Winter STEAM activities are fun and this STEAM Preschool Activity: Building a Snowflake is no exception. Use this STEAM Activity for a snowflake stem challenge or a winter stem themed activity. All ages will enjoy this activity from preschoolers, middle school and elementary students.
Last week we pulled out some fun supplies and began to build and engineer a snowflake, for our weekly STEAM activity.
Engineer + the word preschool probably doesn’t really connect in your mind as a pair. Guess what? I would say that this is probably a preschoolers favorite part of any STEAM activity, at least in my experience. We’ll talk more about the Engineering process in a bit..hang on.
In the mean time…
It was really fun for the girls to make these snowflakes because they remembered the snow we got several weeks back and were talking about the snowmen we built etc. It was really cute to hear their conversations as they were engineering and building these amazing snowflakes.
STEAM Preschool Activity: Building a Snowflake
Ages 2-4 – older children could certainly build their own snowflake as well, I would just encourage them to not use the construction paper to reinforce their structure, rather they should build it where the snowflake is built to be on it’s own and not fall apart. I would suggest using hot-glue with older kids without construction paper!
What you need:
1- Construction Paper or a piece of Cardstock
6- Popsicle sticks
1- Cotton ball
2- Pipe cleaners
Small pom pom balls
Glue dots (awesome for fine motor skills!)
*Disclaimer: no snowflake is the same…so don’t expect your littles to do it just like yours or even do it perfect. This is part of the process we’ll talk about in a minute…let them do it the way they want to!
1- Place a glue dot on one end of each popsicle stick
2- Place popsicle sticks where one end is touching each other
3- Glue down popsicle sticks where they create a star like representation on the construction paper.
4- Cut pipe cleaners in thirds.
5- In the meantime, while your glue is drying…take two q-tips side by side and twist a pipe cleaner around the middle, twist out the q-tips to form an x and continue twisting pipe cleaner around to secure. (this was harder for the younger preschoolers, again let them do their best and then I just tightened up the pipe cleaner)
6- Repeat step 4 until all 6 are made.
7- Back to the popsicle sticks on the construction paper: Place some glue on the cotton ball, then place in the middle of the “stick star”.
8- Using either glue dots or glue let them put their small pom-pom balls on their sticks (this was their favorite part!)
9- Lastly take their “x” q-tips and with a glue dot place these on the ends creating a fancy snowflake.
If you would like to read more about the process behind a STEAM activity- please read more here. My husband has written this for all of us to learn (…he is over the Innovation Center where he teaches high-school in Covington, LA.)
the STEAM process for building a snowflake:
- Investigate: Let them look at the materials we are using. Let them touch them, feel them, hold them, talk about what each is made of and ask questions about the materials.
- Discover: This may be as simple as letting them discover glue and how it’s sticky. Just let them have fun and see what is happening while they build, if things stay together or fall apart.
- Connect: To make a connection in their minds about what we were building we talked about snow, the snow we had seen a few weeks ago and played in…how God made each snowflake unique and where snow comes from… Keep it simple!
- Create: Direct them and let them build as you do. This is the hard part, it’s not going to be perfect and that’s actually what you want because they are engineering and building…use their ideas they present as well.
- Reflect: Ask what they learned by building, what worked and what didn’t. Discuss the project together and maybe even have them talk about your points back in the connection step.
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.