Candy for Christmas, I bet you have plenty! I love to build with candy, and gumdrops are perfect for candy engineering projects like this Santa’s Chimney STEM Challenge. Make sure to check out our 25 Days of Christmas STEM Challenges with free printable!


Christmas Candy STEM Challenge Gumdrop Structures for SantaPin


Soft candy and toothpicks are a winning combination for building structures for STEM. Depending on the season or the desired outcome, there are so many variations to try. If you don’t want to use candy, consider straws and play dough or even apple chunks!

Check out all our building activities for kids!

I also love to come up with a simple Advent Calendar or Countdown Christmas Calendar each year. We have an awesome 25 Days of Christmas Science Countdown. This Christmas candy STEM challenge to build Santa a chimney is one of them!

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  • Toothpicks
  • Gumdrops
  • Small House {we used a dollar store gingerbread house-themed box, but you could also make your own with a milk carton!}

Or you can try these free Christmas papercraft activities first! Use the candy and toothpicks to build similar models.


Although this Candy STEM challenge has a specific task, it is still open to interpretation. Your kids can design Santa whatever chimney they like! Any size, shape, color, design, you name it. They can even build a house out of gumdrops too.

He also built trees around the house, another excellent way to work on three-dimensional design and shapes. White gumdrops are perfect for building enormous snowflakes. Candy is great for science experiments, too!

He also wanted to see if he could build a gumdrop tree taller than the house, so he set his own challenge! I love that he can challenge himself with his own ideas. It was definitely a great challenge for figuring out how to make a very tall but stable tree with the supplies we had.

Building structures is a simple to set up STEM activities for kids to enjoy anytime. A great boredom buster, a screen-free idea, or a stuck-inside project that can really make an afternoon fly by any time of the year.

More Fun Christmas STEM Challenges

Easy setup. Awesome fun. hands-on learning. And all of this was accomplished with leftover Christmas cards. Need more fantastic Christmas STEM activities to keep you busy this season? We never have a shortage!

Santa’s Sleigh Challenge: Santa needs a sleigh to make his rounds. But what happens if Santa’s sleigh is down for repairs with no time to spare? It’s up to you to design and build Santa a new sleigh with this Christmas STEM challenge, complete with free printable worksheets.

Jingle Bell STEM Challenge: This is our version of the classic egg drop challenge with a more Christmasy theme. Can you quiet a jingle bell so it doesn’t make any noise?

Christmas Tree STEM Challenge: The challenge is to build a Christmas tree with just 100 cups.

Christmas Card STEM Challenge: The best way to recycle all those Christmas cards! What kind of structures can you build with a heap of Christmas cards?

Christmas Catapult: Design and build a simple catapult, and test how far you can fling the red and white pom and poms. Almost to the North Pole!

Santa’s Balloon Rocket: A fun Christmas version of the classic balloon rocket. Explore forces as you send Santa flying across the room.

Check out more fun Christmas STEM projects here.

Printable Christmas STEM Project Pack


  • 25+ Christmas theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited-time needs. Includes a holiday theme engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve! NEW observation sheets included.
  • Try a Santa’s Letter airplane challenge or take the gingerbread house-building challenge! 
  • Explore the five senses with a specially designed Santa’s Lab pack.
  • Try a mini nature study with your favorite type of Christmas tree.
  • Try your hand at building shapes with gumdrop structure challenge cards or build shapes with jingle bells. Or try the Christmas-themed paper chain challenge!
  • Christmas Screen-free Coding activities include algorithm games, binary code ornaments, and more!
  • Explore 6+ Christmas Art Projects with famous artist-inspired activities that combine art history, process art techniques, and more with simple to-do ideas.