Super Simple Blinky-Bug Robots Kids STEM Activity

Super Simple Blinky-Bug Robots Kids STEM Activity

Start STEM early! This is a great introduction to circuits for kids. It’s cheap and lots of fun! You will need :
A peg
A 3V button battery
Two LEDs (these cost around 20p)
Two sticky pads or some tape
One 0.09 metal guitar string (one string can make 2-3 bugs bots and costs around £1).

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Slide the battery between the contacts of the LEDs. These only work one way round so flip them round if they don’t light. This is the simplest circuit to show your child.
Sticky pad them in place and bend two of the contacts up as in the picture above.
Bend a length of guitar string into a V to make two antennae. We’ve put tape on the cut ends for safety. The tape also catches the breeze making the antennae move!

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Place your antennae on the battery and sticky pad them in place to form a sandwich.
Bend your antennae towards your LED contacts and when they are close form little hooks out of the LED contacts.

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Now it’s time for your peg!

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Add your legs, wings or whatever. You can fiddle around with the positioning of your wires so the Blinky Bug eyes are off until the antennae move, or easier for young children is that they are on until moved! One LED can last a couple of weeks continuously with one of these batteries. So no need to panic that they will run the battery down too quickly.
Wiggle to start the fun!

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Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

Early Years STEM Activity:
This is a simple, fun, cheap and never gets old! We used our motors and OFF CENTRE wheels for this activity which we have used in previous robot building activities. A small plastic lid is used as a wheel for a small motor driven by a couple of AA batteries. This is mounted on a lightweight foam or polystyrene body. Here is a video of them in action!

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A motor and battery box can be found at your local Maplin electrical store for a couple of pounds! We use a plastic lid as it doesn’t hurt fingers when it is in motion or if it comes loose. Good duck tape is need to secure the motor well so the vibration from the wheel is transferred to the body to make it move!

We allowed our toddlers to work with their parents to build a bot using foam from our local scrap store, sticks, golf tees, matchsticks, wooden beads and cotton reels! This gave them the chance to problem solve, easily modifying their bots changing the number of legs and leg length for example.

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Happy Bot Building People!

Tiny Adventure Toddler and Pre school workshops Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

 

Dough Circuits Pre-School STEM Activity

Early Years STEM Activity:
Inspired by Squishy Circuits website we decided to play around with dough and the simplest equipment: Dough (shop bought play-doh or homemade salt dough), LEDs (from your local electronics shop or some old Christmas tree lights) and 9V batteries. If you have some crocodile clips it helps but it’s not essential!

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Here is a circuit with out crocodile clips! To get your LEDs to light you need two separate pieces of dough connected to the two terminals on the battery and the LEDs have to connect the two pieces of dough to complete the circuit. LEDs only allow current to flow in one direction, so if they don’t light turn them around!

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Avoiding problems:
Don’t test the LEDs by touching them on the batteries directly as this will damage them! We tried AA batteries but the current was too small. We also tried Christmas tree bulbs, but the current was too small to light them (LEDs need much less current).
Now add curious toddlers and parents!

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Dough play with a new twist! Could this be used to get daddies involved in dough play?

Toddler activities, toddler classes, baby activities, preschool activities, creative play ideas preschool science,

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Magnet play Age 1-3 STEM Activity

Magnet Play!

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We moved magnetic items around our mirror board using magnets underneath. If your fridge magnets are a bit small put them in a child’s sock and knot the end. It’s lots of fun. Theirs also lots of fun to be had picking up the magnetic items and pushing the magnets together to feel them attract and repel.
Next we suspended paper clips in mid-air using magnetic attraction. The paper clips were tethered to a crate with cotton. This is super for practicing gross motor skills. The paper clips follow the magnet as it is moved and drop down when the distance between them and the magnet is increased. It took my three year old a few goes before he could hold the magnet steady, suspending the paper clip. My Two year old got lots of joy out of just picking up the paper clips!

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His efforts payed off! “Look mummy, it’s not touching!”

