Chances are, you grew up playing with LEGOs, and now you’ve passed your love of these building blocks onto the children in your life. But did you know that playing with LEGO can actually encourage your children to engage with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? In fact, there are now all sorts of STEM activities with LEGO that encourage your kids to think about the world in different ways!
Just because school is dismissed for the day doesn’t mean learning has to stop! For some educational, after-school fun, here are our 10 favorite LEGO STEM activities for kids to try! And if you want even more LEGO-inspired fun for the kiddos, be sure to check out our list of LEGO classes and camps!
1. LEGO Volcano
You’ll see some LEGO science at play when you help your little ones build an erupting volcano! For this interactive LEGO STEM activity, kids will first use the building blocks to create a volcano and then use a vinegar and baking soda concoction to trigger the eruption. To make it even more realistic, add some red food coloring so the lava glows! The entire family will love watching the volcano bubble and fizz while learning how the ingredients interact to produce the exploding phenomena.
2. LEGO STEM Bots
Sure, you knew your kids could use LEGO bricks to create buildings and design bridges, but what about robots? When you sign your children up for this STEM class for kids, an online instructor will teach them how to build and program LEGO robots to crawl, spin, and even traverse courses! During the class, kids will build three to five bots each week and enter friendly competitions, challenging them to use their imagination while applying STEM concepts.
3. LEGO Gravity Roller
It’s time for children to experiment with gravity, mass, force, and momentum! This STEM activity with LEGO invites kids to design gravity rollers. Basically, your kids are building LEGO cars on wheels that propel themselves, but they have to play with gravity and learn how to distribute the weight of their designs to get them to move exactly as they please. Trust us; it’s trickier than it looks!
4. LEGO Parachute
For another lesson in gravity, gather the troops around to make LEGO parachutes. All you need is a coffee filter, dental floss, and a LEGO minifigure for your kids to craft their very own floating parachute. Once they attach the parachute to their LEGO minifig, they’ll have a ball watching it soar from different heights, from countertops to stairwells. They can even experiment with different LEGO minifigs and shapes or change the length of the floss to see how it affects flight.
5. LEGO Marble Mazes
Everyone loves a good maze, so for this activity, kids are tasked with building one out of LEGO. Start with a flat surface and show them how to create “in” and “out” pathways in a unique pattern. They can build walls, create dead ends, and then use a marble to navigate the course. Kids will spend hours challenging their siblings and friends to their mazes, and if you want to make it even more competitive, suggest using timers so they can see who can complete the courses the fastest.
6. Wind-Powered LEGO Creations
To set up this unique LEGO STEM activity, you’ll want to gather a few fans, like a box fan and a small desk fan, so kids can experiment with wind. For this one, the challenge is for the kiddos to build a LEGO creation, like a windmill, so that the breeze from the fans makes it move or spin. It’ll require testing wind speeds, finagling designs, and determining the correct weight to make their designs spin in the wind.
7. LEGO Fidget Cube
Engineering drives LEGO play, so why not encourage little ones to build something useful like a LEGO fidget cube? Kids can use the LEGO bricks they already have in their toybox to make a functioning fidget cube with bells and whistles like wheels, gears, and propellers. And the best part about this creation is that your children can use them to help them focus and pay attention while doing other tasks.
8. LEGO Dominos
Showing kids how to set up a chain-reaction course is one of the easiest (and most engaging) activities on this list! Help children line their LEGO blocks up like dominos and then tip one over to create a chain reaction, showing the transition from potential to kinetic energy. They’ll lose track of time playing with the spacing, making twists and turns, and designing obstacles all over the house without even realizing it’s science!
9. LEGO Sundial
Do your kids know how to read a sundial, or better yet, do they even know what one is? Well, with this activity, you can introduce them to both! Using LEGO science and engineering, you can help them construct a sundial by arranging 12 blocks in a circle with a LEGO tower in the middle. Bring the LEGO sundial outside on a sunny day and show them how the tower’s shadow can tell the time. Be sure to gather your kids outside at different times to see how the shadow changes with every hour that passes.
10. LEGO STEM Kits
Look into some LEGO STEM kits specifically designed to stimulate and challenge your kids for even more hours of entertainment. Some LEGO STEM kits invite them to build bunnies that can transform into parrots and seals, while others allow them to create solar-powered robots! Whether your kids build a replica of one of the Seven Wonders of the World or learn code to operate their creations, these kits will surely expand their brain power.