Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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Preschool STEM: Photography and Puppets

Our final project in the Preschool STEM series this month is inspired by my kids' love of my phone and crafting! 

Like so many of our other STEM activities, this one also creates a path for creative play, imagination, and story-telling. The best STEM activities for preschoolers integrate these other subjects (arts and literacy) easily and beautifully! This one also provides excellent fine-motor exercise!


* camera or phone with camera
* computer (optional)
* printer
* scissors
* craft sticks (or straws or pencils or sticks or strips of cardboard...something to make a puppet!)
* tape or glue

Start out by letting your kids take pictures of each other and you.

Let them gather around a computer with you and select which pictures they want to print to make puppets. Print them.

You can let them decide if they want help cutting out their people. My kids cut a lot, but sometimes they want help too. 

*** It is so important to let them cut if they want to--there is no reason to do something for them when they can reasonably do it themselves! This helps them build confidence and fine motor skills. You can see in my top image the ragged edges of a 3-year old cutting. You can see in the image below that I helped when she asked. Just let your preschooler lead the way! ***

Finally, let them glue or tape their puppet to a stick, and start playing! 

We did have a craft stick once get taped to a head (making an upside down puppet), but it's pretty easy to remove the stick and tape it to the right side of the puppet. And it only happened once!

My preschoolers think it's hilarious to have the puppet kids tell the puppet mom what to do!

We had so much fun making puppets that my 3-year old asks me to print her pictures (almost daily) that she can turn into puppets too!

How is this activity STEM?  It requires your preschoolers to use science skills (like observing, analyzing, and decision-making), it lets them experiment with science concepts (like the fusion in tape or how glue changes states as it dries), it allows them to use technology/tools (like cameras, computers, and tape dispensers), it requires them to engineer/design their puppets, and uses math concepts (like a concept of one-to-one relationships).

Do you love preschool STEM? Do you want to learn more about it? This June I am featuring a Preschool STEM series that includes a fantastic introduction to preschool STEM and nine STEM activities, projects, or challenges that are appropriate for preschoolers! This is the first one--I would LOVE to have you join in and share your own experiences as we move through the next two weeks! You can find the landing page with links to all the activities HERE!  You can also join my STEM Activities & Projects for Kids Facebook Group HERE for more STEM-inspired conversations!

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

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