20 STEM Activities Children can do with Their Cars:
Updated: Jun 26
Children learn best by doing - through child-directed play and exploration. It’s easy to delve into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) lessons at home with toys children already have, or with toys that can be purchased for very little at thrift stores or Dollar stores. Prompt children only when natural discovery stalls by asking open-ended questions and introducing tools and materials. 1. Examine and describe the cars to someone.
2. Explain what cars are for and how they think cars operate.
3. Describe how their cars are the same as, or different from, other cars.
4. Sort and classify their cars, or other modes of transportation, by their characteristics.
5. Find things that are bigger, smaller, taller, wider, longer, or shorter than their cars, by comparison.
6. Discover how wheels work. Simple machines: wheel & axle.
7. Find other things that have wheels. How are they different from the ones on their cars?
8. Build a wheel and axle. Suggestion… straw and cardboard.
9. Explore how cars roll on various surfaces and textures: water, dirt, sand, metal, grass, concrete, rocks, wood, etc.
10. Push cars and measure how far they go. Push harder. Push softer. Change surfaces. From various starting positions.
11. Make cars move without touching them with their hands.
12. Count down and race cars against other objects that roll or move.
13. Design roads out of things like sticks, rocks, leaves, manipulatives & toys, or chalk. Pretend their cars stop at real-life places.
14. Explore how cars roll down a ramp, ramps constructed differently, ramps at different heights, angles, and/or surfaces. What happens when cars gets to the bottom? Will they roll up a ramp?
15. Find ways to pull cars up a ramp.
16. Make a parking lot out of a box or box top and practice parking cars in the spaces. Add numbers or colors to both the spaces and the cars, then park the cars in their matching spots.
17. Construct a garage or bridge out of rocks, sticks, Popsicle sticks, blocks, paper, etc.
18. Design and build cars out of objects they find. They don’t have to roll.
19. Search for other objects that are blue, that roll, or that go in some way. How do they work?
20. Draw their observations on paper, even if they scribble.
21. Draw a map of their neighborhood, and give directions for children to drive to places with which they are familiar.
Angela Russ is a mom-preneur, children’s author, interactive trainer on the subject of early childhood, and award-winning artist/producer of music for young children. She presents educational strategies to child care providers, parents, and teachers nationwide for AEYCs, R & Rs, and the like. She is a member of the Recording Academy and is the sole owner of the Russ InVision record label. For more information on Angela, her workshops and accomplishments you are welcome to visit www.abridgeclub.com. © 2017, Russ InVision. All rights reserved.
For information: Contact: Angela Russ