Do you remember? (STEM stuff you did as a kid)


How well do you remember your childhood? Can you believe we stayed outside and played and played and played…? Weren’t those the good old times? Didn’t you enjoy every minute of it? Well, maybe with the exception of the occasional beating that was certain to accompany some not too positive behaviours. Guilty. Busted. We’re all victims.

This week as we get ready to celebrate our country’s Independence I want to remind you of some interesting STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) crafts that we engaged in, as kids without realizing it.

STEM, that acronym again. The same one you’ve seen in all the #LearnTheFun posts, and seen in the media recently. It’s simple but so profound. Did you know that STEM jobs are becoming increasingly popular worldwide? Not to mention the ability to reason, to connect and think through global issues on a daily basis? What kind of kids do we want to have in our world passive, non-chalant individuals or persons who are spurred to action and willingly accepting of risks and challenges? STEM facilitates that.

Enough STEM, it’s time for a stroll down memory lane.

Do you remember making tin can telephones? Yes, Milo tins were great but condensed milk tins worked fine too. Joining them with a string and playing telephone with your sister was fun. Sound travels. When she spoke into one can, you listened and put your can to your ear and vice versa. In addition to fostering STEM we learnt to take turns. This type of play encouraged language development. You were forced to speak and to listen. Mimic maybe. But you know you played. How many years has it been since you made one of these? I dare you to make one this holiday for your children.

What else did you make with your old tins? Saving pans made with bigger tins held the most money. Who didn’t love shaking the tins to hear coins and paper notes and feel the weight?

What about making toy cars and trucks from juice boxes and bottle caps? You know we all drank box juices even if we don’t drink them nowadays. Ok, I’ll be honest, I loved stomping on the empty box after and hearing the loud sound. Noisy! Those cartons were so much fun to convert into vehicles with the addition of bottle caps, pieces of stick and some string. Simple machines at work; on the go toys and yes you had to get up and pull your vehicle around. Physics. Movement. Craft. Do you think you could still make one? Try it!

You think that it’s? There’s lots more stuff that you did with random resources. For example, using all the elastic bands that you collected from the Gleaner to play Chinese Skip. Remember how the elastic used to pinch the tiny hairs on your feet? Imagine how small your fingers were but you still managed to get the elastic bands together making your net longer and longer. Length. Mathematics. More movement. Rhythm. That was fun. Do you still collect elastic bands? Maybe you should.

As Dr. Seuss said “If you never did you should. These things are fun. And fun is good.”

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