Not gonna lie: I had entirely too much fun with all of these fairy tale STEM activities. Maybe it’s the part inside of me that never wants to grow up, the wonderful magic I’ve learned from watching my grandma. We are never too old to have a foam fight, dance in the dark, sing karaoke, or get sand in our cracks at Big Mac. We are also not too old to enjoy building and creating with our little ones. Trust me, you will love immersing yourself in the simple joy of these fairy tale STEM ideas with your little ones.
Fairy Tale Lesson plans
Jack & the Beanstalk
Fairy Tale STEM Ideas
This actually works!
I was so giddy as we sent these tissue paper parachutes to the ground. They glided beautifully to help Jack escape the giant quickly.
First, the girls picked a shape that they thought would work well as a parachute: either circle, oval, triangle, or square. Then, I drew the shape on tissue paper for them to cut out. They taped yarn pieces onto the corners and only needed help tying the strings together. Finally, they taped the little dude on the strings and we let them SOAR! 🪂
We had plenty of time and sunshine to test out all the shapes with this Jack & the Beanstalk STEM activity!
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
STEM Challenge for Preschoolers
As one of our STEM challenges this past week, we built rafts to help the billy goats get across the river without encountering the troll.
It was so neat to see the kiddos try one idea and modify it to make it work for all three goats! I could see the wheels turning with this one!
So go grab some simple materials (corks, straws, aluminum foil, tape, and 3 blocks) and get those kiddos experimenting with this Three Billy Goats Gruff STEM challenge!
Hansel & Gretel
STEM Activity for Preschoolers
Building a flat shape around the witch: easy! Building a 3-dimensional trap: not-so-easy.
Sometimes we forget how even building with toothpicks and marshmallows can be a challenge for our kiddos. They can jump on a trampoline, ride a bike, get their own water, pretend to read a book, and make you laugh like crazy. But building 3D shapes? Nope.
That’s why it is important to present our little learners with different types of materials to explore and challenge them to try something new!
Even though this Hansel & Gretel STEM challenge was difficult at first, my little one pushed through and figured it out toward the end. Way to go!
Rapunzel STEM Challenge
Fairy Tale Activity
Can my full-time job just be trying to get out of escape rooms and writing reviews? That’s a real job, right? I’m going to have to look into that.
If I were Rapunzel, I definitely would have escaped after all those years.
And that is exactly what our little ones are trying to help her do with this next fairy tale STEM challenge! They had to decide whether to build a ladder or a slide to help her escape from her tower!
Using popsicle sticks, cardboard tubes, and tape (lots and lots of tape), they made this wonky ladder and pretty neat slide to help Rapunzel get out of that tower.
Three Little Pigs
Fairy Tale STEM Ideas for Preschool
So our neighbor came over while we were doing The Three Little Pigs STEM activity. It was his first and last time over. I guess the Big Bad Wolf blowing down his house scared him off. Poor guy.
We’ve been on a “Three Little Pigs” kick lately. You know, the one where you get to read it every single night. I will say, one the benefits of reading this over and over is that my wolf voice is top-notch.
So my girls knew exactly what to do when I brought out the Big Bad Blow Dryer! Apparently, our little neighbor boy didn’t. I kinda felt bad. Kinda.
I didn’t really set any limits on using one material (toothpicks for hay, popsicle sticks for sticks, and blocks for bricks). They just used whatever they wanted, including play dough as mortar, to construct a house that couldn’t be blown down by the Big Bad Blow Dryer.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Take a look at that top left pic, and you will know exactly what I mean. I didn’t realize that I needed to teach the kids that bridges aren’t entirely built in water. Well, I guess it’s a learning experience for us all.
So after teaching that bridges are mostly out of the water, we looked closely at the 4 types of bridges on the sheet, which are arch, beam, truss, and suspension. The two easiest are definitely beam and then arch (in case you are wondering for your little learners). It will take some guidance to make a truss and suspension bridge, for sure.
Or they can come up with any way they want to build a bridge that will help the Gingerbread Man cross the river without getting eaten by the fox.
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MORE Fairy Tale Activities for Preschoolers
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