A new school year is right around the corner!
Try these back-to-school STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) activities to build excitement as you get ready for a new season of fun and learning.
Activity One: Name Plate Scratch Art
- Cardstock or construction paper
- Paint (a dark color like black or navy blue)
- Fold a piece of construction paper or cardstock in half the long way.
- Use fun, brightly colored crayons to color the entire surface of the construction paper.
- Paint over the crayon with a dark paint color like black.
- Once the paint is dry, use a paperclip to write your name by scratching off the paint.
- Consider adding to your design by scratching off any other designs you would like on your nameplate, like stars or smiley faces.
- Display your colorful nameplate for friends and family!
Activity Two: Name Puzzles
- Adhesive notepad
- Get together with friends or family and have each person write their name on an adhesive notepad sheet.
- Crumple each piece of paper and gently toss it into the middle of the room.
- Have each person grab a random crumpled sheet from the middle of the room.
- Using your markers, write the person’s name you drew in big letters in the middle of a piece of cardstock.
Try to fill the whole piece of cardstock with the person’s name, and consider adding designs you think they would like.
- Once you’ve finished drawing your design, use scissors to cut the paper into puzzle pieces.
- Give the name puzzle to the person whose name you drew and have them try to put it together.
Activity Three: Nature Name Collage
Items from nature
- Take a walk outside, gathering items you find from nature, like rocks, sticks, acorns or leaves.
- Assemble your collected items in the shape of letters to spell out either your name or a friend’s name.
- Challenge yourself to use only items from nature and to keep the name collages outside.
- Show off your nature name to your friends or family!
You also can try this activity indoors – just swap out your items from nature with back-to-school supplies!
Activity Four: Name Poetry
- Write your name or a friend’s name on a piece of paper, vertically.
- Use each letter of the name to begin a word or sentence that describes the person your poem is about, writing your words or sentences horizontally.
- Read your poem to a friend or hang it up for others to read.
Activity Five: Name Counting and Graphing
- Dry erase marker
- Gather a few friends or family members and ask each person to count how many letters are in their name.
- Record each answer on the whiteboard, where the entire group can see.
- Make a living line graph by having each person line up in order, according to how many letters are in their name.
What Are We Discovering?
A few of the materials you used for these activities, and many other classic school supplies, were invented by National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees.
Inductee Edwin Binney and his cousin C. Harold Smith invented Crayola® crayons. Their first box of crayons had eight colors (black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green) and sold for 5 cents. Inductees Arthur L. Fry and Spencer Silver co-invented Post-it® Notes, Inductee László Josef Bíró created the ballpoint pen and Inductee Richard Gurley Drew developed adhesive tape.
We have these influential inventors to thank for the back-to-school items we use and love!
Keep the Fun and Learning Going!
Check out our blog for even more hands-on activities and ideas to start the school year on the right foot.