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Childhood Engineering Concepts at Home

Using a few simple craft items you may already have around the house, you can help your child build their STEM learning. These three engineering projects are fun ways to promote childhood engineering concepts at home.

Build with blocks, bricks, and other materials

Block towers are a classic for a reason – building with blocks, bricks, or other materials is a fun way for your child to explore their creativity while learning engineering concepts. According to research, young children who build with blocks demonstrate problem-solving, goal-oriented design, and pattern repetition. To enhance your child’s experience, offer them a mix of building materials and try creating a “blueprint” on paper with them to help them plan their building. What supplemental materials can help add strength or height? You may have household items such as toothpicks or clothespins that you can use.

Build a marble run

Your child will have fun and express their creativity creating a little course for marbles to run through. To make a marble run, you can use household items like paper towel or toilet paper tubes, pool noodles, card stock, and even play-dough. Encourage your child to sketch out their idea on a piece of paper, and have them figure out the best way to construct their marble run. One idea is to tape paper towel rolls to a wall in diagonal, horizontal, and vertical configurations. This fun project can help children learn about construction, speed, and design.

Paper airplanes

Most of us are familiar with the typical paper airplane design, but this can be an ideal opportunity to help your child build their knowledge of engineering concepts. Try variations such as multiple sheets of paper and different folding styles. Which paper airplane design will fly for the longest, or farthest? Make predictions about what factors each iteration will influence. What modifications can your child make to each design to achieve their goal?

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