Free STEM Activities for Campers Ages 3-8

While limiting screen time is recommended for young children, online educational media can be a great way to get school-age kids excited about STEM. And now, PBS Kids is offering free, supplementary curriculums for educators and camp counselors to get kids off the couch this summer. The best part: no teaching or science background required for camp staff who are ready to get started!

Straw bridge activity

Here is a quick guide to accessing free STEM resources for campers of all ages:

AGES 3-5
Explore Color, Plants, Water and More!


PEEP and the Big Wide World is an animated series that inspired six preschool-friendly STEM units that explore: color, plants, ramps, shadows, sound and water. The full course for each unit runs three weeks, making it a valuable tool for summer camp, though standalone activities are also explained step-by-step.

Check out PEEP’s Anywhere Activities page to search more STEM projects by topic or location.

AGES 6-9
What’s that Smell?!


Plum Landing, a show about an intergalactic space traveler from Planet Blorb, offers the “What’s in Your World?” activity, a one-hour program where kids explore biodiversity in their neighborhoods. Using a bingo scavenger hunt format, elementary age campers learn about the different types of things living in any given place.

Ideal for summer camp, Plum Landing’s Camp Pathways activities help counselors lead outdoor exploration over five three-hour sessions. Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, kids are given a broad view of several eco-systems through the use of videos, games and hands-on activities. Counselors can also access simple STEM conversation starters that can be used at any time over the summer.

AGES 8+
Design Squad STEM Activities


Design Squad Global, an award-winning series dedicated to getting kids excited about engineering, offers dozens of STEM-based hands-on programs. Activities, which are split into categories like electricity, sports, structures and music, include building a solar hot water heater and building a table out of paper that can withstand a heavy weight. Can school-age campers really be engineers? You bet.

Looking for more tips and support?
 

Interested in more free STEM activities or have ideas to share with summer camp colleagues? Contact STEM Specialist Pam Garza @STEM4Youth.

FTC disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. 

Get on the list to receive posts like this in your inbox every other Tuesday!

Related Links

Find Your Y

Share This Page

Bookmark and Share

Copyright © 2016 YMCA of the USA. All rights reserved.
The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.