Inside: Begin Preschool Engineering Projects at a young age so their minds can absorb and learn to problem solve during their early education learning years. Engineering Activities for Preschoolers are fun and full of skills that encompass learning and life skills all while engaging in the ability to build and create.
STEAM Activities for Preschoolers
What you need for Engineering Jelly Bean Shapes:
Jelly Beans (I used Brach brand so the colors match my printables!)
Free Engineering Printable
How to Engineer Jelly Bean Shapes:
1- Print your FREE Printable and Laminate so you can reuse over and over.
2- Let your preschooler follow the patterns on the printable to build shapes and patterns, following the given color jelly bean.
3- Before you know it their creativity and imagination will be running wild and they will be engineering and building all kinds of structures that aren’t on the printable! Let them go!
You can incorporate more math into your steam activity for the kids by having them sort the colors, count the colors etc. Feel free to use these FREE Printables for screen free coding activities for preschoolers. (access with code: STEAMbloom)
I will say the jelly beans are a bit tough for the littles to get the toothpick in so you may have to help the very young preschooler or toddler. Helping them doesn’t mean you have to do it for them, just help them while they tell you want they need help with.
REMINDER! Their fine motor skills are being exercised with the toothpick and jelly beans! A great aid in teaching them skills for life.
Engineering activities for preschoolers
Variations: Encourage your older kids to build up…another words build towers and structures. They will have a lot of fun engineering and building…and remember it’s not going to be perfect but that’s how they learn! When a structure falls down, encourage them to figure out why it fell down and then rebuild it.
How is this Preschool Activity STEAM? As my husband says to classify it as a STEAM activity it needs to incorporate at least two aspects of the word STEAM. So in our activity we have E, A and M. Engineering, Art and Math!
Why is STEAM important in early childhood education? Well I’m glad you asked….
If you would like to read more about the process behind a STEAM activity- please read more here!
the STEAM process for Engineering Jelly Bean Shapes
- Investigate: Let them look at the materials they are using. Let them touch them, feel them, hold them, talk about what each is made of and ask questions about the materials. Let them explore and see them.
- Discover: We talked about the colors we are using and sorted the colors…We talked about the different shapes we are making or could make within our project…ask them what toothpicks are made of…get them to think on their own.
- Connect: Keep it simple! Connect colors or shapes to their world. Ask if they can name other items they know of with similar shapes or colors. Ask them if they have ever seen a tower, what it looked like, if it went up or down, skinny or large. Get them to think and discuss.
- Create: Direct them and let them make shapes and towers. Remember they won’t do it perfect and this is where they truly learn and connect a lot in their minds. Engineering and Building will take time, their structure may fall, encourage them to figure out why. Was their base not connected, not large enough etc. Then encourage them to try again and again if they have to.
- Reflect: Ask what they learned by building shapes or towers. Ask what worked and what didn’t. Again get them to talk and think about their project.
We have done several engineering activities and next on our list is to engineer and build bridges! Pre-K Pages inspired me on this idea!
Interested in more Preschool Engineering Projects:
Engineering Marshmallow Shapes and Towers
Engineer and Build a Snowflake – Engineering Activities for Kids
We are a husband and wife team, pairing our strengths together to teach our preschooler in the most fun and engaging way we possibly can. The mister is a high school educator at Northlake Christian school in Covington Louisiana and over the Innovation Center, which is all things STEAM. I am a SAHM that blogs pretty much everything we do in our little paradise, from what we eat, to where we travel to how we teach our little one. We hope you are inspired to incorporate STEAM into learning with your children.
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