Fun STEAM Activities to Do with Kids

STEAM has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to educate children for the 21st century. Foster a love of STEAM at home with these fun and easy ideas.

STEAM in the Back Yard

Combine learning and fun with these at-home STEAM experiments and activities using materials you probably already have around the house.

Launch a Balloon Rocket: Tie one end of a piece of string to a tree or post. Thread a drinking straw onto the string; tie the other end to another tree at the same height. Put two pieces of tape on the top of the straw. Blow up a balloon, hold the end to keep the air in, and use the tape to adhere it to the straw. Let the balloon go and witness the action and reaction of force.

Paint a Clothesline Masterpiece: Inspire kids to explore, experiment and create with paint. Hang an old sheet over a clothesline or fence; secure each corner with stakes or weights. Use large and small paintbrushes, kitchen sponges, fingers, or even natural objects, like a bundle of evergreen needles, to apply tempera paint.

Make a Sandbox Volcano: Fill a 16 ounce bottle about three-quarters full of water; add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid and 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda. Pack sand around the bottle in a volcano shape, leaving the top open. Pour in a cup of vinegar and experience the chemical reaction!

Shadow Tracking: Study the way shadows change throughout the day. Have your child stand on a sidewalk or driveway on a sunny day. Outline their shadow with chalk. Do this multiple times during the day to see how their shadow changes. Discuss why shadows get taller or shorter in relation to the earth’s movement.

Mix up Elephant Toothpaste: Make a foaming mix big enough for an elephant – but be sure to wear safety goggles and work in an area that can get messy. Pour ½ cup hydrogen peroxide in an empty plastic bottle. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap and a few drops of food coloring and swirl gently to mix. In a separate cup, mix one tablespoon of yeast and three tablespoons of warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and step back!

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

STEAM Out and About

These local museums and attractions do a great job of introducing the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art and math, and how they can be used together to solve challenges in today’s world.

Fernbank Science Center

Dedicated to science literacy and education, Fernbank Science Center has a planetarium, an observatory with the largest telescope in the southeastern U.S., live animal displays and an Apollo 6 Command Module exhibit. A variety of special events give students hands-on STEM experiences. As part of the DeKalb County School System, the center is currently closed; check the website for reopening updates.

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The museum’s permanent exhibits are a great way to reinforce STEM concepts. In Tools for Solutions, kids can learn about simple machines, create and design. Explore the inner workings of the body, light and energy, technology and more in the Step Up to Science exhibit.

Tellus Science Center

This 120,000 square-foot museum in Cartersville has four interactive galleries for kids to explore – Mineral, Fossil, Science in Motion and My Big Backyard – as well as a planetarium and observatory. Special exhibits and hands-on events like model rocket workshops, sky watches and astronomy workshops teach kids more about STEM concepts.

Fernbank Museum

Visit the museum’s interactive STEM exhibit, Fantastic Forces, and explore combustion, aerodynamics, plate tectonics and more. Activities highlight the science of rockets, tornadoes, earthquakes, liquefaction, lightning, planetary orbits, gravity, centripetal force and more.

High Museum of Art

In addition to exploring the High’s art collections, families can collaborate on a work of art, then explore the galleries on a scavenger hunt at Family Art Escapes. On Toddler Thursdays, kids 3 years and younger can learn about a weekly topic with artwork, art-making activities and self-guided tours.

The Southern Museum

With an extensive collection of locomotives, rail cars and artifacts, this Kennesaw museum is a great place to learn about how railroads were used during and after the Civil War. The Jolley Education Center features interactive learning areas with telegraph stations and a diesel train simulator.

Museum of Aviation

Explore a collection of more than 85 U.S. Air Force aircraft, missile, cockpits and exhibits at this Warner Robins museum. The Museum’s National STEM Academy, in partnership with NASA, offers hands-on STEM programs, workshops and special events.

Southeastern Railway Museum

This 35-acre museum in Duluth is home to all things train: locomotives, cabooses, mail and freight cars, artifacts and more. Ride on a historic train car, see the 1927 Marco Polo Pullman car that carried Franklin Roosevelt, and learn about the history of rail travel in the Southeast.

