STEM Activities for the 24-Month-Old

Color Scavenger Hunts

STEM Concepts: Science (physical science), Math (number sense and operations, patterns and classification, spatial relationships, mathematical reasoning)

Materials: Different colors of construction paper

What to do:  Place the pieces of colored construction paper on the middle of the floor. Have your child wander around the house or outside collecting things to match with each color of paper.

Language and Communication: Ask Your child what color they see or what they are looking for. When they bring back an item ask them what color it is and encourage them to match it to the correct paper. Count the items on each paper and find which color has the most and least objects.

Expand the Activity: Discuss shades of different colors and compare and contrast the shades and discuss size and number. You can also require that they find a specific number of items for each color.


Button Cup Cakes

STEM Concepts: Math (number sense and operations, patterns and classification, spatial relationships, mathematical reasoning)

Materials: Muffin pan, small item to sort such as buttons, fruit loops cereal, different types of dried pasta, beans, marbles, or gummy bears.

What to do: Dump the items onto the table and place the muffin tin in front of your child. Place one of each different item into each muffin tin. Have your child sort the remaining items into the tins, sorting by color or shape. While they are sorting the items, have them count how many they have all together or in each tin.

Language and Communication: Ask your child why they choose to sort the items the way they have. Depending upon the items you use, you may have options to sort them by shape, color, or size. Make sure you are discussing these options with your child.

Expand the Activity: Make a pattern in the way the items are sorted. For example, purple squares, green squares, red squares, purple circles, green circles, red circles. See if your child can find the pattern or talk about it with them.


Five Senses

STEM Concepts: Science (life science, earth science), Technology (simple tools), Math (classification.)

Materials: Variety of sensory objects (fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves, wood, bells), basket or tray, magnifying glass and a knife.

What to do: Put the items into the basket or onto a tray and have your child sit with it. Have them smell things, play with them for noises, touch them, taste them when applicable. (Note: cut fruit and vegetables into small enough bites to prevent choking hazards. Vegetables should be cooked to soften them.) Place one item on the tray at a time and have the child touch them, feel them, listen to them, smell them, and look at them. Use the magnifying glass to look closer at the items.

Language and Communication: Ask your child what things smell like, feel like, taste like, or look like. Introduce the vocabulary that we see with our eyes, touch with our hands, smell with our nose, taste with our mouth, and hear with our ears. Ask them about who eats different items you may have. For example, if you have leaves- Who eats leaves? Do we eat leaves? This will explore the idea that not only humans have senses but animals also. Encourage them to see if unconventional items have sounds. Do this by asking them if they can hear an orange or lettuce by squeezing them or rustling them around. Talk about how the magnifying class allows them to see things closer and more detailed. This uses their sight sense and teaches them that tools help humans to accomplish tasks.

Expand the Activity: Have your child cover their eyes and see if they can identify things by their smell or touch. Sort the objects into categories. Draw and color the items they are observing.