Inside: A fun and engaging Engineering Preschool Activities –> An alphabet STEAM Activity to teach preschoolers engineering, abc’s and problem solving skills in early childhood education.
During these rainy winter days I’m trying to maximize our indoor play time with having some “hands-on” learning activities. I know once the weather turns beautiful we’ll be spending our days exploring the outdoor world.
From Raising Life Long Learners: Engineering is all about finding out how things are built and why. It’s about finding ways to construct things better, and it’s about solving problems through the development of new technologies. And for preschoolers, engineering is about play.
STEAM: Engineering Alphabet Towers
Our latest favorite in our STEAM activities is Engineering Alphabet Towers. My little one would sit with play-doh all day if I’d let her…and some days we do because it’s so good for her to play with, for many reasons and a topic for another article soon to come! I’ve been channeling our play-doh time though with different activities geared towards preschool… and her latest favorite is taking her ABC magnets and building towers.
If you are a teacher or a mom to a preschooler I can promise this will be an all time favorite.
What you need:
How to Engineer Alphabet Towers:
TIP: When introducing a Preschooler to a new activity, remember to always let them explore first. Don’t rush into the lesson for teaching them. Give them the materials and let them explore. This is part of the beauty in letting the kids learn through steam activities.
1- Place the play-doh on the tray and let them pull apart pieces/chunks.
2- Get your ABC’s in order and spread out
3- Begin to build and explore. If your tower goes up you’re doing awesome! See how high they can get.
CHALLENGE : to older kids wanting to jump in on the STEAM activities –> see how tall they can engineer and build before their tower falls, you’ll be surprised how these little minds can problem solve.
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 and M. Engineering and Math! Yet the skills of problem solving and fine motor skills with the play-doh is out of the world good for these little preschoolers.
The STEAM process for Engineering Alphabet Towers:
- Investigate: Let them look at the materials they are using. Let them touch them, feel them, hold them. Let them explore and see/use them for a few minutes.
- Discover: We talked about the colors of play-doh, the colors of the ABC’s…
- Connect: Keep it simple! Connect the colors and ABC’s to their world. Ask them what word starts with the letter “A”, or what sound the letter “A” makes. 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 begin engineering and building their tower. Remember they won’t do it perfect and this is where they truly learn and connect a lot in their minds. (I have to remind myself of this often!) Engineering and Building will take time, their structure may fall, encourage them to figure out why it’s falling – Was their base not large enough? Then encourage them to try again and again if they have to. If you have to make your tower flat like we had to do in this activity.
- Reflect: Ask what they learned by building towers. Ask what worked and what didn’t. Again get them to talk and think about their project.
I have written an entire article dedicated to Everything You Need to Know about Steam. If you have any questions about it, my husband is who is an educator and advocate of STEAM learning basically wrote this for our learning. Here we break down the Buzz word – STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. He talks about how they all begin to link together and how to introduce these ideas through early education. It’s so vital that our little preschoolers minds be challenged…I love that there really is no wrong way to doing STEAM Activities for Preschoolers.
For example….in my mind I felt like my preschooler could engineer and build an ABC tower. She tried…she really did…but it wasn’t going up for her…it kept coming down! I encouraged her to try and try again…and she did. I soon realized let’s start a bit more basic. So we placed our ABC’s in order and then laid our tower down and it connected with her then – Yay!
There are so many resources, projects and activities at our fingertips with only a click of a button. I do hope you’ll visit my page: Crazy Cool Teacher Resources so if you’re a mom this page is for you…if you’re a grandmother teaching your grandkids this page is for you or if you are a Preschool STEAM teacher this page is for you!.
Steam Activities for Preschoolers:
A few of our latest favorites:
Want to see more of our Preschool Engineering Projects? Just go to our STEAM Activities for Preschool page.
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.