Summer is in full swing, bringing with it a world of discovery waiting to be explored. For children, this season holds endless possibilities to dive into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In this blog, we’re sharing summer STEM activities tailored specifically for preschoolers, from engaging engineering challenges that promote problem-solving to creating a fun and tasty science experiment. So, gather your little scientists, engineers, and mathematicians as we embark on a summer filled with discovery, learning, and fun!

Stacking and Building with Rocks

It doesn’t get simpler than this! Rocks right in your backyard will do just fine but it’s fun to stack rocks when visiting other areas as well. Challenge your child to place rocks on top of each other without them falling. As children problem-solve through this, they develop an understanding of how shape, size, and weight must be configured to achieve balance. They are learning about gravity and the importance of a strong foundation. To add a math element, ask your child to count how many rocks they stacked. Is your child ready for a bigger challenge? Ask them to build a road, a house, or a surprise creation! Bonus tip: When using rocks found in nature, it is best to return them to their original state.

Water Table Play

Water table play often involves the use of scoops, funnels, sieves, water wheels, and other tools. Through hands-on exploration, preschoolers become familiar with these instruments and learn how to use them effectively. This exposure lays the groundwork for understanding more complex tools in technology. Whether they’re building a makeshift dam or creating a miniature waterfall, they learn to think creatively. Water table play provides a platform for preschoolers to develop a foundational understanding of technology concepts such as cause and effect, problem-solving, creativity, and simple machines!


Summer is the perfect time to plant with your children. Be sure to include them in the planning process! (what and where to plant considering sunlight, space, etc.) Once the planning stage is complete, have your child water regularly and watch for growth. Show your child how to use a ruler or measuring tape to do a weekly check on how much growth has occurred. If there are any sudden changes or lack thereof, you might discuss whether it’s been really sunny or rainy lately and how that might have affected this outcome. Be sure to label all the parts of the plant with your child. If you have a flowering plant, discuss the relationship between it and bees. There are so many ways to tie in science and math!

A Fun and Tasty Summer Treat

Simple cooking projects provide hands-on learning of math and science skills by measuring ingredients, counting, following timed steps, and understanding scientific principles such as chemical reactions (e.g., baking), states of matter (e.g., melting and freezing), and the properties of different substances.

Who doesn’t enjoy ice cream on a hot summer day? This sweet treat is actually quite simple to make! All you need is 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 cups of ice, and 1/3 cup rock salt (or kosher salt). Be sure to read the ingredients with your child as well as have them help you measure. Then, follow these steps:

  • In a small resealable plastic bag, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Push out excess air and seal.
  • Into a large resealable plastic bag, combine ice and salt. Place the small bag inside the bigger bag and shake vigorously, 7 to 10 minutes, or until the ice cream has thickened. Kids love this part!
  • Remove from the bag and enjoy with your favorite ice cream toppings!

We hope you will enjoy trying out these fun and educational summer STEM activities with your child.