Besides using technology to teach your child about coding, you have an option of conducting unplugged STEM activities instead. It will help your kid’s intellectual and mental development whilst making them STEM enthusiasts.
You may be wondering,
Is that even possible?
Learning about STEM and coding without computers, laptops and smartphones?
Yes! It is possible to learn STEM and kids’ coding without gadgets!
Parents can prepare to teach STEM skills using simple materials and tools that you can see at home. As long as these activities teach the basic concepts of STEM skills, they can provide learning opportunities for your children.
Before determining the possible activities you can prepare, let me share with you about unplugged STEM activities.
What are unplugged STEM activities?
Unplugged activities refer to tasks and challenges that provide learning experiences to children without using technology or gadgets. Mostly, the materials you use for unplugged activities are papers, markers, crayons, and other materials readily and easily available. You can arrange unplugged activities featuring a specific topic.
For this blog, I am about to unlock unplugged activities that highlight STEM education. So, you and your child would be able to experience STEM activities without mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, and computers.
Here are some ideas you can do.
Kids, teens, and even adults know how to use emojis. However, your children would learn how to do code-breaking for this activity by making emojis in a temporary language during the game. They will need to communicate using these emojis to express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
For example, you will ask your child to tell their day or narrate or even draw? their favourite song using emojis. Then, you or other kids would decode it. If the message is accurate, then they will win.
Through this emoji storytelling, your kid will familiarise themselves with coding using symbols and other variables. They would learn a new language using emojis, which helps them adapt to learning different coding languages. As a result, your child started code learning for kids.
Moreover, your child would also practice essential STEM skills like critical thinking skills.
Post-It Match (Number Activity)
Another unplugged STEM activity is post-it match. Unlike the previous task, this activity focuses on maths, logic, and numbers. You only need a paper with dots and paste it on the wall. Then, you also need posts-it with numbers.
Post-it matches challenge the kids to count the paper with dots and find the post indicating the numeral number.
Your child needs to process the information from the paper and find the answers to the provided posts-it. They need to remember the countings and look for the corresponding number. Afterwards, they need to attach it to the wall just above the dotted numbers.
In this activity, your kid would train themselves on problem-solving skills. They would also enhance their analytical skills whilst understanding the situation. Decomposition or breaking down the problem into smaller steps are also part of the task. So, your child captures STEM skills that develop their mental capacity.
Coding a LEGO Maze
The list for STEM activities includes LEGO blocks. However, your child would play this in an upgraded version. Your kid will not just play bricks and make towers. On the other hand, they will create their maze!
After creating the maze, they need to use their characters to make it run from start to finish. How will your child do this? No talking! They only need to use papers with directions like, “Go forward/backwards” or “Turn left/right.”
Through this task, your child could enhance their engineering and creativity skills by building their mazes. Moreover, they would also improve their directions skills and coding skills by giving proper step-by-step instructions.
As your child understands the correct syntax of using language (directions), they would not have a hard time learning to code for kids and other STEM tasks.
If/Then Physical Activity
This activity is perfect for many kids, but you can also do this together with your child. If/then tasks teach the basics of coding for kids. It allows your child to understand conditional statements in STEM, particularly in programming and computer sciences.
You can create your conditional statements, making it more personalised. However, you can also consider the things around your child. Here are some of the examples:
- If you are wearing shorts, then raise your hand, else sit down.
- If your name starts with “A”, then jump high, else clap your hands.
- If it is sunny today, then point to the sun, else cover your eyes.
Here is the formal you can use to create your own conditional statements:
If your favourite _____ is _____, then _______, else _________.
As you play this unplugged STEM activity, you are helping your child understand instructions with twists! You are also helping them recognise things whilst thinking before doing an action. Through this, you are shaping their mental development through physical activities.
To practise other STEM skills like organisational skills, following step-by-step instructions, and computational thinking skills, you need to let your child join you whilst baking.
Baking will guide your child in recipe instructions related to coding which uses algorithms. So, as you start baking, your child would observe measurements, solutions and solvents, temperature and other things related to baking.
Moreover, your child could also discover how to sort things, loops or repetitive actions, and even following steps to make an incredible outcome. It also helps your child practice patience, resiliency and confidence in following instructions.
Where and when can we do the unplugged STEM activities?
You can do all the unplugged STEM activities at home, school, camping, or parties. It is also applicable to do during special events, after school care programs, or extra curricular activities for kids.
Teachers can also do this during school hours, especially if they do science experiments and lab on tasks. Furthermore, parents like you can again do these activities during weekends. It will help your child have incredible weekend tasks instead of a whole day screen time.
How can my child learn more unplugged STEM activities?
Skill Samurai is a kids coding school that would help you hone your child’s STEM skills. It is a STEM education franchise that highlights STEM activities featuring both digital and unplugged tasks. Moreover, Skill Samurai offers coding and robotics classes for kids to prepare their young minds for computer sciences.
Are you ready to give your child a fantastic STEM learning experience?