STEAM Bored Jar

You’re sooo close.  Dinner is almost on the table.  Or the laundry is almost folded.  But the kids are giving you trouble.  “Mom!  There’s nothing to do!  I’m bored!”  Pull out this easy STEAM Bored Jar: 48 Activities Ready in 5 Minutes or Less.  I’ve pulled together a ton of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Math projects that you can have out and ready to do before the dryer buzzes.  This post contains affiliate links.

STEAM Bored Jar Left Brain Craft Brain

How to Make the STEAM Bored Jar

To make your jar, print out this STEAM Bored Jar printable from Left Brain Craft Brain and cut out each item on the dotted lines.  I used my favorite multi-colored paper {affiliate} for each of the STEAM categories, but all white paper is fine too.  Then I folded the strips in half and popped them into this beaker to make it a little more science-y and fun.

To download your free printable, click here:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE STEAM BORED JAR PRINTABLE
bored jar steps collage

How to Use the STEAM Bored Jar

When boredom strikes, simply have the kids pick a strip of paper to choose an activity.  Bookmark this page so you can quickly read the tutorial for each of the projects after it’s been chosen.  Most of these activities are perfect for preschool to early elementary aged kiddos but can often be modified for older kids too.

STEAM Bored Jar spilled Left Brain Craft Brain

And now, on to the activities!

5 Minute Science Activities (Green)

So what exactly is science?  It’s all about the study of and experimentation with our physical and natural world.  That encompasses a lot, but biology, chemistry and physics are the basis of it all.  These activities hit on some of the major topics in the world of science.

  1. Study the effects of light refraction.  (Left Brain Craft Brain)
  2. Conduct some egg-speriments.  (One Time Through)
  3. Style a magnetic hair-do.  (Laughing Kids Learn)
  4. Create vinegar and baking soda eruptions. (Fun at Home with Kids)
  5. Learn about tectonic plates with play dough. (An Ordinary Life)
  6. Study static electricity with a balloon. (I Heart Crafty Things)
  7. Experience rock types with crayons. (Navigating by Joy)
  8. Feel the force of gravity. (Planet Smarty)
  9. Study the impact of color on temperature. (Inspiration Laboratories)
  10. Do a rock scratch test.  (Lemon Lime Adventures)
  11. Make a tornado in a jar. (Artsy Momma)
  12. Conduct a Pop Rocks experiment.  (A Little Pinch of Perfect)

Technology Math Art Activities Left Brain Craft Brain

5 Minute Technology & Engineering Activities (Orange)

I’ve grouped Technology and Engineering together because the lines between the two are very blurred.  You can’t have one without the other…  Some definitions: Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes and Engineering is the discipline that studies and develops new technology.  See?  Blurry…  So let the kids do instead of define :)

  1. Design and build in a tinkering station. (Left Brain Craft Brain)
  2. Create a lemon battery. (Kids Activities Blog)
  3. Take apart an old piece of electronics or an appliance. (My Nearest and Dearest)
  4. Learn to code.  (Brain Power Boy)
  5. Create an electromagnet. (Deceptively Educational)
  6. Build a pulley. (What Do We Do All Day?)
  7. Connect some squishy circuits (MAKE:)
  8. Design and build a building. (Meri Cherry)
  9. Build a rain shelter.  (Hand Made Kids Art)
  10. Make a balloon powered car.  ((Cool) Progeny)
  11. Assemble a mini-robot. (Red Ted Art)
  12. Fold and test some paper airplanes. (Tinkerlab)

STEAM Beaker Left Brain Craft Brain

Five Minute Art & Design Activities (Pink)

A lot of people talk about STEM instead of STEAM, which removes the Art & Design component.  I think it’s essential to include the creative element of art because it trains our brains to be more open-ended to ideas and innovation.  So what won’t you find in this activity list?  Crafts with detailed instructions and a specific product in mind.  The Bored Jar projects are about encouraging the mental thought process that comes with designing your own masterpiece.

  1. Print with string. (Left Brain Craft Brain)
  2. Weave with paper.  (Babble Dabble Do)
  3. Spin some art.  (Housing a Forest at Buggy and Buddy)
  4. Sandpaper print a t-shirt.  (Alpha Mom)
  5. Make some leaf rubbings. (KC Edventures)
  6. Paint with gears.  (Fun-a-Day)
  7. Create art on a large scale.  (One Perfect Day)
  8. Animate with stop-action photography.  (Tinkerlab)
  9. Blow dart a painting.  (Preschool Powol Packets)
  10. Inspire drawing with Legos.  (Hand Made Kids Art)
  11. Paint your face. (Left Brain Craft Brain)
  12. Draw with cars.  (Housing a Forest)

Hand in STEAM Bored Jar Left Brain Craft Brain

5 Minute Math Activities (Yellow)

The great thing about math is that it is all around us!  We use it every day and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring.  These activities bring some more fun to the math table.

  1. Practice counting to 100. (KC Edventures)
  2. Create a Pi Skyline (What Do We Do All Day?)
  3. Play Nerf gun math.  (No Time for Flashcards)
  4. Do some train math.  (The Educator’s Spin On It)
  5. Explore fractions.  (You Clever Monkey)
  6. Learn math with a safety pin. (Blog Me Mom)
  7. Jump through a counting maze.  (Hands On As We Grow)
  8. Create a giant abacus.  (The Imagination Tree)
  9. Use money to learn math.  (The Measured Mom)
  10. Hunt for shapes.  (The Pleasantest Thing)
  11. Explore symmetry with a mirror.  (And Next Comes L)
  12. Learn with an open-ended math invitation. (B-Inspired Mama)

To download your free printable, click here:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE STEAM BORED JAR PRINTABLE

Hands-On Projects for Kids

Looking for some more STEAM inspiration that use can use right now? Instant gratification style? Check out STEAM Kids: 50+ Hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math Hands-On Projects for Kids ebook! It’s packed full of a year’s worth fun learning activities that will wow the boredom right out of your kids.

52 Awesome STEAM Activities Plus v2

If you’re raising young engineers, they might like some of the stuff in this year’s Left Brain Craft Brain Gift Guide, too.

STEAM Bored Jar Science Tech Engineering Art Math Activities Left Brain Craft Brain FB

34 thoughts on “STEAM Bored Jar”

  1. What a great idea Anne! I think keeping the strips in a beaker is absolutely adorable – it makes the jar just that much more interesting for the kids! We’ll be using this idea for sure! Best, Sue

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Thanks Sue! We’ve used it every day since I made it. It’s a big hit around here….

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Lucinda your crayon rocks are one of my all time favorite projects!! Thanks for sharing those.

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  3. I love this post and shared it about. Had no idea you included me! Thanks so much for linking to my coding post–much appreciated. There is so much here that it will be keeping us happily occupied for some time to come.

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