Other Fun Field Trips:
Atlanta Science Festival
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
Michael C. Carlos Museum
Discover Science Center
Bodies…The Exhibition
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Museum of Design Atlanta
CNN Center
AT&T Telephone Museum
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Delta Flight Museum
Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum
The Children Connect Museum
Fox Theatre
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Hammonds House Museum
Center for Puppetry Arts
Atlanta Contemporary
The Apex Museum
Atlanta Monetary Museum/Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

STEAM Online

Use these virtual learning resources to introduce STEAM concepts or to reinforce what kids are learning in school.

STEM Ecosystems At-Home Lab

Maker challenges, invention, innovation and more! This series of workshops offers practical tips, virtual experiments and other STEM learning activities using tools that families have around the house.

Kids Next Code

Kids ages 5-18 can take STEM courses like coding, game design, engineering and robotics, and website creation. The company puts an emphasis on teaching the underserved, including minorities and women; the Atlanta-based company also has partnerships with local libraries and schools.

STEM Behind Cool Careers

Check out Texas Instruments’ video series, which connects algebra, geometry and physics to jobs like fashion design, sports, health and more.

National Girls’ Collaborative Project

This organization aims to inform and encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, and has an extensive list of online resources.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has crafting ideas, science experiments, videos, coloring pages, podcasts, virtual tours, e-books and more for an in-depth look at space exploration, aeronautics and earth science.


This website from Scholastic features four different characters who will help you dive in to math and science topics, such as volcanoes, photosynthesis, word problems and more.


Games, videos and books make learning a breeze, and you can browse topics by grade. In the Math Zone, play games to improve math skills, including geometry, operations and more.

Tate Kids

From Tate, four art galleries in London, Liverpool and Cornwall, this website explores famous artists and artworks, creative activities, crafts and more, along with fun games and quizzes for artistic adventures.


The website offers a collection of fun, creative activities, games, videos, free coloring pages and more.

Math Game Time

For students in grades Pre-K through 7th, this site teaches addition, algebra, geometry, problem-solving and more with games, videos and worksheets.


STEAM in a Box

With complete supplies and instructions for projects mailed monthly, subscription boxes offer variety and keep kids interested in learning.

Steve Spangler Science Club

“DIY Sci” television host Steve Spangler has created science kits with materials for up to five activities, experiments and design challenges. Step-by-step instruction cards help kids learn the science behind each experiment. Ages 5-12; $24.99/month.

Creation Crate

From a weather station to an alarm clock, Creation Crate’s electronics-based kits teach real-world skills and become more challenging as the builder gains experience. An online classroom offers video tutorials, exercises and troubleshooting support. Ages 12 and up; $29.99/month.

Green Kid Crafts

These hands-on science and art kits feature themes such as electricity, ocean science or music and contain instructions and materials for 4-8 STEAM projects. Also included is a 12-page booklet with more hands-on activities, parent resources and puzzles. Ages 2-10; $29.95/month.


Bitsbox teaches coding and computer science through app building. Kids choose an app, then build, customize and use it on any mobile device. Activities like Bug Blaster, Cookiesnitch and 333 Little Pigs make it entertaining. Each box has enough materials for siblings to share. Ages 6-12; $29.95/month.

STEM Discovery Boxes

Kids ages 7 and up can learn about concepts in electronics, chemistry, physics, astronomy and more with this program. Each box contains complete materials and instructions to build three projects, plus activity cards and educational information. Ages 7 and up; $29.95/month.

–Mary Williams

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A STEAM-Powered World

COVID-19. Pandemic. Virus. Herd immunity. We’ve probably heard those words before but never really thought much about them, but 2020 changed all that as science and technology jumped to the forefront of our daily lives and took over. We looked up new science terms and maybe struggled to understand the difference between someone who is asymptomatic versus someone without symptoms. And, we looked at charts that showed spread and the virus’ variations. Such is the power and importance of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Today the study of STEAM is even more vital and whether it is in the classroom (virtual or not) or just hanging with your children, there are opportunities to study and enjoy the STEAM subjects that are relevant to our everyday lives.

