Engineering Activities for Kids
Engineering projects for kids help them think critically and creatively. Project-based learning for kids focuses on many important concepts. Through engineering activities for kids, they will learn about basic principles of physics, math concepts like algebra and geometry, basics of mechanical and structural engineering.
Wondering what’s an engineering project for kids? Engineering projects are a part of STEM activities for kids. These projects assess kids on their design skills and creative mind. Many kids love to design something on their own and get super excited when it is actually working. Parents and teachers must encourage kids to take part in the engineering challenges for kids.
One of the great things about these engineering projects is that they teach children how different things actually work. The scientific explanation of things will help them understand the subjects better. In engineering activities for kids, kids apply their science knowledge to identify and solve problems. Some simple technology is then used to design and build the project.
Here are some of the engineering projects for kids that kids can be taught to build:
Paper Building Blocks
Most paper crafts revolve around designing something fancy out of paper. Did you ever think that we can use paper for building structures as well? For building a structure, you need to fold the paper into triangular shapes and start building the structure with the triangle pieces.
Fireworks in a Jar
If your kid is fascinated with colors and fireworks, this simple DIY experiment is for them. All you need for this experiment is probably available in your kitchen. Things you will require for Fireworks in a Jar experiment include oil, a jar, water, and food coloring.
How to perform this experiment?
Step 1: Fill the jar till three-fourth with warm water.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, take 3-4 tablespoons of oil and mix them with 6-8 drops of different food coloring. You can use red, blue, green, pink, etc.
Step 3: Use a fork to gently mix both oil and food coloring together.
Step 4: Slowly pour the contents of the bowl into the jar.
What did you observe?
Slowly, the food coloring will separate from the oil and sink into the water. The colors would expand and mix with each other.
The Science behind this project is food coloring can dissolve in water but not in oil. As the oil is less dense than water, it will float on water. The colored droplets are heavier so they would start sinking. Once they sink into the water, they will start dissolving in water. This would look like a tiny explosion!
A simple pulley
Designing a simple pulley system is among the fun construction activities for kids. For this activity, you would need a small plastic container, paper clips, scissors, string and magnets.
How to design a simple pulley system?
Step 1: Cut holes in the container.
Step 2: Pass the thread through the holes.
Step 3: Tie both ends of the thread together to create a handle.
Step 4: Cut a long string and tie it into the door handle.
Step 5: Tie the handle of the container with the long string.
Step 6: Stick magnets onto the bottom of the plastic container
Step 7: Slide the container along the string to see how paper clips are lifted by magnets.
A Simple Pneumatic machine
Building a simple pneumatic machine is simple. All you need is 9 craft sticks, 5 jumbo craft sticks, 6 quarter straw pieces, 2 eighth straw pieces, 1 pipe cleaner, plastic syringes, tubing and masking tape.
Step 1: The first step is to assemble the frame. For this, create 2 triangles using sticks and straws. Refer to the image given below:
Step 2: Construct the structure shown in the image below. Secure the sticks with masking tape. Ensure that the tape is folded all the way around the triangle.
Step 3: Tape a jumbo stick to the side of the figure as shown below:
Step 4: Use a whole pipe cleaner to join the sticks. Twist and tie tightly. Cut off the excess. To create a pneumatic system, fill one syringe with air and leave the other syringe empty.
Step 5: Connect both the syringes by vinyl tubing.
Step 6: Tightly wrap one end of the pipe cleaner around the syringe. Follow the image below to design it correctly.
Once you are done building a simple pneumatic machine, place a small bucket in the pipe cleaner hook. Fill it with some tiny object. Press the syringe, the one that has air filled in. See how it lifts the loaded bucket upwards. The project explains how load can be lifted due to the pressure difference.
Not all engineering challenges for kids need to be complex in design. Some are as simple as the foil boat engineering challenge. This challenge does not demand you to create something spectacular. All you have to do is make aluminum foil boats. The dimension of the boats must not be greater than 6X6X6. The boats have to float over the water without tipping. Now, start adding pennies to the boats. The boats that hold the most number of pennies without tipping over or collecting water win the game!
Osmo offers many games and activities to enrich their knowledge of Science and Technology. It enhances the engineering skills of young children.