With the Christmas season kicking off seemingly earlier and earlier each year, waiting for Santa's arrival can be a challenge for the little ones in the house. While there's always Christmas card crafting, hot cocoa drinking, and cookie decorating to be done, the holiday season is actually the perfect time to keep kids' minds engaged by incorporating STEAM concepts into fun Christmas crafts.
Using simple things found around the house -- think paper plates, cotton balls, clothespins and pipe cleaners -- spend some time engaging in Christmas activities that introduce or expand on STEM concepts, and help to put a new science-y spin on holiday fun! We've gathered together a list of easy Christmas craft ideas that are perfect for giving kids a creative outlet over the long holiday break or for keeping the kiddie table occupied. And, if the season's to-do list is getting too hectic, opt for a stress-free backup plan like Green Kid Crafts, sending all the ideas and supplies out to you just days after ordering.
Spending Time Together
This time of year offers the chance to keep old family traditions going, while tying in new age-appropriate activities that make it fun to spend time with the kids. Since children are always learning, it can be a welcome surprise for parents to see their kids learning about the wonders of science amidst all that Christmas magic! There are countless ways to get the kids inspired, from exploring all the sensory stimuli that this season has to offer to encouraging your girls to reach for the stars with GIRLS CAN! CRATE.
Fill the days with easy Christmas crafts for kids because the countdown to Christmas is on!
Simple Christmas Catapult from Little Bins for Little Hands
Here's a craft that will help everyone catapult into the fun of the Christmas season, while teaching some basic engineering concepts. No need for snow gear and wet boots when flinging pom-pom snowballs in the comfort of home. With this Christmas craft, kids can learn all about the fulcrum point and potential and stored energy with a few basic craft materials.
Expanding Snowman from The Science Kiddo
Do you want to build a snowman? Of course you do! But maybe Mother Nature hasn't served up enough of the fluffy white stuff to make it happen. Using shaved ice, Alka-Seltzer tablets and a zip-top bag, teach kids about the chemical reaction that happens when an acid and a base are mixed and watch your indoor snowman expand before your eyes!
Pine Cone Science Experiment for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures
A natural element that often makes its way into rustic Christmas decor, pine cones can also be the starting point for an educational science experiment that is all about observation and child-led inquiry. Grab a few glass mason jars, some water and some pine cones. Set up a control and some variables and teach kids the basics of the scientific method while figuring out what will make the pine cones open and close.
Christmas Coding Activity STEAM Ornament from Little Bins for Little Hands
Cover the basics of coding with an ornament craft that dives into the 1's and 0's of the binary alphabet. With pipe cleaners and colored beads, kids will learn how a computer knows what letter to output as they string together the binary code that would produce their name. And, if they really get into it, these one-of-a-kind DIY ornaments make great handmade Christmas gifts for friends and family.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Slime from Steamsensational
Time to get a little ooey-gooey this Christmas with some handmade green Grinch slime. The perfect creative accompaniment to a read or a watch of this classic Dr. Seuss Christmas story, whip up a batch of green slime and make it stretch and grow, just like the Grinch's heart!
Evergreen Tree Building Challenge from The Preschool Toolbox
Perfect for the preschoolers in the family, here's a challenge that will have them engineering their very own popsicle stick Christmas trees. Using just a bunch of popsicle sticks and some colored play-doh, kids craft their own tree creations using the patterns and shapes they think will work best. This craft can easily be expanded to try other creative shapes, like Christmas wreaths or snowflakes.
Pulley for the Elf from Science Sparks
If the Elf on the Shelf is a tradition in your family, get them in on the STEAM action this holiday season with some simple ideas that can get them from here to there. Illustrate the physics behind a pulley made from an empty ribbon spool by crafting this small-scale solution that help the Elf get up to his usual shenanigans.
Make a Fun 3D Paper Christmas Tree Craft from Twitchetts
Kids of all ages will find this easy construction paper Christmas tree craft fun to construct and decorate. Once the paper strips have been cut to different lengths, they can be decorated with everything from stickers and buttons, to everyone's favorite holiday craft supply -- sparkly glitter -- before being built from the bushy bottom up to the star-topped tip.
The Amazing Scents of Christmas from Edventures With Kids
Seeing as smell is one of the senses that's closely linked with memory creation and recall, this Christmas task will find out what the nose knows by smelling all the scents associated with holiday celebrations. From sprigs off a spruce tree and candy canes, to cocoa powder, cinnamon sticks and Christmas cookies, kids will have a blast trying to decipher what smell they're getting a whiff of, while creating their own warm holiday memories.
Dancing Jingle Bells Christmas Science from Modern Preschool
Not only for dashing through the snow, in this Christmas STEM activity, jingle bells will make spirits bright as they dance and bob in a carbonated clear soda. Teaching the basics of density, air bubbles will grab hold of the jingle bells causing them to float upwards and jingle as they clink into one another, and as the bubbles pop, they'll slowly sink back down again. Oh, what fun!
Circuit-Tree from STEAM Powered Family
With a little adult supervision, LED lights are used to create a circuit, paying close attention to which ends are your positives and which are your negatives. As the circuit comes together, a Christmas tree of pipe cleaners and a clothespin will slowly be constructed around the circuit, until at the end, it'll light up like a Christmas circuit-tree!
Jingle Bell Coupling Chains for Wooden Trains from Play Trains
Learn all about the properties of magnets by using jingle bells as coupling chains. Break out the wooden train set and get to work making chains with jingle bells, big and small. What works? What doesn't work? Does the train jingle as it makes its way around the tracks? Do some simple exploring and all their questions will be answered.
Christmas Egg Drop Project from Lemon Lime Adventures
Instead of throwing out all those wrapping and tissue paper scraps, gather them up and use them to get your kids thinking of the best soft landing for their eggs. Putting a tinsel-y twist on an old science favorite, this DIY Christmas egg drop encourages kids to look at the Christmas decorations and discarded waste as an opportunity to make the ultimate nest. Find the fluffiest bow and nestle it in tight for this little project that's all about keeping each egg intact.
Gingerbread Man Trap from Kids STEAM Lab
A great accompaniment to baking a fresh batch of salt dough or real-deal gingerbread men and sharing the popular folk tale, it's time to get as sly as the fox and set up a trap to catch that pesky Gingerbread Man once and for all. Let little imaginations run wild thinking of all the possible ways they can create and set traps that will ensure his capture.
Holiday Science: Sink or Float? from Edventures With Kids
Simple and thought-provoking, good for kids of all ages, it's time to answer one question: will it sink or float? Gather up some Christmas themed items, like pine tree clippings, candy canes, gift bows, plastic baubles, cranberries, oranges and whatever else you want to test out, then nail down the concepts of density and buoyancy as you guess and experiment with which items will sink down or float on the top.