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  • Writer's pictureLaura

STEAM for toddlers and preschoolers - what is it and why is it growing in popularity?

Every parent wants to give their child the very best start in life. As far as their educational and cognitive development are concerned, it has to be full STEAM ahead.

If you’ve heard about the concept of STEAM but still need a little help in getting to grips with it all, this guide should tell you everything you need to know and more.

What does STEAM stand for?

The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Maths.

While it may be far too early to start sitting your child down with a textbook, it’s certainly possible to put the building blocks in place by cultivating an appropriate learning environment for and curiosity in toddlers and preschoolers.

STEAM in the early years focuses on self-directed play and exploration rather than directed teaching of concepts. For example, the strategies used are geared towards developing curiosity and promoting inquisitive and curious minds.

Why is STEAM so vital in the Early Years?

Young minds are information sponges. While toddlers and preschoolers are too young to comprehend complex equations or even structured sentences, they can still develop a love of learning through play and self-development. When they do so, this forms the start of a truly rewarding life-long journey of learning.

STEAM learning encourages children to use all of their senses to explore the world around them. This naturally also brings the benefit of boosting fine motor skills and developing language to communicate about what they observe. Moreover, the safe learning environments allow youngsters to push themselves to try new ideas and gain the confidence needed to use new tools or experiment with unfamiliar items.

An introduction to STEAM learning is becoming increasingly common in the years before formal school education begins. It is the best way to prepare these children for the educational journeys that wait ahead while retaining the need for fun and excitement so important at this age. Children that undergo this type of learning in their infancy are shown to have a better chance of transitioning into school life with ease, with this comfort and confidence translating to better performances.

Combining STEAM with other factors

STEAM learning develops crucial cognitive skills, but the benefits to a young child's life don't stop there. Social skills, communication and collaboration are naturally very significant ingredients in the recipe for success. When your child takes part in STEAM based exploration, their interactions with other children, or parents, are crucial. A shared curiosity and joint investigations can send their love of learning to a whole new level.

Discussion of STEM and STEAM in educational discourse is at an all-time high, and schools and parents are beginning to catch on to the benefits they can bring. If you have a child aged 1 to 4, now is the time to give careful consideration to the need for STEAM and how it can be incorporated into your child’s life for the best possible outcomes.


Little STEAMers classes in West London bring STEAM experiences to children aged 2-4 as they learn through stories, music and hands-on exploration and creative activities.

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