all students.
Bring STEAM learning to your home with fun activity kits
The many benefits of STEAM activities for elementary school students aren’t just for the classroom. You add them into your child’s playtime or homeschool curriculum with STEAM activity kits!
Shop by age in our online store to find fun and educational STEAM projects and activities that teach your elementary school children valuable personal skills.