This acorn balancing fine motor activity and outdoor STEM challenge is a great way to practice fine motor skills, all while building persistence and grit.
Each day we walk outside and see TONS of scattered acorn tops that have been tossed aside by the squirrels. One of our favorite ways to play with them is to practice some acorn balancing!
This is a great test in patience, grit and persistence for my kids, all of which I think are incredibly important to teach our kids. Completing a STEM challenge forces kids to find new ways to do something, think out of the box, and maintain a growth mindset.
Acorn Balancing Outdoor STEM Challenge
Balancing and stacking a group of objects, like rocks, is great fine motor work for kids combined with a nice STEM challenge. It also teaches grit and persistence as inevitably their town comes crashing to the ground, and they are required to start over again.
I like to use these opportunities to talk to them about how we can handle situations where we are full of frustration, either because something we are working on comes crashing to the ground, we are making mistakes in a sports game, or even if we are arguing with our friends.
Related Post: Books About Persistence and Problem Solving for Kids
I coach my own kids through these situations by asking them to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about how we can solve the problem.
One of the beautiful opportunities that play-based learning affords us, is SO many teachable moments, just like this.
Balancing Acorns, and Troubleshooting!
Gather a collection of acorn tops, with varying sizes and shapes. Allow kids the opportunity to explore with stacking, falling, and troubleshooting – all awesome components of an outdoor STEM challenge.
My kids soon discovered that by sorting them by size, they were able to use the larger acorn tops as sturdy bases, and then nesting the rest above the base nicely.
Resource: Superkids Activity Guide
The kids counted their towers, and learned what worked and didn’t work. What a great practice in grit and persistence as they worked to solve a problem and not give up!
Talk about a fun, educational, and FREE outdoor STEM challenge that connects kids with nature!
Enjoy this acorn balancing activity for kids.