Teacher’s Brain

The Top 3 Benefits of STEM Activities in Elementary

Wondering about the benefits of STEM activities in elementary? You’re in the right place! If you know me, you know I love STEM activities and it’s so fun to see our young students light up when they are wrapped up and fully engaged in STEM learning. 

stem activities

What is STEM and why is it important? 

STEM is essentially an integrated approach to learning that incorporates four key disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These subjects are at the heart of many of the world’s most pressing challenges and exciting opportunities, so it’s important that we get our kiddos comfortable with it from an early age. 

Here are some of the top benefits of STEM activities: 

STEM Activities Foster Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

STEM challenges are like brain-boosting exercises for our young learners. They help our students flex their thinking muscles by encouraging them to ask questions, explore solutions, and adapt their strategies when faced with hurdles. It’s all about honing those essential problem-solving skills that will serve them well in school and beyond.

Tip: To make this even more exciting, encourage your students to team up and work together. When they brainstorm and chat about their ideas, it can take their critical thinking skills to a whole new level!

Promotes a Love for Learning

Let’s make learning an adventure! STEM challenges turn the classroom into a place where students can have a blast while they learn. Children are naturally curious, and these activities tap into that curiosity. When kids are having fun, they’re more likely to remember what they’ve learned and develop a deep love for STEM subjects.

Tip: Choose challenges that match your students’ interests. Whether it’s building, experimenting, or exploring, let their passions lead the way. And don’t forget to weave in some fun stories and real-world examples to keep them engaged.

Builds Confidence and Resilience

Completing STEM challenges is a wonderful confidence booster! When students conquer obstacles and see their ideas come to life, they walk a little taller and believe in themselves, and what teacher wouldn’t love that?! Plus, they learn that mistakes are just stepping stones to success. That kind of resilience is a life skill that will stay with them long after they leave your classroom.

Tip: Celebrate every little success with your students. Emphasize the value of hard work and not giving up, even when things get tough. Encourage them to look back on their mistakes as opportunities to grow and do even better in the next challenge.

Looking for the perfect STEM challenge? Here are some super fun and engaging STEM challenges to try with your students: 

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie STEM Challenge | Build a Mouse House

STEM activities for kids

Be the teacher they remember with these engaging STEM Activities! Kids will have a blast learning about blueprints, floor plans, area, design, and writing while doing these activities! Use the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff as a HOOK with this STEM activity! Check it out! 

Apollo Lunar Module STEM Challenge

lunar lander stem activity

Are you looking for an engaging STEM Challenge to enhance your space unit or to teach how the first man landed on the moon? This is a great challenge for students to use materials to create a Lunar Lander module to test for a soft landing with their “shock absorbers.” 

Building 2D & 3D Shapes Toothpick Cards, Activities and Challenges

toothpick stem activities

Are you looking for some fun STEM ideas to incorporate into building math geometry skills with 2D and 3D Shapes? I have you covered with these Build A Shape Mats! Print and laminate. Students build it with toothpicks and molding dough (you can use marshmallows or gumdrops instead), count the toothpicks, sides, vertices, and trace the words!

I hope you love these activities and that your students have lots of fun with them! Looking for more tips for STEM learning? Check out my post here!

Creative Spring Activities for Kids That Students Will Love

Happy Spring! 

This is such a wonderful time of year. The sun starts to shine again and flowers start to bloom. It’s definitely worth celebrating in the classroom. If you’re looking for spring activities for elementary students, you’re in the right place. I’m sharing some fun and engaging spring activities you can do with your students to welcome the season! 

spring activities for kids

How do you celebrate spring with kids? 

Whether you want to have a spring party with your students or just sprinkle some spring-themed activities into your lessons, these spring activities for school will get you started. 

  1. Planting: You can teach your students about plants and gardening by having them plant flowers or vegetables in the school garden or small pots in the classroom. This can be a fun and interactive way to teach kids about science and nature. For plant-themed resources, check out my resource here and here!
  2. Nature Walk: Take a nature walk with your students and have them collect different types of flowers, leaves, and other items found in nature. Once back in the classroom, students can use these items to make art projects or create a nature journal.
  3. Spring-themed Art Projects: There are many fun spring-themed art projects that you can do with your students, such as creating paper flowers, making spring-themed collages, or creating birdhouses or nests. Check out this adorable flower glasses craft! 
  4. Reading: Have students read spring-themed books and discuss the different aspects of spring, such as weather changes, new growth, and baby animals.
  5. Science Experiments: You can do science experiments with your students, such as creating a rain gauge or exploring the different parts of a flower. Here is a fun resource to try! 
  6. Spring Poetry: Teach your students about poetry by having them write their own spring-themed poems. I love this fun and creative way to teach them about language and expression. Here’s a fun poetry resource to try! 

These are all wonderful ideas, but my favorite activity is definitely my Spring-Themed Would You Rather resource. 

spring activities for kids

This is a fun and creative way to get your students excited about writing. Would You Rather Prompts are great conversation starters, ice breakers, or writing prompts. 

Use these interactive, editable Google Slides to easily have students show one or two fingers to share their choice. Then, they get to explain why they chose it by writing it out! 

spring activities for kids

What is in this download?

53 Google Slides with a moveable highlighter to share your favorite or the class’s most popular choice.

  • 50 Colorful WOULD YOU RATHER Slides
  • 1 Digital Writing Prompt Paper
  • 2 black and white ink-saving slides for handwriting practice

If you want to do this activity virtually, it’s totally possible and fun! Students can simply share a 1 or a 2 in the chatbox. 

