10 Fun and Easy STEM Activities for Thanksgiving: Perfect for Early Education

Nov 23, 2023
10 Fun and Easy STEM Activities for Thanksgiving: Perfect for Early Education

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family, and, of course, a bit of learning fun! This year, let's infuse the holiday with a STEM-tastic twist. We've gathered 10 engaging STEM activities designed specifically for early education. With accessible supplies and step-by-step instructions, these activities are sure to spark curiosity and excitement in young learners.

1. Pilgrim's Boat Challenge

  • Supplies: Craft sticks, tape, foil, and small figurines.
  • Instructions: Create a boat by taping craft sticks together. Cover it with foil to make it water-resistant. Place the boat in a container of water and see how many pilgrim figurines it can hold without sinking.
  • STEM Incorporation: Explore engineering and physics as children design and test the buoyancy of their boats.

2. Cranberry Engineering

  • Supplies: Cranberries, toothpicks, and mini marshmallows.
  • Instructions: Use cranberries as connectors and toothpicks as supports to build geometric structures. Experiment with different shapes and designs.
  • STEM Incorporation: Develop spatial awareness, engineering skills, and an understanding of geometric shapes.

3. Turkey Feather STEM

  • Supplies: Craft feathers, playdough, and clay.
  • Instructions: Mold playdough into a stable base and insert a feather to create a turkey. Explore balance and stability by adjusting the position of the feather.
  • STEM Incorporation: Learn about balance, stability, and the center of gravity through hands-on construction.

4. Pumpkin Catapults

  • Supplies: Craft sticks, rubber bands, plastic spoons, and mini pumpkins.
  • Instructions: Construct a catapult by attaching a spoon to a craft stick with rubber bands. Place a mini pumpkin in the spoon and launch it to explore the science of force and motion.
  • STEM Incorporation: Investigate physics concepts like force, motion, and potential energy.

5. Candy Corn Science

  • Supplies: Candy corn, water, and various containers.
  • Instructions: Fill different containers with water and drop candy corn into each. Observe how the candy corn behaves in various liquids and discuss density and buoyancy.
  • STEM Incorporation: Introduce concepts of density, buoyancy, and observation skills through this simple experiment.

6. Thanksgiving Tower Challenge

  • Supplies: Uncooked spaghetti, marshmallows, and gumdrops.
  • Instructions: Use marshmallows and gumdrops as connectors to build a tower with uncooked spaghetti. Encourage creativity and teamwork as participants construct the tallest tower possible.
  • STEM Incorporation: Develop engineering skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork in a hands-on building challenge.

7. Leaf Chromatography

  • Supplies: Leaves, coffee filters, and markers.
  • Instructions: Cut small pieces of leaves and place them on a coffee filter. Add drops of water to encourage pigments to separate and create vibrant chromatography patterns.
  • STEM Incorporation: Explore chemistry and physics as children observe pigment separation and learn about chromatography.

8. Corn Kernel Counting

  • Supplies: Corn kernels, small containers, and tweezers.
  • Instructions: Provide small containers and tweezers for children to count and sort corn kernels. This activity develops fine motor skills and introduces basic counting concepts.
  • STEM Incorporation: Enhance fine motor skills while introducing counting and sorting, building early math foundations.

9. Apple Volcanoes

  • Supplies: Apples, baking soda, and vinegar.
  • Instructions: Hollow out an apple, placing baking soda inside. Pour vinegar into the apple to create a fizzy eruption. Discuss chemical reactions and observe the bubbling "volcano."
  • STEM Incorporation: Explore chemical reactions, reactions between acids and bases, and observation skills.

10. Pie Tin Balance

  • Supplies: Pie tins, small objects, and a ruler.
  • Instructions: Place objects on one side of the pie tin and adjust their position until the tin is balanced. Use a ruler to measure the distance from the center for added mathematical exploration.
  • STEM Incorporation: Engage in hands-on exploration of weight, balance, and measurement.

These activities are not only entertaining but also provide valuable learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Encourage young minds to explore, question, and discover the wonders of STEM this Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, let's blend gratitude with a dash of STEM-inspired learning. With accessible supplies and detailed instructions, these 10 activities are perfect for early education. Watch as young learners light up with curiosity and creativity, discovering the magic of science, technology, engineering, and math right at the holiday table. Happy STEM-giving!


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