A STEAM game using slime and catapults

in Parenting

STEAM Games For Moms & Kids

During the month of May, families all over the world celebrate Mother’s Day. The women who work extra hard to ensure their children are flourishing deserve a day to be recognized. It’s no surprise that mothers put in a lot of hours each day to make this happen, but a new study conducted by Welch’s has recently found some astonishing new information.

According to the study, working moms clock an average of 98 hours per week. This is the equivalent of working 2.5 full-time jobs! Other studies have shown that while motherhood is the most demanding job, it is also claimed to be the most rewarding.

We’d like to celebrate these remarkable women as well. It can be hard to come up with fun, educational activities on top of the long list of tasks on your to do list. We’ve come up with five engaging, easy clean-up (who needs yet another mess?) games just for you to play with your kids!

OzoLaunch

A STEAM game from the Evo by Ozobot app

You’ll need:

  • Evo & Evo by Ozobot app
  • White paper
  • Markers
  • Tape

Download the template here. Print out the targets, color them in, and tape them onto the floor. Open OzoLaunch on your Evo app, and play!

What your kids will learn: Ozobot Evo teaches the basics of coding with color codes! As your students use the app to launch Evo to the designated targets, they will see that Evo can read the color it lands on (thanks to it’s high-tech color and optical sensors), thus giving them their score via the app.

You could point out these sensors to your child by flipping Evo over to its bottom side. You could also show him/her this cool video showing industrial line-following robots (Evo’s big brothers!) being used today in manufacturing.

Code Your Own Flappy Game

You’ll need:

  • A device with an internet connection

What better way to play a game, than to play one your kid can create him/herself! In this tutorial by Code.org, you and your child can create your very own “flappy bird” style game in an easy to use, drag-and-drop command system.

You can find the tutorial here.

What your kids will learn: Your child (and possibly you as well!) will learn block-based programming. One of the easiest ways to learn how to program, and in a fun and engaging way. Your child will be able to see that he/she can create their very own video game.

Catapult Slime Game

You’ll need:

  • Thick popsicle sticks
  • Slime (check out this easy, DIY slime tutorial here)
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic spoon
  • Targets
  • OPTIONAL: paint

First, make your popsicle stick catapults. We used this tutorial from Buggy and Buddy. You can paint them (put that A in STEAM!), or just leave them as is.

Next, make some type of target for your game. The possibilities here are endless. You can stack up cups to be knocked down, set up bowls with corresponding point values, or you can create a dartboard-style target like we did.

Set up your game by placing your targets a good distance away from the catapult. When you are ready to play, roll your slime into a ball and place it onto the catapult. Aim for the target, and shoot! The person with the highest points after an allotted amount of time (or turns), wins!

Give your kids a chemistry lesson while creating your slime! Slime is all about polymers. A polymer is made up of very large chains of molecules. Slime activators (borax, saline solution, or liquid starch) change the position of these molecules in a process called cross linking. This is the reaction between the PVA glue and the borate ions in your slime activator.

What your kids will learn: Basic engineering skills will be gained by constructing the catapult. Science and chemistry knowledge will be acquired by creating the slime, and art ability increases with painting the popsicle sticks and designing targets.

DIY Mini Foosball Table

Who doesn’t love foosball? This classic game is normally found in arcades or sports bars (unless you’re lucky enough to have one in your garage!) making it difficult to introduce your kids to the super fun game of table soccer. We found an easy tutorial from U-Create for how to create your own mini foosball table at home!

You’ll need:

  • Shoebox
  • Small wooden dowels (or skewers)
  • Clothespins
  • Utility knife
  • Sharpie marker
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue gun (with glue!)
  • Tape
  • Ping pong balls

OPTIONAL:

If you want to decorate your box, the tutorial suggests wrapping paper or spray paint. You can definitely get creative with materials here!

Head on over to U-Create’s tutorial for details on how to put your foosball table together.

What your kids will learn: Not only will you bestow the love of table soccer onto your kids, but they will gain engineering skills when they see their creation brought to life! If you decide to decorate your box, your child will also increase their art abilities.

Uno Flip Math Game

You’ll need:

  • Deck of Uno cards (or regular playing cards)
  • Post-it notes

We can’t forget to put the “M” in STEAM, now can we? This fun math game is from Childhood 101.

You can easily adjust this game to fit the math level your child is currently in. Add difficulty by creating a division or multiplication post-it. You could even add multiple math operations!

Learn how to play this fun, educational game here.

What your kids will learn: Your kids will enhance their math skills with this game. You can constantly change this game by increasing the level of difficulty as your child gains more and more math knowledge.