Introducing your child to engineering and basic rules of building can help them understand different concepts surrounding the physical world around them. By even putting together simple structures they can get hands on experience in engineering and can develop a love for creation.
But don’t worry, you won’t have to go and get a four-year degree just to impart some knowledge. Here are some fun and easy activities you can do at home with your child to turn them into a little engineer.
It’s amazing what you can create with nothing but toothpicks and marshmallows. For this fun engineering activity, you’ll need both, as well as a child ready to build.
Start small – by sticking marshmallows on the ends of the toothpicks, use four marshmallows and four sticks to create a square. Once finished, make five more squares, attaching the toothpicks at correct angles, to create a cube (each marshmallow will have three toothpicks sticking out – two horizontally at a right angle, and one vertically).
If your child understands how to make this creation, encourage them to experiment with different shapes and structures with as many marshmallows and toothpicks as they’d like. This kids engineering project will teach them how gravity affects the way a structure can be built, and the strength each building can have with nothing but marshmallows and toothpicks.
Build the Builder
While your child may love to play with games that are already made for their enjoyment, why not let them build it themselves? Now there’s a new toy that allows your child to create their own construction vehicles and get a better sense of how things work together.
The Superstructs Big Builder is a large set of play construction pieces that can come together to create working vehicles. It comes with four different visual models that can help your child discover how each piece works together. Your child can use the toys to create things out of their imagination, or follow the directions to build a forklift, crane, utility truck, or dump truck. This kids engineering toy allows your child to become the builder, and will strengthen their critical thinking skills as they build their own toys.
One of the most important jobs in engineering is designing vehicles that work properly and move efficiently. While your child might not be ready to work in a machine shop, let them take the helm as you create paper airplanes together.
Long gone are the days of only one working design, though. The Internet is rife with different design options, shapes, structural additions and more that will help your child’s aircraft fly straight and far. Play around with these ideas together, and create as many as you want together.
Once you’re finished creating, give each airplane a test flight to see which works the best. Have your child look at the differences in designs to see if they can find patterns in the best ones. This fun engineering project will help them understand how minor alterations they make on their device can have strong, real-world impacts.
Keep On Building
Engineering and constructing different things can be a great way for a child to learn about basic rules of physics and other properties. If your child likes to build, try these fun kids activities to teach them about physical structures and help them understand the wide world around.