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STEAM Projects can have a great effect on the overall development of a child in grade school. By incorporating interactive toys and crafts they can make at home, kids will be able to witness science, technology, engineering, arts and math in action at home with you. This will allow them the comfort to ask questions and build on their inquisitive thoughts around other STEAM projects.

Electric Play-Doh Lightning Bug
From Leftbraincraftbrain.com

Items needed:

  • Cardstock
  • Play-Doh
  • 10mm diffused LED bulb with leads
  • 4 AA batteries
  • 4 AA battery pack with leads)

This project allows kids to learn how to create a simple closed circuit to make their bug glow. Adult supervision and safety glasses are recommended with this project since you’re working with electricity.

  1. The first step is to cut an oval cardstock base for the bug and two heart-shaped wings.
  2. Then make the head for your bug with Play-Doh, along with two oblong sides. Place them on the paper base but make sure the side pieces don’t touch each other, or the bug won’t light up.
  3. Have your grade schooler add eyes and antennae next.
  4. Grab the LED and look at the leads; the longer one is the positive lead, and the shorter one is the negative. Pull the leads apart, and stick one end into each side of the body. Remember which side has the positive lead.
  5. Now to make it light up: insert the batteries into the battery pack. Stick the red wire into the side with the positive LED lead; put the black wire into the other.
  6. After this final step, turn on the battery pack and witness amazement as their bug glows!

Bath Bombs
From Parents.com

Items needed:

  •  ½ cup citric acid
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ½ cup epsom salt
  • essential oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp. Water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • sphere-shaped mold

Bath bombs are normally bought at your local drug store or health and beauty store, but what if you could make them at home? This science project is both fun and exciting for kids. But how does it work? According to Parents.com, the fizzy reaction in the tub is created by combining the sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, and the citric acid. The baking soda serves as the base and when mixed dry, nothing happens. But when you add water, it acts as a catalyst, allowing the ions to collide. They react and dissolve, producing tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. The fizzing helps the bombs break down, releasing the scent of the essential oils.

  1. First, combine citric acid, baking soda, corn starch, and Epsom salt in a large bowl and set aside.

  2. In another small bowl, mix together one or two drops of essential oils, water, and olive oil and add it to the to the dry mixture very slowly. Make sure to mix it together as quickly and thoroughly as possible to avoid bubbles.

  3. Once it’s all combined, the mixture should look like wet sand. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes; however, if it’s too dry, add a drop of olive oil, but don’t oversaturate.

  4. Let your kids take their creativity to new height by adding color to their bath bomb. You can use a mold and simple food coloring to add color to your bath bomb.

Yard Stick Launcher
From Parents.com

Items needed:

  • Clean metal can (like a coffee can)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Tape
  • Yardstick
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrush
  • Hot glue
  • 4 plastic party cups
  • Rubber band
  • Ping-pong balls or other small objects

When you tell your kids that it’s okay to launch balls around the house, they’ll be super excited for this fun STEAM project. How does it work? According to Parents.com, the lever is a simple machine made from the yardstick and the can. Your child must apply downward force to one side, to send the the ping-pong balls or whatever object they so choose flying. Keep in mind, the closer the can is to the cups, the less work it takes to move the projectiles.

  1. The first step is to have your kids cover the can with scrapbook paper and secure with tape. Feel free to paint the yardstick or not.

  2. Next step: Use a hot glue to attach the plastic party cups to one end of the yardstick. For safety precautions, this should be the adult’s job.

  3. Have the kids secure the can to the middle of the yardstick with a rubber band and place ping-pong balls or other small objects in each cup.

  4. Now for the lever in action: Have your kid stomp or press down firmly on the free end of the yardstick to launch objects across the room.

It’s that easy and fun!

Soda Rockets
From Lemonlimeadventures.com 

Items needed:

  • Styrofoam cone
  • Cork board
  • Washi tape
  • Soda bottles
  • Rubber cork
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Tissue paper

This experiment focuses a lot on things that fly and kinetic energy and with force and motion.

  1. The first step involves tracing the water bottle they planned to fit inside the styrofoam cone. With help, have the kids cut and dig out a hole to put the bottle in for the end of the project.
  2. With adult supervision, have the kids cut out a space to put the wings of the rocket. Use a box cutter to make 3 slots at the bottom of the cone.
  3. Have them test different wing designs, and cut them out.
  4. Decorate the rockets with the duct tape or paint.
  5. Now for lift off! Take your baking soda and vinegar to create your lift off. Pour vinegar in the rocket, and place baking soda on 1 square of tissue paper.
  6. Wrap the baking soda in the tissue (so the reaction will be slowed).
  7. With everyone at a safe position, push the tissue into the bottle and cork the bottle. Then, quickly turn the bottle over and wait for the launch. Their rockets should fly!

 

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