Valentine's Day STEM Frog Challenge

 

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and my kids are already plotting how to deliver those special messages to the ones they love! As a STEM educator, a valentine delivery must be more than dropping heart shaped paper into handmade mailboxes. So, we made a Valentine’s Day candy delivery STEM challenge using frogs – origami frogs that is!

In the Valentine’s Day Frogs STEM Challenge Kids will create origami jumping frogs (they really jump!) before walking through the engineering design process to create a candy holder for their frog. The frog must hop carefully to deliver their Valentine’s Day message without dropping the candy! A fun storyline sets the stage for the design and testing of their creations. This activity is a great exercise in fine motor and critical thinking skills. Kids at home or in the classroom love this engaging challenge! Head over to our teachers pay teachers store to get your complete instructions, resources, and student worksheets.

Following the engineering design process is a little advanced for the littlest tots, but they can still join in the fun! With my littles, we first talked about springs. When you press down on them, they push back and want to get big again, making them jump. We then practiced jumping by thinking of our legs as springs that are pressed down, then push back to make us jump high—like a frog!

Using a 3” x5” index card, I helped them create a simplified version of the origami jumping frog using the following steps:

1.     Fold the index card in half parallel to the short sides

2.     On one end, fold in the corners until they touch, then fold the back out 90 degrees to make the front legs of your frog.

3.     On the other end, just think of making an accordion-- bend the edge forwards to touch the middle (centerline crease you made in step one), then fold that new crease backwards back to the centerline. Lastly, fold the edge backwards to the nearest crease.

4.     Flip your frog over and fold the corners of the “feet” up so that they are flat on the floor.

We glued on paper hearts and googly eyes for a festive touch! Gently slide your finger down the frog’s back to make it jump. Make sure the springy legs are bent beneath it. You may have to help them get the hang of it at first. My 4 year old had no problem doing this.

Now for the real challenge—spread some candy hearts around on a table. My kids had to use their new knowledge of springs and make their frogs hop to each candy heart before they could eat it! Bonus points if they could read any part of the message! The rules weren’t always followed, but they thought the activity was “toad”-ally awesome! ;)

 
For more Valentine’s Day STEM Activities, head to our post here or click on the image below. Use #VivifySTEM and post pictures of you and your kids trying out these STEM activities!

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from Vivify!