Summer break is the perfect time to try out some fun and easy summer STEM activities. No mom wants to become a cruise director when summer hits. I don’t want to be a cruise director either so I need to set myself up for success. Weekly summer themed STEM activities for are part of my plan. These activities will add structure to our day while still being fun and exciting.
In case you’re new around here, I use activities as a tool to inspire my kids independent play. So, I will be doing just that with these 10 STEM activities. They will serve as an opportunity for us to spend time together, connect and create together, and ignite my kid’s creativity so that they are ready for independent play when our experiment is over.
Fun summer stem activities for all kids
Bonus points these activities are age appropriate for preschool through elementary school. That means you only need to plan one activity for all your kids. Simply adjust the difficulty level by taking a deeper look into the science behind each of these activities or inviting your older kids to build more intricate structures
Science inspired STEM activities for kids
- Use pipe cleaners to form a fun shapes.
- Be sure that the shape fits inside the mouth of a glass jar.
- Tie one end of a string to the pipe cleaner shape and the other end of the string to a popsicle stick.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1 cup of Borax.
- Pour the Borax solution into a glass jar and submerge the pipe cleaner shape in the liquid solution using the craft stick to prop the shape up.
- By the end of the day you should start to see crystals forming on the pipe cleaner.
Note:We also put sea shells into the solution four crystallized shells and they turned out really cool.
- Cut a lemon in half.
- Sprinkle the flesh of the lemon with a drop of dish soap, food coloring, and baking soda.
- Use a popsicle stick 2 stab the flesh of the lemon and watch as a reaction takes place.
Note: This is very similar to a baking soda and vinegar reaction which is one of our favorite activities.
Marshmallows and toothpicks make for an easy mom win activity in our house.
We enjoy having contest to see who can build the strongest structure or the tallest structure and sometimes we even save this activity for after dinner so that dad can join in the fun.
Blocks and Shaving Cream
- This one can get a little bit messy but it’s worth it. Grab a sensory bin and a towel, head outside, or heck hop in the tub so that you can keep the mess at bay.
- Fill a bowl with shaving cream and layout some blocks.
- Invite your preschooler to build using the shaving cream as the mortar between the bricks. This should allow for some more creative building opportunities.
Notes: If you have a kid or like me who is less than thrilled about shaving cream all over their hands you can try putting a washcloth at their feet so that they can wipe their hands off easily.
We use wooden blocks for this activity, foam blocks would also work really nicely.
Pool Noodle Engineering
pool noodles + scissors + toothpicks = some serious STEM
- Get creative with how you cut the pool noodles; cut disks, cylinders, and ramps.
- Invite your kids to use the toothpicks and the pool noodles to build.
Notes: My kids liked making a marble run but out of pool noodles.
And if you hit the dollar store at the right time of year you can grab a pool noodle for just a dollar. Two should be enough.
- $2.00 for noodles
- $1.00 for toothpicks
$3.00 later we’ve got an activity that will keep your kids busy and engaged.
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10 weeks of summer STEM activities for preschoolers and elementary aged kids
I have created a PDF of all of these activities for you so that you can reference a simple calendar all summer long. Grab your copy of the PDF at the bottom of this post.
Part time cruise director life
While we don’t want be cruise directors as parents especially during summertime, we do have to set ourselves up for success in order to avoid that rut. By setting up simple STEM activities you’re able to hang out with your kids and spend quality time with them so that when you are ready for a break they are too. Their cup has been filled and their creativity is firing. Grab all 10 STEM ideas plus 10 art and 10 cooking activities below.
Join me in this part time cruise director life this summer. If you grab the summer STEM guide or do any of these activities send me a message and let me know. I love seeing your mom wins, knowing that you are absolutely making the most of your time with your kids.