This fall we are promoting STEAM at the library. We are doing a hands-on sensory experience to encourage parent-child interaction at the library. Our storytime room will be miraculously turned into different stations with a general STEAM theme that parents and children can explore together!
Planning Signage: Signs are important for sensory experiences. Make sure you have instructions on each booth (labeled) and a single handout that caretakers can pick up right as they enter. Have general signage with simple instructions telling families what is expected as they walk in. Rove about to make sure everyone has an idea of the room flow.
Station #1: Make Slime
I delegated the slime making experience to an excited assistant. They made a few different kinds of slime, and we settled for the easiest one: Glue & Corn Starch (add food coloring, too).
The handout (that will be passed around) is divided into 4 parts----the first is asking the child simple questions relating to slime:
- How did mixing the glue with _______ and _____ make it different?
- Can you describe each ingredient? (adjectives like bubbly, sticky, etc)
Station #2: Sticky Spider Webs (modified)
This blog post was amazing! It definitely helped give a "core" idea of learning real world science. I did want to add a literary component.
Here is how I modified this station. Firstly, we will keep the core similar (make a spider web out of painter's tape). Instead of using newspaper, we will be getting some small insects that kids can stick.
Next, was to incorporate the literacy component. I figured pretend play would be perfect!
Here's what I came up with:
1. Have 5 spider books available for reading. A few picture books and non-fiction titles.
2. Have caretakers pick a spider book from the booth to read (before/after the play activity).
3. Have them to ask the child to trap an insect in the web hanging up by the booth. Take an item from the bowl on the table and have your child throw or stick it to the web.
4. Talk to your child about the book or the science behind spider webs.
5. I even included a small paragraph about the science behind spider webs.
Station #3: No Mess Finger Paint (modified)
Again, I had an assistant when it came to this experiment. We found that the color mixing might be finished after the first few finger painting sessions, and we will be making some extra bags for prep materials. The handout will include questions such as:
- How many different colors can you make? What is the name of the color you are painting with?
- Can you create a shape in your painting? If so, what shape did you paint?
- Describe what you are painting? What do you hands feel like when you paint?(i.e. warm, cold, wet, etc.)
Station #4: Sticky Ball Game (take home activity)
We have pre-printed targets left over from a summer reading program. The take home activity consists of taking a ball and target home. The handout will include instructions about making it into a game:
- Make sure the target is secured on a firm surface.
- Open the sticky ball packet and throw it at the center of the target aiming to hit the bulls-eye.
- MATH TIME: Take a Marker and add simple numbers to the target. Help your child score the highest by aiming to hit the center of the target.
- For younger children, this game helps build muscles while having fun!
I'll attach the handout sometime this week! The very busy spider science background was taken from here
Here are some pictures of how the stations were set-up:
I had a great response for all the drop-ins. A preschool teacher said she took away ideas and wold definitely advertise this event for her parents! I'm super excited for the rest of the STEAM labs we have coming up.