Supporting play-based learning through STEM activities and instructional scaffolding for early learners.
Our client, a large, national childcare service provider, offers an onsite daycare program for families working for corporate clients. The client wanted to explore options for a pilot program based on a “pop up lab” or “innovation station” idea. The goal was to allow opportunities for young children to further explore the ideas, concepts, and technologies in an open-ended and exploration-based format without significantly increasing curriculum material costs. The challenge involved conveying instructions to pre-literate three and four-year-old learners and providing scaffolding for learners with different ability levels.
We created a deck of fifty STEM Activity Cards with each card including an open-ended, play-based activity for three to four-year-old children. Educators can choose different cards from the deck each week, one for each station, and allow children to work independently in small groups like a maker's space. We designed five categories of cards including Architecture, Art & Technology, Chemistry, Design & Engineering, and Robots & Coding. After writing the content, we worked with the client's graphic designer ideating on the visual instructions for pre-literate learners. The cards benefit all 250 children in the center and are labeled as Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced for teachers to offer scaffolded instruction throughout the year.