Computer coding for kids without the computer! Learn about algorithms with a simple, screen free printable Christmas coding STEM activity and game! We love easy to use holiday STEM activities and this is a perfect addition to our 25 Days of Christmas STEM countdown. Print out three different difficulty levels and have a blast with the kids. Easy science and STEM is what we want to share with you this year.
FREE PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS CODING STEM ACTIVITY GAME FOR KIDS!
Kids love games and adults love games with a little bit of educational learning thrown in too. If you have kids who are interested in computers and coding, our Christmas coding STEM activity games are a fun opportunity to give the kids a simple and screen free introduction to the world of code.
We have enjoyed making a few of these games, and you can find the original coding game here. Algorithms can be simple and easy for kids to learn with this free printable Christmas coding STEM activity game.
You can find the download button all the way at the bottom! Check out the different page options along the way. I made three levels of difficulty for beginners, intermediate users, and more advanced users. Read on below for more information on how to use these sheets.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: 25 Days of Christmas STEM Countdown Calendar
WHAT IS CODING?
Computer coding is a huge part of STEM, but what does it mean for our younger kids? Computer coding is what creates all the software, apps, and websites that we use without even thinking twice about them!
A code is a set of instructions and people called computer coders write these instructions to program all sorts of things. Coding is it’s own language. For programmers, it’s like learning a new language when they write code for a new program.
There are different types of computer languages, but they all do a similar task which is to take our instructions and turn them into a code for the computer to read.
Have you heard of the binary alphabet? It’s a series of 1’s and 0’s that form letters, which then form a code the computer can read. We have a couple hands-on activities that teach about binary code including a Christmas tree ornament kids can make.
We love incorporating holidays into our STEM activities!
WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM?
Simply put, an algorithm is a series of actions. It’s a sequence of actions that are strung together to solve a problem. Our printable algorithm coding game is perfect for learning how these actions string together through hands-on play!
There are many fun and interactive ways young kids can get interested in computer coding without even using the computer. We have lots of fun playing with this algorithm coding game because you can change the variables each time for a completely new game.
LEVEL 1 Beginner Coders: Christmas Coding STEM Activity Game
Level one contains game boards, game pieces for creating new boards each time, and direction arrows for writing the algorithm to solve the game board.
This level is perfect for your youngest coder even in preschool! Introduce the fundamentals of coding early on for those kids who are interested.
Level two also contains game boards, game pieces for creating new boards each time, and direction arrows for writing the algorithm to solve the game board.
This level is perfect for young coders working on the basics of coding! This might be a fun time to check out our LEGO coding ideas.
Get your download below.
Level three contains more game boards, game pieces for creating new boards each time, and direction arrows for writing the algorithm to solve the game board.
This level is more challenging and definitely perfect for kids who are into coding and learning about algorithms.
HOW TO USE YOUR CHRISTMAS CODING STEM ACTIVITY GAMES
Print out one of the sets of grids to set up your board. Choose a blank grid with either the Rudolph or santa hat. Cut out the Christmas trees, candy canes and arrows for your pieces.
Place the Christmas trees and candy canes on the board in the blank spaces. You can play a couple ways where the trees are obstacles to move around and/or the candy canes need to be collected.
Christmas Trees: Choose your directions to have to go around the trees to reach the end.
Candy Canes: Choose your directions to collect the candy canes and get to the end.
You can use a LEGO figure as an object to move through the board. Additionally, you can cut out a Rudolph piece to move through the board to get to santa’s hat or vice versa
Your arrows are your direction cards and how you write the code to solve the puzzle. I have included left, right, and straight arrow pieces to use. I love that you can use and re-use the grids over and over again. You can even laminate the sheets.
PLAY YOUR CHRISTMAS CODING ALGORITHM GAME
Encourage your kids to use the directional cards to create an algorithm to reach the desired object. Have them try to get the Rudolph to the santa hat or the santa hat to the Rudolph, or your own figure to either one!
You can add in the obstacle cards to create a new board each time. You can use either the trees or candy canes or both on the same board! Start simple using just a few and work your way up!
Easier version: Place out one directional card at a time as you move the object one square at a time.
Harder version: Think out the sequence of actions ahead of time and place out a string of directional cards to show your program. Run your program according to your directions and check your results. Did you make it? Do you need to fix a card?