Wet and cold winter weekends are for crafting and baking at home. My girl absolutely loves all crafts, baking and any activities where she can create something new. She’s 5 and we try to encourage everything she likes but actively trying to add STEM activities too. On these occasions we normally hit a double bingo as Bobcat who’s now 7 but not crafty at all and hardly even picked up a colouring pencil, he joins in too because he does like STEM activities. I normally try to find something online and plan ahead so we have everything at home.
About Santa Loves STEM
Just recently I found out that The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has a webpage dedicated to festive STEM activities for children. It is part of the IET Education’s Santa Loves STEM Workshop that seeks to help inspire the next generation to pursue science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) careers. This free online hub is packed full of inspiring ideas for families to do with children in the lead up to and over the festive holiday season. Children can join Santa and his helpers to make, create, imagine, and discover this Christmas. Activities include fun craft ideas, recipes, hands-on experiments, and resources, which provide STEM inspired learning through play.
The range of activities are extensive: from festive baking with marshmallow snowballs, to writing a poem to Santa. There are even experiments designed with climate change in mind, like helping Santa examine how heat passes through animals who need to insulate. The page also offers ideas on affordable and recycled STEM toys. From electric dough experiments to snow globe making, there is an array of ideas to suit 4–13-year-olds.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a world leading professional membership organisation – aiming to inspire, inform and influence the global engineering and technology community, as well as wider society to engineer a better world. They work to inspire the next generation about the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and do this by running fun and engaging initiatives for children to get involved with, exciting them to think about engineering and technology as a possible career. The IET has more than 158,000 members worldwide and is a registered charity.
Building a marshmallow igloo
We picked this activity (well, little miss picked it as it had marshmallow in it) last weekend. With a little guidance it was easy enough for my 5-years-old. I mainly helped with cutting!
This activity follows the National Curriculum in the following way:
Design & Technology Key Stage 2
- select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
- apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
I managed to find plastic free paper cups in Waitrose – you know me guys, I do everything I can to keep arts and craft as environmentally friendly and plastic free! Here’s the find:
And following step by step the guide we built the igloo, covered it with buttercream (yumm) and added the mini marshmallows. Little Miss doesn’t believe in white marshmallows, so the igloo had to be either completely pink or white AND pink – she opted for the latter in the end. Sticking on the mini marshmallows the most labour-intensive part, but also the most fun!
There are many more activities we have found and will save them for other rainy and cold weekends.
Which one will you try?