“Everybody needs a level of understanding when it comes to science, math and learning,” says Douglas Hrabe, the director of the Fernbank Science Center. “You can utilize those skills with the COVID-19 pandemic. When you’re looking at numbers, if you have some understanding of science, you can make a more informed decision and analyze the information you’re receiving.”

For several years educators and parents have focused on STEM, particularly for girls. It’s only been recently where STEM took on STEAM. Art encompasses graphic arts, animation, marketing, design, music and more, which Nanette Shillingford, the STEAM coordinator environmental specialist at DeKalb Agriculture Technology & Environment, says can be seen in architecture, automotive, theatrical and music fields. “Without art, these fields and products would be stale with no type of excitement to them,” she says. “Students get to open up and experience creativity, and their creativity in other areas will be enhanced as well.”

Expanding education to include art and design gives students additional skills to succeed as well as “softer” skills such as cross-disciplinary inquiry, collaborative problem-solving as well as sparking a child’s imagination and creative thinking.

“Art has always been the backbone of communicating science,” says David Dundee, an astronomer and director of education at Tellus Science Museum.

“Usually, all those subject areas are taught in separate silos, but the STEAM program ties all of those things together,” Hrabe says. “When you’re doing a project, you have a concept where you use science or math, but then you write a paper and use graphs and pictures to explain. It really ties them all together.”

However, it shouldn’t take a worldwide pandemic to understand the importance of STEAM in our lives, particularly when it comes to teaching children. They need to have the tools and understanding to deal with a variety of subjects from pollution to climate control to better ways to grow food, get from one place to another and create beauty. “Children are going to be our future later, so we have to develop these interests in them now, so they can get excited and not be so overwhelmed when they’re learning,” Shillingford says.

The experts agree that parents and students should not fear STEAM but instead should embrace it and work at getting a basic understanding themselves. “The idea that the Renaissance person doesn’t exist anymore is not true,” says Dundee. “Sure, scientists specialize in some branch of science, but to operate in today’s world, you have to be able to communicate in professional papers, write grants, display data in an understandable way and communicate with people who don’t have your specialty. People need to have a broad base of skills to understand the world around them.”

Hrabe agrees. “Students learn soft skills, such as communication, team building, working together,” he says. “Bright students are very good at getting that one correct answer, but working through the trial and error process STEAM promotes gives children a bigger picture of education and makes them more successful in the learning process. Learning an error can be helpful – you don’t have to get the correct answer the first time.”

Of course parents play a vital role in students becoming interested in and embracing STEAM disciplines. Almost every hobby can turn into a STEAM lesson, whether it’s driving cars, baking, taking photographs, looking at the planets or taking a hike in the woods.

Shillingford suggests finding creative ways to make real-world connections, such as touring a water plant, taking-your-kid-to-work day or shadowing a veterinarian. “Concepts seem complex until an expert shows it to you and breaks it down to help you see, touch, feel and experience those more complex topics. Help them understand how science is a part of their personal life,” she says. “Technology is all around them daily from iPhones to Samsung, PlayStations to Xbox. Show them how engineers make stuff from treehouses to dune buggy race cars and catapults. Art will generally sell itself – do they like music, how is it made, what about dancing? While mathematics is usually the one they shy away from, show them the side where they are the millionaire with money and teach them how to manage it. They have to see how it authentically and directly affects them and their personal life.”

Ask any hockey, soccer, football or basketball player how they make their shots and it’s all about the angles – also known as geometry – and velocity – aka physics!

Once you’ve sparked your child’s interest in STEAM, keep it going. Not only will STEAM knowledge help them in their everyday adult lives, but it also leads to amazing careers.

“Research STEAM-related jobs,” Shillingford suggests. “What are your children’s talents, strengths and interests?” Adds Hrabe, “There are so many jobs in the STEAM areas, it’s almost easy employment – not enough people are able to go into those jobs.”

Look around. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t pass geometry way back when, there are so many opportunities to help your child learn about science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. Take a walk in the woods, go to a museum, attend science fairs and help your child with his or her homework. It will open up the world – and it’s a lot of fun.

– Emily Webb and Mary Welch

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