Home STEM/STEAM Five Holly Jolly STEM Activities

Five Holly Jolly STEM Activities

by Diana Benner

It’s the perfect time of the year to incorporate some holiday STEM activities into your classroom. The weeks before a holiday break can be stressful, so why not have your students do some fun, hands-on activities while learning and practicing useful skills?

1. Candy Cane Building Challenge

Challenge your students to make their own candy cane creations in this fun STEM candy cane building challenge. You’ll need candy canes (regular-sized and mini) and a hot glue gun with glue sticks. Ask your students to build a 3D structure from the candy canes that can stand on its own. This is a perfect activity for teaching the Engineering Design Process since students will need to put their engineering skills to work.

Learn more about the challenge at Lemon Lime Adventures.

Image of a candy cane structure.

2. Gum Drop Building Challenge

This building challenge uses candy gumdrops and toothpicks. Students use their engineering skills, creativity, and imagination to create unique building structures. It is like the Marshmallow Engineering STEAM Building Challenge but uses gumdrops to celebrate the season.

Learn more about the challenge at Lemon Lime Adventures.

Image of a gumdrop tower.

3. Christmas Tree Cup Tower Challenge

This activity challenges students to build a Christmas tree using only cups. All you need is lots of cups. Students must use as many cups as possible to build their own Christmas tree. Allow your students to plan, build, and problem solve during this challenge. They can even decorate the cup tower with pompoms! This challenge reminds me of the Solo Cup Engineering Challenge.

Learn more about the Christmas Tree Cup Tower Challenge at Little Bins Little Hands.

Image of a Christmas tree built with cups.

4. Dissolving Candy Cane Experiment

Can candy canes dissolve? This experiment tests out which substances dissolve candy canes the fastest. For this experiment, you’ll need cups, water, sugar, salt, and candy canes. Fill the cups with different temperatures of water (hot, cold, room temperature) and place the candy canes in the cups. Set a timer and have students record their observations. You can even repeat this experiment using other liquids such as vinegar, dish soap, or soda.

Learn more about this experiment and download a free observation page at Little Bins Little Hands.

Image of candy canes dissolving in water.

5. Flying Reindeer

How can you get reindeer to fly? That is the question this STEM activity answers. Using basic household and craft supplies and a little imagination, your students will see flying reindeer this Christmas. Students will assemble a mini reindeer from toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. Using a flight path made of yarn, students will see if their reindeer can fly by attaching a balloon to the top of it.

Learn more at Team Cartwright.

Image of reindeer flying on a piece of yarn.

STEM is such a fantastic way to encourage your students to observe, question, and problem-solve. What are some STEM activities that you will do with your students this holiday season? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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