In response to the STEAM movement (and with great thanks to such great inspiration & encouragement from colleagues: Amy, Abby, and Kendra), this past fall I started a STEAM storytime series at the library. This is primarily aimed at preschoolers and their families, registration open to ages 3-7 in our library.
Books & Group Activities
Building blocks from Kendra.
(Tune of Good Night Ladies)
Come build something with your blocks!
All the Water In the World by George Ella Lyon
Rain by Manya Stojic
Wow! Ocean! by Robert Neubecker
I started off with “All the Water In the World” since it explains the water cycle in a fun, easy, approachable manner. Then I segued into the kids naming places that had water and I wrote them down on a piece of butcher block paper. I pulled out the different ocean animal flannelboards from the summer of 2010 and after doing the “Five Big Whales” flannelboard, I did some math problems with the animals and the kids. Then we read the last two books and talked about the rain and the different animals that live in the ocean.
Once we finished the group portion, it was time to move to the station activities.
Sink or Float?
I got this amazing idea from Amy’s post on the ALSC blog. I filled up our two dish pans with water and had five items (rubber duck, penny, popsicle stick, Lego, and crayon) out for the kids to toss into the water. This is the station that had the best discussions, in my opinion. Lots of caregivers talking about what the objects were made of and why metal sinks and wood floats. The most interesting thing for the kids were the crayons which floated if you dropped them in gently and sank if you plopped them in.
Does It Dissolve?
I got this idea from Hands On As We Grow. I raided the library’s cabinets of craft materials to sink what we dissolve. In the closets, we had sugar, flour, sprinkles, oatmeal, glitter, and drink mix. The kids loved stirring up their concoctions and I saw several of them stirring frantically trying to get the sprinkles to dissolve.
Water Diffusing Art
We had some leftover color diffusing craft kits from a previous summer reading event in our closets. I know that we got them from S&S Worldwide, but they are no longer available. If you’re doing this program on the cheap, you can also use coffee filters! Kids colored with markers and then used a spray bottle to spread the color. They had a great time with this, and always love taking crafts home.
Make It Melt!
This was be far the messiest station. I had an ice cube for each child. On the top were bowls with warm water, cold water, and salt. And I also had a ton of paper towels. The kids were encouraged to try and melt their ice cubes with the different bowl items. Lots of discovery about the effects of salt & warm water!
I had another book display at the front of the room as always:
I also handed out these take-home packets as they left. Inside, there’s a booklist, an activity, and a coloring page. (They love coloring pages!) I grouped the sheets of “Sink of Float?” in this packet in case you all wanted to see that too.
And, here’s a super Pinnable image for you, if you’ve made it this far!
I still have three more science programs to write up; keep your eyes out for them!