Are you running out of ideas for educational and fun activities your children can do? STEM activities empower curiosity and creativity, foster independent problem solving and self-directed learning, and are adaptive and inclusive for all learning styles. Check out these five awesome STEM activities that will keep your 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders busy indoors or outdoors 

1. Bird House

  • Find an empty toilet paper roll. 
  • Spread the outside with peanut butter. 
  • Figure out which seeds, berries, and/or nuts you have in your house that are edible for birds and spread them on the peanut butter. 
  • Hang your homemade bird house on a tree with string or a shepherd hook. 
child making a homemade bird house with peanut butter and seeds

2. Miniature Golf Hole

  • Sketch out the design of your miniature golf hole.
  • Think about what materials to use for your obstacles, golf ball, and golf club. 
  • Then start building. 

Want to think bigger? 

  • Add a ramp or a tunnel to your miniature golf hole. 
  • Add lights to your miniature golf hole. 
child in living room playing with homemade mini golf course

3. Volcano and Fossil Lab Kit

  • Explore the science behind earth’s history and become an expert in things that erupt.  
  • Create a fact-filled lab guide that includes pictures and information you can use for hours of experimentation in your own home laboratory. 
  • Build erupting volcanoes, geysers, model the layers of planet Earth and excavating dinosaurs, and more. 
  • Or you can purchase STEM at Play ERUPT! here

4. Color Explosion

  • Fill a clear container ¾ full of cold tap water. 
  • Fill a second container with a ½¾” layer of cooking oil. 
  • Add 2 drops of red, blue, and yellow food coloring to the cooking oil. If you don’t have all 3, then just use the colors you have. What do you observe? 
  • Use a spoon to vigorously mix the oil and food coloring. What do you observe? 
  • Slowly pour the oil with the tiny food coloring droplets into the glass with the cold water. Wait and watch for 13 minutes.  
  • Try it again with warm water, different-size glasses, smaller food-coloring droplets, etc. 

5. Thermometer

  • Stand an empty water bottle in the middle of a paper plater or aluminum pan. This will act as a work surface to collect any spilled water. 
  • Add a few drops of food coloring into the empty bottle and use a measuring cup to fill ¼ of the bottle with lukewarm water. 
  • Roll some modeling clay into a tube. Place a straw into the bottle so that it is suspended just above the bottom of the bottle. Secure it in place by wrapping the clay around the straw and the bottle opening. Make sure the straw is open to the air on top and there’s a tight seal between the clay and the bottle opening. 
  • Wait a few minutes and let your thermometer adjust. 
  • Place your thermometer in a bowl of hot tap water (not boiling). What happens to the liquid in the thermometer? Why? 
  • Place your thermometer in a bowl of ice-cold water. What happens to the liquid in the thermometer? Why? 
  • Move your thermometer around to different locations both inside and outside. Try direct sunlight or the refrigerator too. What happens to the liquid in the thermometer? Why? 

For over 50 years, hand2mind has encouraged hands-on learning and discovery, driving deeper understanding and helping children unlock their full potential. With products designed to enhance learning in the classroom and the world around us, we strive to find new ways to encourage hands-on exploration and discovery.

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