If your evenings look anything like mine – a whirlwind of meal preps, bedtime stories, and little “I need water” requests – you know that finding extra moments feels like hunting for hidden treasure.
As a bustling mom, I’ve discovered a golden nugget: our home is brimming with opportunities to teach our kiddos STEAM concepts!
Believe it or not, chores have become our unexpected classroom.
From setting the table to sorting laundry, these mundane tasks are now my son’s gateway to the wonders of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Join me as we turn everyday tasks into learning triumphs!
How Chores Can Teach STEAM
Are you looking for everyday opportunities to teach your little learners STEAM around the house without having to research lesson plans or STEM activities for kids? The good news is that you can use everyday chores about the house as an opportunity to help little ones learn STEAM concepts like:
- Science: Chores can help preschoolers learn about science by observing the effects of their chores on the environment, measuring and comparing different objects, and learning about the natural world.
- Technology: Chores can help preschoolers learn about technology by using tools and appliances to help with chores, learning about the basics of engineering, and learning about coding and programming.
- Engineering: Chores can help preschoolers learn about engineering by building structures or fixing things that are broken, designing and creating new things, and problem-solving and finding creative solutions.
- Art: Chores can help preschoolers learn about art by being creative and expressing themselves, learning about color theory and design, and developing fine motor skills.
- Math: Chores can help preschoolers learn about math by counting, measuring, and solving problems, learning about fractions, and learning about geometry.
Using chores to teach children STEAM can address each of these obstacles. Chores are a regular part of everyday life, so they don’t require any extra time commitment from parents.
Relate STEAM To Everyday Tasks
Dive in to discover how everyday tasks effortlessly weave in STEAM learning for our little ones. These are just some of my proven “mom” tips to teach preschoolers math at home. Let’s take a look at my favorite ones to help your children today!
1. Watering Plants & Flowers
I love gardening, and I want to share my interests with my son. Not only will this help me have quality time with my son, it also give me a great opportunity to talk to him about flowers, symmetry, and caring for things around the house.
My little guy has taken on the role of our resident gardener, helping me by watering our plants and flowers daily. It’s a simple yet enriching chore that not only spares me a few moments, but it also keeps him thoroughly entertained.
He’s learning about nurturing and responsibility while I get to see our plants thrive with his care.
- STEAM Concepts: Botany basics, understanding hydration needs, and plant growth observation.
- Secondary Benefits: Cultivates responsibility, nurturing attitudes, and boosts mood with nature interaction.
- Frequency & Duration: Every other day; takes about 10-15 minutes of joyful watering and plant-chat.
2. Sorting Laundry
There never seems to be an end to clean laundry that needs to be sorted and put away. I used to have my son watch T.V. as I sorted laundry, but then I realized I could ask for my son’s help with sorting laundry. This makes the chore go by fast and keeps him engaged and learning!
Sorting laundry has become our fun color-matching game! He helps me categorize clothes by color or type with his eager hands.
This saves me a good chunk of time and keeps him happily engaged. While he’s honing his color recognition and organization skills, I’m gaining a head start on laundry day. Everyone wins!
- STEAM Concepts: Color recognition, pattern detection, classification, fabric differentiation.
- Secondary Benefits: Boosts organizational skills, hones decision-making, and builds independence.
- Frequency & Duration: Twice a week, with each session being a 20-minute color-filled adventure!
3. Matching Socks
Like the previous idea, I like having my son help me match socks before putting them in their drawers.
Every laundry day, my little man dives into a sea of socks, pairing them up like it’s a fun game. It’s delightful watching him focus on matching patterns and colors. This keeps him thoroughly entertained and saves me from the tedious task of sorting.
For him, it’s a puzzle that sharpens his observation skills. It’s a precious few moments saved and a heart warmed by his eager helping hands.
- STEAM Concepts: Pattern recognition, categorization, and sequencing skills enhancement.
- Secondary Benefits: Boosts focus, improves memory, and fosters a sense of accomplishment
- Frequency & Duration: After laundry days, typically twice a week, around 10 minutes of fun-filled matching.
4. Measure Ingredients In The Kitchen
My son transforms into my tiny sous-chef in our kitchen, gleefully assisting with basic tasks like stirring and pouring. As we cook simple recipes together, the process is not only a delightful bonding activity but it also gives me an extra hand, saving prep time.
He’s entertained, learning basic cooking steps and feeling that pride of “I made this!”. It’s a dual joy for me: witnessing his growing confidence and relishing the shared cooking experience.
- STEAM Concepts: Grasping measurement, understanding volume, and introductory math.
- Secondary Benefits: Increases precision, fosters following instructions, and initiates culinary appreciation.
- Frequency & Duration: Whenever we bake, usually once a week, about 15 minutes of hands-on, floury fun!
5. Setting the Table Before Dinner
My little guy eagerly places the plates and utensils on our table every evening. This precious chore not only offers me a few moments of respite but also keeps him productively entertained.
While he’s mastering coordination, we’re both reaping the rewards: a ready table for me and a sense of responsibility for him.
- STEAM Concepts: Counting, spatial relationships, symmetry.
- Secondary Benefits: Builds responsibility, fosters family bonding, and reinforces table manners.
- Frequency & Duration: Daily ritual; takes him about 10 minutes, but the proud smiles last much longer!
6. Organizing Cabinets With Toys
My son has lots of educational toys around the house, and he has come to enjoy organizing his toys in cabinets and bins around our living room.
My son loves to sort his toys back into their cabinet spots when playtime’s over. This task spares me the post-play tidy-up and keeps him happily engaged.
He’s honing his decision-making and categorization skills as he decides where each toy belongs. It’s a win-win: an organized space for me, and an amusing, skill-building game for him.
- STEAM Concepts: Categorization, pattern recognition, size differentiation.
- Secondary Benefits: Develops tidiness habits, sharpens decision-making, and boosts his sense of ownership.
- Frequency & Duration: Once a week; it’s a delightful 15-minute sorting spree that ends in achievement giggles!
7. Help Pick Up Weeds On The Lawn
My husband loves working on our lawn, and we found this time to be a good opportunity to get our little one out in the sun as he learns how to take care of our house as a family.
My little helper eagerly joins me in the garden, hand-picking those pesky weeds from the lawn. While I focus on the bigger garden tasks, he’s right alongside me, eagerly hunting for the green intruders.
Not only does this save me some precious weeding time, but it also becomes an exciting outdoor game for him. We bond, I get a tidier lawn, and he revels in the joy of discovery and accomplishment. It’s our win-win gardening session, blending fun with function!
- STEAM Concepts: Biology, root systems, environmental science, plant identification.
- Secondary Benefits: Enhances hand-eye coordination, fosters appreciation for nature, and cultivates responsibility.
- Frequency & Duration: Weekly, usually taking him about 30 minutes, making our lawn days extra special!
Use Chores To Teach STEAM At Home
In the heart of our homes, amidst the daily hustle, lies a treasure trove of learning. Embracing chores as STEAM adventures enrich our preschoolers’ world, turning mundane tasks into moments of wonder.
Here’s to empowering our littlest learners in the most unexpected places!