Halloween is just around the corner! While Singapore do not go on trick-or-treating activities, scary decorations or TV shows can get a bit extreme for your preschooler (beware the scares!).
Studies show that extreme fear can leave a deep, negative imprint on your preschooler, which could have a long-lasting effect on their mental health. So during this festival, keep it fun but safe for your preschooler.
What better way to do this than to try out some spooky Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) challenges for preschoolers?
Flying Paper Bats
Flying paper bats are a creative and spooky alternative to playing with paper aeroplanes. Just take a piece of paper and follow an online tutorial video! Simple, convenient, and easy to make.
You can make this into a competition of “who’s paper bat flies the farthest”. This will keep your preschooler occupied for a long time.
[Go Science Kids]
In this stem challenge, your child makes a workable hand using straws, strings and paper! Refer to online tutorial videos to learn how to make an articulated hand. To work it, pull the strings and watch the paper fingers curl up and move.
This fidgeting toy helps your preschooler understand their body’s biology (how their body work) because it accurately conveys how the muscles and tendons in our hands function. And it makes for a cool gadget to show off to their friends!
Planting Seeds in Pumpkins
Pumpkins are often used during Halloween, but this leaves us with many empty husks at the end of the night. Instead of throwing away this empty husk, reuse it as a pot to plant other plants!
Fill up the pumpkin husk with soil, then plant seeds into it. This lets your child view the life cycle of a plant – a science topic they’ll learn in Primary school science, as the seed germinates.
This simple science experiment brings gummy worms to life with just baking soda and vinegar! Let gummy worms soak in a solution of baking soda and water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, move the soaked gummy worms into a cup of vinegar.
Then watch as the worms writhe to the surface! Do note that you shouldn’t put too many worms in at the same time. Otherwise, most of them would just be weighed down and stay at the bottom. Just four gummy worms would do.
Want a more outdoor activity? Try making and launching ghost rockets! Here’s how to make them:
1. Draw ghost faces on small plastic cups using a permanent marker.
2. Once the marker is dry, add 1-3 spoons of corn starch to each plastic cup.
3. Then, fill the cup roughly 1/3 of the way with warm water and stir until the corn starch is dissolved and the ingredients are combined.
4. Take an Alka Seltzer tablet and break it into 2-3 pieces.
5. Then, quickly drop the pieces into the plastic cup, put a lid on, flip the rocket over, and set it down.
6. Step back and watch the ghost cups go flying!
Do be careful because this can get messy, and make sure to clean up after!
Ensuring your child has a safe but exciting Halloween experience is essential. Especially since we don’t want them to have a negative association with the festival.
If you’ve tried these activities, or have some STEM ideas, let us know in the comments. Happy Halloween!