STEM activities are fun any time of the day. Choose a topic and greet the children by setting out open-ended materials. Introduce the topic at morning free play or circle time and plan ahead to create the main activity.
Here is an example of how preschool educators can incorporate STEM into the day:
8:00 AM Free play time: Put out some books about fruits and vegetables. Add a sorting game with plastic fruits. Create a market in the dramatic play corner featuring fruits and vegetables. Make sure the market worker has an apron and some recycle bags for his customers!
8:30 AM Circle time: Plan a field trip for apple picking or bring in a bag of apples to share. Read the book Applesauce by Shirley Kurtz, and let the kids feel and smell an apple from the bag. Talk about cooking applesauce as a special activity for the day.
9:30 AM Outdoor play time: Take children on a walk through the playground or around the block and find trees that have fruit or flowers growing on them. Have kids collect what is growing on the trees you see.
11:00 AM Cooking activity: Plan ahead to have a few volunteers come in and make applesauce with the group. It can start as a whole group activity (peeling and putting apple slices in a pan to be cooked), and then individual children who want to help with more of the cooking can work with the volunteers to finish the applesauce. For kids who aren’t cooking, sing some songs, play some music or read a book about Johnny Appleseed.
5:00 PM Transition to home: Write a note for parents about applesauce making. Tell parents to ask their children, “How did the apple turn into applesauce?” Encourage families to try some applesauce with their dinner.