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! This year we came up with a brand new 25 Days of Christmas countdown calendar with STEM Challenge Countdown Cards. Super easy to set up and comes with the free printable cards, so you can get started right away.
ADVENT CHALLENGES WITH CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN CALENDAR
CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN CALENDARS
We already have several fun Christmas Countdown Calendars 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 right away, picking just a few Christmas challenges to try this holiday season will be just as fun! Save them for next year, and you will have something to look forward too. We have STEM cards you can use all year round!
CHRISTMAS 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 then adding fun things from the dollar stores!
SUPPLIES FOR CHRISTMAS STEM CHALLENGES
Here’s a quick list of the materials I like to keep on hand for setting up STEM challenges. Make sure to visit the dollar store for basic supplies as well as holiday theme goodies. Start with a kit that includes scissors, paper, pencils and pens, a ruler, and measuring tape.
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
- 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 COUNTDOWN CALENDAR
Our Christmas countdown 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 countdown cards as well as some helpful hints to prepare your countdown calendar or advent calendar! You can even laminate the cards to protect them and save them for next year.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR COUNTDOWN 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 the 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! Our Christmas Science Countdown uses a small tree. You can also add the challenge cards to envelopes and place them all in a basket as we did for our LEGO advent calendar.
SPECIAL COUNTDOWN FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
Make sure to take notice that there is a challenge just for Christmas Eve and a challenge for Christmas Day (if you aren’t too busy)! We look forward to our special Christmas Eve challenge each year and it’s become part of our Christmas eve tradition.
I also provide a couple of blank challenge cards to let you make up your own Christmas STEM challenge that fits your family or classroom! If you have a special supply you want to use, go ahead and make your own STEM challenge.
FUN PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN CARDS
Click on the images below for more fun Christmas activities for kids!