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5 Simple STEM crafts for a rainy day!

Are you searching for fun and simple craft activities with a bit of a twist? Let me show you how to make 5 STEM based crafts, perfect for a rainy day.

Yup, it’s raining again- we’ve been in lockdown for weeks, your inspiration for new and creative activities has long since dried up and the cries of boredom are all ready getting louder.

I’ve go some fun suggestions for you, a hybrid of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Art…you may have heard of STEAM? These are all STEAM in action!

Anemometer
X-Ray Art
Pom Pom Party Poppers
Hopping Frogs
Spectroscope

You’ll need some easy to source equipment from home or the supermarket and then you’re ready to go.

Anemometer

You will need:

  • 5 paper cups
  • 1 pencil with eraser top
  • Drawing Pin
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • 2 straws
  1. Cut the tops off 4 cups, so you have a new cup around 1 inch tall- decorate as you wish
  2. Turn the cups on their sides and staple them to each end of the straws, facing opposite directions.
  3. Use your pencil to poke a hole through the middle of the base of the 5th cup
  4. Carefully poke your drawing pin through your straws and into the eraser end of your pencil to secure in place.
  5. Blow into the cups and your anemometer will start spinning!

These simple devices are used by meteorologists to calculate the windspeed, they basically count how many spins it does over a set time period and then work out the speed of the wind using this information. You can find out more about Extreme weather here.

X-Ray

You will need

  • Paper
  • Paint & brush
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  1. Draw the outline of a person onto your paper and cut it out
  2. Now use strips of masking tape to create bones for your person, talk about the name of each bone
  3. Once all your bones are stuck on, paint over the top and allow to dry
  4. Carefully peel away your tape to reveal your bones

This is perfect as an accompaniment to a topic all about what’s inside our bodies or for budding doctors who just love to investigate how their body works. You can explore more in X-Ray- what’s inside?

Pom Pom Party Poppers

You will need:

  • Toilet Roll Inner
  • Balloon
  • Pom Poms
  • Scissors
  1. Tie a knot in the neck of your balloon
  2. Cut off the top, rounded end of your balloon- not too much though!
  3. Stretch the open end of your balloon over your paper tube
  4. Pop your pom poms (or other small objects) inside
  5. Pull down on the knotted end of the balloon and watch your objects fly!

This simple activity demonstrates how energy changes from one form to another. When we pull down on the balloon the stretchiness gives it elastic potential energy, which is released as we let the balloon go. This energy doesn’t disappear though, it changes into kinetic (movement energy) which causes our pom poms to fly through the air. Turn it into a contest to see who can launch their pom poms the furthest. Could you try using a larger tube, a different thickness of balloon or heavier objects?

Hopping Frogs

You will need:

  • 2 paper cups
  • 4 paper clips
  • 2 elastic bands
  • Tape
  • Felt pens
  1. Decorate one cup with your chosen design, I’ve picked a frog
  2. Poke 4 holes around the rim of the cup, one in each quarter (12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock)
  3. Cut your elastic bands so you have 2 long, stretchy strips
  4. Attach a paper clip to the end of each with a knot
  5. Poke your elastic band through the hole in your cup to the opposite side and secure in place by tying onto another paper clip
  6. Repeat this with the second elastic band, you should now have a cross shape
  7. Pop the frog cup onto the second paper cup, hit the frog and watch it jump!

Another exploration of elastic potential and kinetic energy, this is simple and fun! What else could you design that flies? Maybe a Kangaroo, a rocket or even a person?

Spectroscope

What colour is light? White, yellow, golden… That is certainly how it appears to be, isn’t it? We see light as white because of how our eyes interpret the different wavelengths of light, however, light is not just white. Our spectroscope diffracts the light, or splits it into each individual colour on the spectrum that makes it- the colours of the rainbow. The light passes through a small opening, which splits the light and causes the light waves to spread out, to explore more head to Cool Colours.

The Virtual Explorers Club

The Virtual Explorers Club is an online STEM activities library, created by Ruth Tsui, an experienced primary school teacher and STEM educator. Designed to engage and excite primary school children in hands on STEM learning, supporting you to develop key life and learning skills e.g., resilience, collaboration, critical thinking and many more. The library itself is full of hands-on activity ideas, linked in themes to support you as you explore- all the background information, written guides and supporting videos using household supplies or items available in the supermarket.