We know that kids are natural scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Keeping them engaged and learning at home and in our communities helps to build on their natural curiosity and see opportunities for learning in their everyday surroundings. As part of our Bringing STEM Home series, we’ve come up with easy, free or low cost at-home activities and experiments for learners in K-8th grade.This activity focuses on life science basics and introduces our learners to seeing science in our own backyards.
For this activity, you’ll need:
→ A yard or park with grasses, flowers or trees - or you can walk around the garden section of a store like Lowe’s!
→ Paper or a notebook
→ Pencils or pens for sketching
Skills developed & learning goals:
→ Critical and creative thinking
→ Identification and classification
→ Fine motor skills
Find as many different types of plants, flowers and leaves as you can - there is no need to pluck them but, if you’d like to trace them or press them between the pages of a book, you can.
With each type of flower, see how many parts you can identify! Draw them in your notebook and label the parts of each flower that you can recognize. What similarities do you see?
For ages 2-6: Consider a scavenger hunt to learn basic identifications! Try our Outdoor Explorer [PDF] guide for ideas of what to look for.
For ages 5-10: Compare and contrast the environment you’re in with the ecosystems of your favorite animals! What plants are similar? Which things would you need to add or change? If you can’t go outside, try our Ecosystem Exploration [PDF] guide.
For more STEM at-home family fun this summer, explore our EiE Family & STEM Events.