Ask your young innovator what they consider tech, and they might mention robots, computers and smartphones — but would they think of something as simple as a pencil, wheel or paper bag? It’s true, these are all examples of technology!
Many of us only associate technology with electrical gadgets and complicated gizmos, but any object that helps a person do work or complete a task, even if it’s cord- or battery-free, is an example of technology. Keep reading to uncover exciting ways your child can explore low-tech inventions by creating tools of their own using common household items.
Build a Compass to Go Adventuring
A compass is a tool that helps tell you what direction you are going. The magnet inside a compass aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field, allowing you to find north! Share these simple instructions with your child so they can explore directions on their own.
You will need:
- Magnets (2)
- Compass App
- Cut a piece of string 5 inches long.
- Sandwich one end of the string between two magnets, then use the other end of the string to lift the magnets into the air.
- Watch the magnets orient toward a specific direction. One of the magnets is facing north – mark that one with a marker by comparing it to north on a compass app on your grownup’s phone!
- Use your new DIY compass to explore different directions by walking around and watching the marked magnet orient north.
Congratulations! You have now created a simple magnetic compass and practiced using low-tech tools. For added fun, use your compass to create a treasure map. Hide a toy or special note somewhere in your home. Then, count your steps in each direction from a designated starting point to your hidden treasure, and use it to sketch out your map and instructions. Challenge your sibling, friend or parent to use your compass and map to find the hidden surprise.
Get Grooving With DIY Instruments
An acoustic instrument is an example of technology that helps you make music. Inspire your child to think creatively and put together their own concert using a collection of low-tech tools in the form of homemade instruments with this awesome STEM activity. As your child invents new and exciting ways to produce sound and make their own tunes, they’re also practicing creative problem solving and innovative thinking!
For more ways to introduce your child to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning at home, sign up for our emails and get hands-on fun delivered right to your inbox!