Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University

STEM Learning for Littles

Learning for Littles is a preschool STEM activity for parents and children ages 5 and under. The general agenda for each program is a story, science experiment, building activity, and a simple craft to do at home. 

New information will be posted every other Friday, starting April 10th.

Project to Help Bees in Your Yard

Week of May 8th

Bees drink water and they also carry it back to their hive to keep the hive cool in the summer. You can help bees by making a water feeder and keeping it filled with water.

How to Make a Bee Water Feeder

  1. Start with any shallow dish. I used a pie plate.

Bee Activity Example

2. Put in a layer of small stones. I used some aquarium stones that I had but you can use any small stones that you find. If you have some bright colored marbles or beads you can add them with your stones. Bees are attracted to bright colors.

Bee Activity Example

3. Put enough water to cover the stones.

4. Place the watering dish near your flowers. I don’t have any flowers blooming in my yard yet so I put it under my Chokecherry tree that is blooming now.

Bee Activity Example

Bees Drinking Water

Citizen Science Project

Your whole family can be on the lookout for bumblebees and help scientists learn where they are and how to help them survive with Bumble Bee Watch.

* BEE * | Animals For Kids

Nature Cuffs

Materials

  • Toilet paper core
  • Duct Tape
  • Whatever you find to decorate it

Step One: 

Take a toilet paper core and cut a piece about 4-5 inches long. Make a cut so that the paper roll opens up into a cuff.

Cuff link example of materials

Step Two: 

Wrap duct tape around the cuff with the sticky side out. I secured it with a second strip of duct tape on the inside with the sticky side in.

Example of Cuff link put together

Step Three:

Go around your yard or a nature area and collect blossoms, leaves and moss to decorate your cuff. Remember to only pick a few blossoms and leave the rest for bees. Attach the natural objects to the cuff. Wear it with pride.

Example of wearing your nature cuff link with pride

Arbor Day 2020

Week of April 24, 2020

Playdough imprints

Here's our favorite recipe for playdough. This playdough is easy to work with and it lasts up to a year in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag.

Take a nature walk with a good supply of playdough. There are so many things that you can use to make imprints. Since we are celebrating Arbor day, try a tree.

Different types of bark make great imprints.

Play dough tree imprint example Play dough bark texture 

Pinecones are easy to find and make good imprints as well. Don’t push too hard or it will be hard to get it out of the playdough.

Play dough pine cone texture

Rocks, shoots, pine needles and anything that you find in the yard can make a great nature imprint.

Play dough plant stem texture

When your child gets tired of making imprints, try making a picture or a face with some of the natural objects you have found.

Play dough with a smiling face

Coloring page

Arbor Day coloring page

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt

You can find most of these items in your own backyard in the spring. 

  • 2 different kinds of birds
  • Flowers starting to grow
  • Buds growing on a tree or bush
  • Something smooth and something rough
  • One yellow item
  • Two red items
  • One white item
  • A squirrel eating something
  • Listen for a bird and try to copy its sound
  • Tree seeds
  • 3 different types of trees
  • An animal that is not a bird or squirrel. Remember that insects and spiders are animals too.

All About Frogs

April 10, 2020 Activity

  • Book- Wide Mouthed Frog YouTube Video.
  • Building activity- Foil Lily-pad
  • Craft- Coffee Filter Tadpole
Tadpole and Lily Pad Crafts

These fun and easy crafts for your preschooler they can do on their own. Instructions below.

Videos: 

Build with parents - Jumping Frog.

Life Cycle song video 

Additional Resources

Science - Frog Life Cycle  

Coffee Filter Tadpole

 Supplies:

  • Coffee Filter
  • Scissors
  • Washable Markers
  • Paintbrush, sponge, or spray bottle

Begin by cutting one filter for the head and the other for the tail.

Coffee Filter Tadpole start of activity

 

Tape or glue the pieces together. Have your learner add colors to the filters. Try not to completely color the tadpole because we will be letting those colors mix.

Coffee filter tadpole step 2

 

Use a paintbrush with water on it to wet the coffee filters and let the colors run together. If you don't have a paintbrush, you can use a sponge, q-tip, or spray bottle to mist the tadpole. Allow the tadpole to dry on the paper towels on a washable surface.

Coffee filter tadpole step 3

 

Once the tadpole has dried you can draw in the eyes with a black marker or you can use large googly eyes. Hand it in a window to show off the colors!Coffee filter tadpole final step

 

Foil Lily Pad Building Activity

Supplies

  • Large Bowl
  • Water
  • Foil
  • Scissors
  • Pennies or beans

Fill a large bowl with water. Cut two pieces of foil the same size (size matters not). It should be big enough to work with easily.

Foil lily pad activity step 1

 

Have your learner work with the piece of foil to make a lily pad or boat that will support the weight of the frog. Place it in the bowl of water.

Foil lily pad activity step 2

Test the design by adding pennies until the boat sinks. I only had 2 pennies at my house so I used beans. After you have tested the first boat, have your learner come up with some ideas on new designs that might work better. Try those designs with the other piece of foil.

Foil lily pad activity step 3