Why Are STEAM Activities Important for Preschoolers?
A child’s brain grows most quickly within the first eight years of life. In fact, by the age of five, around 90% of their brain is fully developed.
It’s during this period that children have the greatest capacity for learning. So by encouraging the natural curiosity and experimentation of preschoolers, we can help them build crucial life skills that will serve them through adulthood.
One of the most powerful tools for this is STEAM – which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math – which combines the technical skills of STEM with creativity and imagination in a fun, hands-on experiences. Through easy preschool activities, STEAM uses play to create a foundation for creativity and innovation that ensures the future success of young children.
How do preschoolers engage with STEAM?
You might think that preschoolers are far too young to be thinking about STEAM. But actually, children engage with these subjects all the time without even realizing it.
Science is all about discovering how different items function and interact. Whenever preschoolers explore their environment and test unfamiliar objects, that’s a form of scientific experimentation!
Technology involves applying scientific knowledge to build and create. This includes using what they’ve learned in creative ways to do something new, like drawing in one of our Art Feeds Color Journals.
Engineering occurs when preschoolers design, build, and test structures. Many children love playing with building blocks or Lego – especially building tall towers to watch them come crashing down.
Art is about creativity and communication. Every picture a preschooler draws and every word they speak is about communicating concepts in different ways to express their thoughts and needs.
Math doesn’t just mean calculations. It also involves seeing and creating patterns, as well as organizing objects and toys.
Preschoolers naturally enjoy many activities that involve STEAM. So it’s easy to see how STEAM activities for preschoolers help them develop motor and cognitive skills in a safe and fun environment!
Benefits of STEAM activities for preschoolers
Improves sensory development
From the moment a baby is born, they start using their five basic senses to interact with their environment. They reach for their mother, observe their surroundings, listen for new sounds, and smell and taste a variety of foods (and other objects).
Preschool hands-on activities that use STEAM support sensory development by exposing children to new sights, sounds, textures, and situations. This encourages them to continue using their senses to track down and explore new experiences. In doing so, they create positive associations between their senses and the world, which broadens a child’s sensory capabilities.
Develops communication skills
By age three, preschoolers recognize around 1,000 words. By age five, this grows to a massive 10,000!
The better a child’s vocabulary, the better they can communicate their wants, thoughts, and emotions. This means their physiological and psychological needs can be met, giving them more space and time to develop their confidence and independence. Similarly, strong communication skills help young children develop relationships with their peers or turn to a grown up when they need help.
STEAMbright’s Little Learners collection of easy preschool activities introduces kids to topics such as music, plants, structures, and even coding. Since these involve different tools, concepts, and language, they encourage preschoolers to continue expanding their vocabulary. In this way, STEAM activities for preschoolers empower a child with the communicative skills to better explore the world around them.
Builds confidence and self-esteem
Even as an adult, failing at a task can be frustrating. But once we overcome the challenge, we emerge with new confidence and the knowledge that we can conquer it again in the future. The same is true for preschool-age children.
STEAM learning kits introduce preschoolers to challenges they’ve never encountered before, such as growing plants with our Pioneering Plants kit. But by presenting them as easy, fun hands-on activities, the risk of failure is replaced with the joy of exploration. And once they can accomplish this new task on their own, they develop the confidence and self-esteem to approach and navigate unfamiliar situations independently.
Teaches critical thinking skills
While STEM focuses on data and information, STEAM teaches children how to apply the knowledge they’re gathered in real-world settings. As such, STEAM activities for preschoolers allow them to investigate, observe, and test different objects to see their effects on the world around them. This guides them towards scientific thinking and allows them to engage with the critical thinking skills that will help them to become better problem solvers in later life.
Reinforces natural creativity
The world is full of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. But the ones who advance their fields don’t just have great academic knowledge. They also possess finely honed critical thinking and problem-solving skills that enable them to find innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.
By presenting children with preschool hands-on activities, STEAM learning encourages children to look at the world from many different perspectives. It also encourages out-of-the-box thinking and shows them how they can use familiar tools and materials in different ways. This reinforces the natural creativity of young children and directs it into solving practical tasks, thereby laying the foundation for their future success.
Get fun, easy hands-on STEAM activities for preschoolers
The best thing about STEAM activity kits is that they’re almost indistinguishable from toys. That means the kids in your family or the preschoolers you teach can develop their senses, communication skills, confidence, and critical thinking through play.
In our Little Learners collection, you’ll find simple, enjoyable, and impactful preschool hands-on activities that your little ones will adore. From planting seeds and making music to building structures and creating code, visit our online store to find fun educational activities that help your preschoolers grow.