By Tracey Gaffney, Nevada STEM Hub
Mother’s Day is just around the corner — this Sunday, to be exact. And we here at STEM Hub know how hard you moms work with your kids to develop a passion for education and fun. Thank you for all that you do!
We also know that if you’re like most moms, you appreciate meaningful, handmade, from-the-heart gifts — ones that won’t require a financial investment, but also ones that have a happy side effect of inspiring learning. So we’ve compiled some STEM activities that will translate to perfect Mother’s Day gifts. Maybe you’re looking for something fun and handmade for Grandma, a special aunt or a neighbor? Or if your own kids seem completely stumped when it comes to ideas for you, you can pass along these meaningful options. They may not even realize they’re learning STEM concepts, but they will be!
And better yet: Dads, if you’re reading this, these are low-cost but fun ways to create something unique just for Mom.
Here are a few STEM-inspired Mother’s Day gift ideas:
When you place these paper flowers into water, you and the kids can watch them bloom before your eyes! To make these extra special, the kids can place a hidden message in the center, which will only be revealed as the water absorption opens the flowers!
With this activity, the kids can create a no-maintenance fish tank — which means, Mom and Dad, you won’t have to constantly get on the kids to clean the tank! Squeeze the bottle and watch the fish “swim” around the bottle as the air pressure changes.
Homemade cards are the best — and this activity will let your kids customize the message with the added fun of light. We know Grandma, aunts or friends who are moms will be delighted (pun intended). This activity requires a button battery, small LED, and some sort of conductor (copper, wire, salt). You can use items from around the house, or purchase what you need online.
This activity lets your kids express their artistic vision — literally! The mirror inside the paper tube reflects the images they draw into interesting patterns. It’s colorful, totally custom — and educational, as the kids learn about reflection and symmetry.
Check out these adorable heart-shaped hanging pendants, which will be a constant reminder of your family’s love . You can even use smaller straws to make the heart into a necklace! (We hear straw necklaces are trending this season on Instagram.)
Moms deserve ALL THE ICE CREAM, and the homemade variety is hands-down the best — no special equipment necessary! All you need are baggies, milk, ice, salt, and flavors of your choice; then, get ready to shake, shake, shake! Use juice for a dairy-free slushy option. This is a fabulous treat to finish up a Mother’s Day full of pampering and appreciation for all that you do for your wonderful kids.
Love these ideas, but still looking for more? Follow STEM Hub on Pinterest for more STEM activities to do at home throughout the year!
Tracey Gaffney is the STEM Program Manager for Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology