Why STEM in the early years is so essential...and so easy!

The early years of a child’s life are known to be the critical to their long-term development. Those first five years are the years in which a child’s lifelong learning patterns are developed; which is why the role of the early childhood educator is so important. Children are absolutely like sponges in these early years - their ability to take in what they are taught and shown, coupled with the insatiable natural curiosity to learn more about and experience the world around them, makes these early years the perfect time to begin exposing them to STEM ideas and concepts.

Children that are encouraged to engage in stem-based thinking processes through play-cased learning activities are offered opportunities to engage in deep learning, and it is this deep learning which sets them up for life.

The great thing about it though, is that STEM doesn't have to be hard or complicated in these early years. You as a parent or educator, don't have to be a scientist to teach your children science and STEM. There are so many easy opportunities for little ones to experience STEM in their everyday lives. From playing with a cup of water and learning about the concepts associated with water, for example, measurements or the physical characteristics of water, to watching a dandelion blow in the wind and learning about movement, the possibilities are endless.

In Aboriginal culture, teaching of children often occurred through imitation and through children accompanying adults in their everyday tasks, as of course, we all often do with our children. They learn from watching and observing, and from trial and error. Through encouraging STEM based learning through simple, everyday activities like those described in our IndigiSTEM range, we can help our children to be excited about problem-solving, as they explore the world around them not only in these early years, but through the rest of their lives.

Deborah Hoger