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Pulleys for Toddlers From Scrap STEM Activity

Science and Engineering for Toddlers:
I made these pulleys from scrap! What a fun way to experience the power of pulleys! I made two pulleys and a block and tackle for lifting sand and a ramp. It took the toddlers a little while to figure out what to do, but once they did they immediately started experimenting!

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We experimented with cotton reels, play people and cars with the ramp. And lifted sand and shells with the block and tackle. This one is the most fun to watch as both wheels turn when it’s pulled. They seem to like watching the wheels change direction as they pull and then release.

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Super Science!

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Giant Cotton Reel Racer: STEM Activity

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A Little Science and Engineering for Toddlers!

These simple machines use stored elastic potential (strain) energy. There are two reasons I think it is important to make machines for children to play with.

1) They can see all the parts, what they do, start to understand why they are suitable and figure out why they are not working when they break down.

2) Being presented with objects used for new purposes taps into their own creativity and inventiveness. Every object has the potential to be used for something else!

I’ve been making Cotton Reel Racers with match sticks and rubber bands for over ten years in my science lessons. Problem is they can be a bit too temperamental and delicate for toddler hands. Therefore I decided to ‘Go Large’ and create giant ones…three in all, for this weeks workshops.

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The local scrap store provides lots strange and wonderful objects that would otherwise go to landfill. these giant reels were just the job! Similar reels from cabling might be just as good.

I threaded a thick elastic band through the centre of the reel. A stick is inserted into the elastic at each end of the reel. One short one that lies flat and may need to be taped down to stop it moving, and a long stick, inserted on top of a washer of some kind. I used a toy car wheel for our washer.

To make it go you need to wind the long stick around. Here is a video of it in action!

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Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Magnet Play Toddler STEM Activity

Experiencing magnetic attraction! I took along our magnet board and a box of magnetic house hold objects to this week’s workshops. We used small strong magnets (knotted in baby socks to reduce risk of chocking), magnetic fishing rods and our giant magnets too.

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I used self adhesive magnetic strips and stuck on other magnets using a super glue to make a magnet wall. Our every day objects included spoons, jam jar lids, slinky springs (stick them in a stocking and knot the end if you think they’ll get then tangled), cookie cutters etc. They can then set about sticking the objects to the magnets directly or on the back where they can’t see the magnets.

For small magnetic items that could cause a choking hazard e.g. bottle tops, pipe cleaners, pennies and paper clips, I placed them in sealed containers. Some in water and glitter, some in baby oil and some just in air. Happily they set about using the ‘magnetic socks’ to drag the items around in the container.

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Experiencing repulsion! I also took the time to make some repulsion cars. Magnets with same poles facing outward, glued on to the front of two cars. This is perfect for experiencing repulsion! Here is a video of them.

Happy experimenting everyone! Please share your experiments too!

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Brush Robots Pre-school STEM Activity

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Introducing Motors and Batteries for some Early Years STEM.

We’ve attached little motors and offset wheels to brushes. The wobble of the off centre wheels caused them to vibrate and glide around.

Simple Motors to observe in action!

It’s great to have the motor and batteries visible for supervised play to really help children to piece together how things work.
Here is a video of them in action!
We’ve also made a vibrating table using the equipment.
Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Light and Shadows Pre-school STEM/ Science Experiments

A lovely calm and cool session on Friday. Tiny Adventurers had the chance to play with light and shadows! The perfect antidote to the summer heat! If you want to calm and cool things down try digging out your torches and closing all the curtains!

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We used a sheet and desk lamp to make shadows. We added a variety of opaque and translucent items to play with.

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We added glow sticks, torches, mirrored card and light up toys.

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We also added Water Bead and Sand Light Boxes!

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Thanks everyone!

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Seeing Sound- Snap Painting Toddler STEM Activity

Early Years Science and Art.

What I like about this is you get to hear the note, see the vibration, and paint all at the same time! The paint gets everywhere, which makes it fun, and each elastic band vibrates at a different frequency and so has a different pitch, depending on how tight it is.

You need a tray or box lid, bands, paint and paper. Get plucking!

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.