Do you have a hard time trying to figure out how to work STEM activities into your children’s learning?

I know I’ve often struggled with finding cool STEM activities that are also simple enough that I don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing them. Tied 2 Teaching has taken the guess work out of the equation and created a product called STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close ReadingWith over 65 STEM activities you’ll be sure to find something to keep your children busy all year long!

What’s included?

  • After purchasing STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading you will receive a link to download the PDF files of all of the STEM challenge activities.
  • Inside each challenge activity file you will find a link to an online reading passage (a QR link is also provided). The link takes you directly to the correct page on Wonderopolis that gives more information on the challenge subject.
  • A worksheet with questions pertaining to the Wonderopolis article to help your children to better understand and maintain the information that was read.
  • The challenge pages, which present the activity and give some information about how you might perform the challenge. Many also have photos of the creations of other children to give you some ideas to work from.
  • There are also worksheets included to help your child through the planning, designing and reflection stages of the activity process.

January STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
100th Day of School STEM Challenge – SPAGHETTI TOWER Design Challenge
Marshmallow Snowman Challenge
Sled Design Challenge

February STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Valentines Day STEM Challenge – Cupid’s Bow Design
Groundhog Day STEM Challenge – Groundhog Burrow Design Challenge
Valentines STEM Challenge – Love Bug Design Challenge
Presidents Day STEM Challenge – Lincoln’s Cabin Challenge

March STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge – Build a Leprechaun Trap
Basketball Tower STEM Challenge
St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge – Build a Rainbow Bridge
New Hat for Cat Challenge Read Across America STEM

April STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Jelly Bean Tower Challenge
Easter STEM Challenge Design a Carrot Carriage
Earth Day STEM Challenge – Design Something Useful
Earth Day STEM Challenge – Upcycled Birdhouse

MAY STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Design a New Droid
Paper Airplane Design Challenge
Pipe Cleaner Challenge
Lighthouse Design Challenge

June STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Foil Boat Design Challenge
Giant Pyramid Challenge
Steamboat Design Challenge
Zip Line Design Activity

Build a Dinosaur
Build a Nation’s Flag
Design a New Bug
Build the Eiffel Tower
Design a Superhero
Design a Toilet Paper Dispenser
Design a Cactus Paperweight
Build a UFO
Build a Treasure Chest
Design a Totem Pole

July STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
House of Cards Challenge
Doghouse Design Challenge
Alien Spacecraft Challenge
Airplane Design Challenge

August STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Building Block Tower Challenge
Index Card Skyscraper Challenge
Paper Table Challenge
BONUS Building Block Challenge MEGA PACK

September STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Apple Boat Challenge
Pencil Tower Challenge
Totem Pole Challenge
Balloon Tower Challenge

October STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Spider Web Design Challenge
Witch’s Parachute Halloween STEM Challenge
Sugar Cube Arch Challenge

November STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Parade Balloon Challenge
Thanksgiving Table Challenge
Cranberry Tower Challenge
Pilgrim Shelter Challenge

December STEM Challenge Bundle with Close Reading
Cardboard Reindeer Challenge
Funky Christmas Ornament Challenge
Straw Christmas Tree Challenge
Christmas Tree Tower

100th Day of School Glasses
100th Day of School Crayon Tower
Kingdom Hearts Valentines Castle
Candy Heart Tower
Design a Candy Box

How did we use it?

During the time that we’ve had to explore this product we’ve been able to work on a number of the challenge activities. Both my 12 year old and 8 year old were pretty thrilled to be doing some hands on activities and loved the challenge aspect of it. They had a friendly competition against each other to see who could complete the challenge the best. Have a look at some of the activities we worked on.

After completing the close reading and related question sheet the kids set to work on their marshmallow snowmen. The challenge was to build them as tall as possible without them falling over. You can use different materials, but the base materials needs to be marshmallows. We used toothpicks, dental floss, and even some cut drinking straw pieces.

This was harder than they originally thought since the fresh marshmallows were so soft! My daughter managed to come out ahead in the end and was declared the winner!

For the balloon tower challenge my son wanted to build his completely on his own, so he took his balloons and masking tape to his room and started working away. My daughter on the other hand, accepted design help from daddy, which seems to have been a good choice from a challenge aspect, as she ended up with the tallest tower. But really, if you ask me, daddy was the winner this time around! These balloon structures are still “floating” around in their rooms a few weeks later!

The week we worked on the Log Cabin Challenge, my son was sick with a cold and wasn’t feeling up to building, so this one ended up being a solo challenge for my daughter. She was really excited to start this one, and kept asking me “Are we going to do the cabin project today?”. She used the craft sticks and a glue stick since that was what we had on hand. I wish I had been able to find my glue gun (still packed away in a box somewhere), so that she could get her angled roof pieces on. The stick glue just wasn’t strong enough to hold the roof at an angle. I have promised her that we will put the roof on once I find the glue gun. I have a feeling this cabin will be used often with her toy figures in her imaginative play!

What did we think?

My kids absolutely loved these challenges. It was something fun and different from our normal day to day homeschooling activities.

I really enjoyed them as well. Each activity was nicely organized, all I had to do was check the supply list to make sure we had what was needed. Most items are household items, or easily and economically obtainable items from the store. We haven’t done a lot of STEM activities in the past because it was usually daunting for me to gather the needed info, organize the project and make it educational. We will definitely continue to add in these challenge activities throughout the year as a part of our homeschooling.

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