You can delete slides you don’t want to send to students and add your own directions or images to the sides of the slides to personalize. One of my favorite things about this resource is it can be used for any grade level! 

Love this idea? I actually created it for every season too in this Seasonal Would You Rather Bundle. 

spring activities for school

You’ll get the spring resource plus the ones for summer, fall, and winter too! 

What is in this download?

200+ Google Slides with a moveable highlighter to share your favorite or the class’s most popular choice.

This resource is great for virtual or in-person teaching

  • 200+ Colorful Would You Rather Season-Themed Slides (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) 4 Resources Bundled
  • 4 Digital Writing Prompt Paper
  • 8 Black and White Ink-Saving Slides for Handwriting Practice. 

Check it out here! 

What are your favorite ways to celebrate spring in the classroom? Let me know in the comments! 
Looking for more spring fun? Check out my post on Easter activities here!

Earth Day Activities For Elementary Students

A very special and important holiday is quickly approaching- Earth Day! 

Earth Day 2022 is coming up on April 22nd, and it is the perfect time to teach students about our planet and the importance of conservation efforts. We need our planet and it is more important than ever to take whatever steps we can to improve our environment. 

So what can students do for Earth Day?

Earth day activities for kids pin image

To celebrate Earth Day in your classroom, it’s important that we start by explaining why this holiday is so important. When I was in the classroom, I would begin by teaching students about our planet and what it needs from us. I explained to them that no matter how small their actions are, they are making a difference. It’s a great way to inspire students to be an Earth hero!  

Here are some lessons and Earth Day activities for kids to learn about protecting our environment

  • Take a walk around the school or playground and pick up any trash. Take this as an opportunity to teach students how this harms our environment. 
  • Teach students why it is so important to always turn off water when you aren’t using it and making sure it is completely off
  • We need trees in order to have oxygen! Teach your students how they can care for the environment by planting a tree. This is a hands-on activity that has a big impact. 
  • Read books about protecting our planet and caring for the environment or watch movies and have a discussion about it after about how students can be more eco-friendly in their own lives.  
  • Teach students about the importance of recycling. Explain landfills and how recycling reusable materials can help our planet. Don’t forget to tell them about what materials can be recycled and how they can do it. You can help them practice by going around the school and identifying recyclable materials. 

Looking for virtual Earth Day activities? Take your recycling lesson to the next level with a virtual field trip!

earth day activities for kindergarten preview

This fun and engaging digital resource lets your students “visit” a recycling center! 

Use these interactive, editable Google Slides to easily have students copy and paste movable parts, learn about Earth Day, recycling, what to bring on a trip and so much more! This is perfect if you’re looking to do Earth Day activities at home while distance learning or in the classroom. 

earth day activities for kids resource preview

Here’s what’s included: 

  • KWL Chart
  • Packing A Suitcase for the Trip
  • 1 Minute Take OFF Flight Video
  • 7 minute Field Trip Video (Earth Day, Car Ride to different Recycling Centers, Train Ride)
  • Sequencing Events, 2 Writing Prompts, Counting Objects (under 10), Labeling Parts, Recycling Song, and Comprehension Questions
  • One extra slide for you to add anything you would like to the lesson. (videos or an assignment)
  • Home Connection Optional Assignment for students to build something with recycled materials. 
  • Black and white ink-saving Writing Pages and Home Connection Page for in-person teaching.

Easily share through Google Classroom to collect information or share from your computer to Zoom or Meets. Students move images, add text, and moving parts to get plenty of writing and computer practice!

Earth day activities for students resource preview

What are your favorite Earth Day activities for elementary? Let me know in the comments!



Free Activities for Teaching Forms of Energy

Teaching sound, light, and energy is an important part of early elementary education. Energy is all around us! The sun that shines down on us, the food we eat, the lights in our home. Understanding forms of energy is essential knowledge to have to understand the way the world works. 

Getting our kindergarten, first, or second grade students to understand this concept can be really fun if done right! 

When teaching with younger students, just remember to take it slow to start. This lesson can get a little overwhelming. Explain what energy actually is first, and then introduce examples (sound, heat, light). 

After that, you can read some books on the topic of energy. This is a great way to add variety to your lesson and increase comprehension. 

Then make it fun with science experiments! This is a great time for some hands-on learning. Think Diet Coke and Mentos eruptions or popsicle stick chain reaction activities. These are a great way to see forms of energy in motion. 

For more tips for teaching forms of energy, check out my post here. 

One of my favorite ways to do that is to use these free forms of energy activities.

forms of energy

These printable activities are easy and fun for kindergarten or first grade students. 

Included in this free resource you’ll get:

  • HOME CONNECTION – Parent Project
  • Energy – List the items that produce energy
  • Heat & Light Energy Mini-book
  • I Spy SOUND objects
  • What is energy? POSTER

forms of energy

If you want more, you can check out the full resource here. It covers Sound, Heat, and Light with a 3-week plan including 3 inquiry lessons, data notebook pages, a rubric, a home project, and so much MORE!

These activities are great for helping your early elementary students really understand the topic of energy in a  fun and engaging way! They will love learning and it will set them up for success in later grades.

What are your favorite ways to teach about forms of energy? Let me know in the comments! forms of energy