The excitement of Christmas and the upcoming holidays doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some cool ways to learn while having tons of fun. Christmas STEM activities for kids are always so much fun! Download and print these free Christmas STEM Challenge Cards. Use them as a fun countdown calendar or for anytime activities! Super easy to set up, so you can get started right away.
Explore Christmas STEM This Holiday Season
We already have several fun Advent calendar ideas to choose from or you can mix and match as your time allows. A Christmas countdown calendar doesn’t have to be complicated or take a ton of time to set up. The key to success is to get yourself ready before December 1st rolls around.
Check out all our advent calendar ideas!
And even if you can’t get these started immediately, picking just a few Christmas challenges to try this holiday season will be as fun!
Save them for next year, and you will have something to look forward too. We also have printable STEM cards you can use all year round!
Setting Up STEM Challenges On A Budget
STEM activities for kids and the holidays go so well together! Kids love the novelty of changing holidays and seasons. There are many fun ways to take classic science and STEM challenges and give them fresh and festive twists for the holiday season, especially Christmas.
From candy canes and gingerbread men to Santa and the Grinch…
You will love how simple these Christmas STEM activities are to set up and explore! Plus, they are completely budget-friendly and easy to do with groups. We always encourage looking at the materials you already have and adding fun things from the dollar store.
WHAT DO CHRISTMAS STEM CHALLENGES LOOK LIKE?
STEM challenges are usually open-ended suggestions to solve a problem. That’s a big part of what STEM is all about!
Ask a question, develop solutions, design, test, and retest! The tasks are meant to get kids thinking about and using the design process.
What’s the design process? I’m glad you asked! In many ways, it’s a series of steps an engineer, inventor, or scientist would go through to solve a problem. Learn more about the steps of the engineering design process.
Supplies You Will Need
Mostly, you will be able to use what you already have on hand by letting your kids get creative with simple materials. Also, read about how to put together DIY STEM kit ideas on a budget and get our printable STEM supplies list.
My pro tip is to grab a large, clean, and clear plastic tote or bin. Every time you come across a cool item you would normally toss into recycling, toss it in the bin instead. This goes the same for packaging materials and items you may otherwise throw away.
Basic STEM Supplies:
- toilet paper tube and paper towel rolls
- recycled materials (good cardboard pieces, milk cartons, plastic containers, egg cartons, berry boxes, water bottles, etc…)
- non-recycled materials (foam trays- run through the dishwasher, toothpaste boxes, etc…)
- packaging materials (styrofoam, packing peanuts, cool inserts, and bubble wrap)
- plastic cups
- string or twine
- pipe cleaners
- craft sticks (jumbo and regular)
- soft candy or marshmallows
Holiday Theme STEM Supplies:
- wrapping paper (the leftover tubes are always fun)
- batter operated tea lights
- plastic candy canes and snowflakes
- cookie cutters
- jingle bells
- holiday decor of any kind (that looks useful for inventing)
- regular tape
- decorative tape
- glitter glue or regular glue
- glue sticks
- paper clips
- rubber bands
- stapler (if appropriate)
Printable Christmas STEM Challenges For All Ages
Our Christmas STEM challenge cards are perfect for multiple age groups. A few simple tweaks here and there for different levels and abilities will make them fun for everyone.
Some of these activities may need more parent or teacher support, and some may need less. Older kids can even help younger kids!
These cards make for a wonderful screen-free experience (we also have a winter theme set). The activities also make great party ideas too! Keep the kids busy while they invent Santa’s sleigh!
STEM challenge cards are perfect for the budding young engineer. They will make the days leading up to Christmas full of building, creating, exploring, and designing.
Below you will find a link to grab your free Christmas STEM challenge cards as well as some helpful hints to turn them into a countdown calendar or advent calendar! You can even laminate the cards to protect them and save them for next year.
How To Make A Christmas STEM Advent Calendar
We have tried a few different fun ways to present our countdown or advent calendar ideas over the years! This year we chose these refillable plastic ornaments. They are also perfect because they can be used in so many ways.
You can add your Christmas STEM Challenge cards to fillable ornaments. They can be placed in a basket or hung on a tree. You definitely don’t need to purchase 25 ornaments! Let your kids choose an ornament each morning and get to work.
Don’t stress out if you don’t get through all the challenges! Save them for next year. Or do a couple extra activities on the weekend! Our countdown cards are meant to be fun and stress-free, so enjoy the STEM challenges when you can!
You can also hang these cards by themselves on a small artificial tree with clothespins or hang one ornament a day on your large Christmas tree and refill it each night!
You can also add the challenge cards to envelopes and place them all in a basket as we did for our LEGO advent calendar.
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.