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Young children work on activities with Sphero indi in a classroom.

Child development is the process all children go through of gradually gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the world successfully.

These milestones cover a wide range of areas including physical, linguistic, social-emotional, and cognitive skills. According to researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, the umbrella of child development spans 728 specific skills and abilities.

While every child is different, the same general skills can be expected to develop at certain ages. Parents and teachers can help ensure their students are reaching age-appropriate developmental milestones by incorporating enriching lessons into daily activities and monitoring progress.

Below, you’ll find Sphero resources, lessons, and tools that help foster child development through STEM learning.

Activities to Support Physical Development

Physical development is a crucial part of childhood that includes motor skills and senses, as well as diet and exercise habits. Here are some hands-on STEM games designed to get young learners up and moving:

Kids build Sphero robot chariots as part of a STEM recess game.

We think of STEM education taking place in science class, in the math classroom, in a computer lab. However, we use STEM concepts in all areas of our lives - why not bring STEM into Physical Education? By integrating STEM into different content areas, such as P.E., students are encouraged to build the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century while staying physically active.

Some Sphero robots are waterproof.

Find out which of Sphero’s robots are safe to bring into contact with water so you can plan activities in the pool, lake, or other watery areas this summer. 

The littleBits At-Home Learning Starter Kit STEAM Kit for kids.

Our littleBits circuit starter kit is designed for hands-on STEAM learning at home, with a collection of screenless activities that can be easily guided by parents. With 5 bits and 12 accessories, kids can plug, snap, and switch on the circuit board while gaining tactile skills.

Encouraging Language Development in Children

Language development through speaking, listening, reading, and writing is another important element of a child’s early development. And, since computer programming is considered its own language, STEM learning can help reinforce linguistic skills like syntax and clarity. Here are some of our best resources for doing just that:

Kids learn coding concepts with Sphero programmable robots in school and at home.

Learning the basics of coding from an early age not only prepares children for a tech-driven world, but it also grants them skills in problem-solving and linguistics. Here are 5 key coding concepts that can be understood by kids and provide a strong foundation for their STEM education.

There are many types of coding languages out there.

In this guide, we dive into what exactly coding languages are, why so many exist, what the different types are, and how young learners can start getting comfortable with using them.

The Sphero RVR programmable robot car.

Sphero RVR is an all-terrain programmable robot filled with sensors that STEM learners can program and even hack. It’s a hands-on, fun way to learn to code that’s perfect for beginners and more advanced coders alike.

Resources for Social-Emotional Development 

Learning to identify and manage emotions and build healthy relationships is a key part of a child’s early education and can impact their ability to develop academic skills. Here are some ideas on how to foster your students’ social skills and help them manage their emotions:

Learning social-emotional skills is just as important as academic skills for kids to learn in school.

This guide breaks down Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and some of the most relevant concepts, showing teachers how to build these activities into a hybrid learning model.

Stress management for kids is important to help them through challenging times in school and life.

Although not always to the same degree, young learners experience stress and worry in the same way adults do. In this guide, we show you how to notice burnout, avoid contributing factors, and reduce overall stress.

Kids can learn social-emotional skills through computer science.

STEM can be a great context for learning important social-emotional skills like social awareness, relationship building, and responsible decision making. This blog shows how these are all linked to STEM.

With this mood tracker worksheet, you can easily monitor your child’s emotional development and mood over time. This can help the child become more comfortable in communicating their feelings and allows you to track their progress.

Cognitive Development Reading and Activities

Building cognitive skills is a long process with many different components, involving concepts like critical thinking and problem-solving. Here are some resources for helping children with their cognitive development:

Activities like cooking, or following a step-by-step recipe, can help kids develop better critical thinking skills.

Kids need to learn and develop critical thinking skills so they can succeed later in life. This guide covers several ways to help children grow in this area.

Hands-on activities, like scavenger hunts, are great ways to teach problem-solving skills to kids.

The ability to overcome everyday challenges is a skill that’s best taught as early as possible, or it can lead to problems in later life. Here are three ways to help kids form problem-solving skills early on.

Programmable robots for kids are an ideal way to facilitate STEM projects at home or in school.

Virtual learning is now more common than ever before, driven by a shift to hybrid learning models. Here are 19 projects you can do outside the classroom to develop crucial 21st Century skills like innovation, collaboration, and adaptability.

Sphero indi, a learning robot for young kids.

Our new programmable robot, indi, is built for introducing young children to STEM learning, helping them develop computational thinking skills without the need for a screen. Students new to programming can use indi to solve puzzles, design mazes, and much more.

Enrich Early Childhood Development with Sphero

Child development encompasses a wide range of skills and continues to grow throughout childhood. The process and signs of success differ for each child, but educators can help foster this development through enriching experiences. At Sphero, we have many guides and products aimed at helping educators lead their children through the various stages of development, wherever they may be.

 

For more ideas for development-oriented lessons both in the classroom and at home, visit our activities portal and explore our other play-based programmable robots and STEM kits.

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