Read our newest research on the R.O.I. of Caregiving! Download the report here.

We're here for you.

Sign up for our newsletter here.



9 STEM Ideas for Early Learners

We’re here for you.

Share your email, and we’ll share our world.

STEM education begins from infancy and continues to blossom as children grow. Here are 9 ways to get started on STEM.

In a world where educational buzzwords abound, it’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed by all the latest acronyms, methodologies and pedagogies. But here at Vivvi, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a fundamental approach to learning that begins from infancy and shapes the way children explore and interact with the world around them. So, let’s demystify STEM and explore how it comes to life in the curious minds of our youngest learners.

“STEM is about making predictions and testing hypotheses using scientific methods. It’s a pathway for young children to explore the world around them,” explains Ajia Hunter Mueller, Vivvi’s Learning and Curriculum Manager, which is core to how we view early learning.

At Vivvi, we believe that STEM education begins from infancy and continues to blossom as children grow, fostering a lifelong love for inquiry and discovery. From the moment children step into our classrooms, they embark on a journey of exploration. Mueller says STEM is about curiosity and wonder, traits that are common in children aged 0 to 5. Whether it’s pouring water over chalk drawings, stacking blocks, or crushing flowers to see what happens, every moment is an opportunity for learning.

One essential aspect of our approach at Vivvi is understanding and embracing children’s play schemas. For instance, the transforming play schema focuses on how substances or objects change. Children fascinated by this schema love to mix, mash and disassemble things, observing the transformations with wide-eyed wonder. This innate curiosity forms the bedrock of STEM exploration, where every interaction becomes a mini science experiment.

Our inquiry-based curriculum empowers children to find answers on their own. We don’t just hand them solutions; instead, we provide the tools and opportunities for them to discover and learn independently. This fosters a sense of ownership over their learning journey and cultivates critical thinking skills that will serve them well beyond their early years.

So what does STEM look like for our little learners at Vivvi?

STEM for Infants

In our infant classrooms, STEM begins with sensory exploration. From feeling different textures to observing cause and effect, infants engage with the physical properties of objects, laying the foundation for scientific inquiry. Infant STEM activities might include:

  • Water play. Supervised water play introduces concepts of volume and displacement, even at this young age. Adding shapes, colors and textures ups the ante as your infant grows.
  • Blowing bubbles. Mix some water and soap to create an easy bubble solution. Grab a bubble wand and wow your little one by creating new shapes, then watching them pop!
  • Sensory bags. Fill 3 storage bags with marbles, straws, rice or other textural materials. Secure them to the ground with colorful painters tape and let your child do tummy time and explore.

STEM for Toddlers

As children grow older, STEM activities evolve to incorporate more complex concepts. Toddler STEM activities might include:

  • Cooking. Mix flour, water, and salt together to make dough. Explore how these ingredients transform into bread through the magic of baking.
  • Sensory bottles. Combine water and food coloring with a little glitter or oil in a plastic container. Shake it, roll it and let your child compare it to others. 
  • Mixing colors. Whether it is done with paint, colored water, or pieces of cellophane, nothing is more fascinating to a toddler than watching one color become something else! Adding in a light table or flashlight offers a new perspective.

STEM for Preschoolers:

For preschoolers, STEM takes on a more hands-on approach. Preschool STEM activities might include:

  • Construction. Invite your child to create elaborate structures with blocks or Magnatiles to develop their engineering skills. Bridges take this learning to the next level, as they explore physics and problem-solving.
  • Gardening. Create a small indoor garden with a cup of soil and a few seeds. Help your toddler plant and water, and watch your seedling grow!
  • Goop. Add a little water to cornflour, then mix in a few drops of food coloring. Let children play with the ingredients to change the texture and elasticity. Let it dry to transform the goop once again.

At Vivvi, STEM isn’t confined to a classroom or a textbook—it’s a way of life. It’s about nurturing children’s innate curiosity, encouraging them to ask questions, and empowering them to seek answers through exploration and experimentation. As Mueller eloquently puts it, STEM never stops being interesting, and it’s a skill that children will continue to build on for years to come.

STEM education for young children isn’t just about teaching them facts and figures; it’s about instilling a lifelong love for learning and discovery. At Vivvi, we’re committed to nurturing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators, one curious mind at a time.

Vivvi provides child care and early learning for children ages 0-5, with unrivaled flexibility that works for today’s families. Our inquiry-based curriculum is facilitated by warm, experienced teachers in bright, open spaces that let children make big connections to the growing world around them. Find your nearest Vivvi here.

Experience the Vivvi™ difference for yourself.

Meet us online for a safe, smile filled open house.