12 Days of STEM Christmas Activities
The countdown has begun! Christmas is coming and it's time to dig out the tree, put up decorations and prepare for when the big man comes down the chimney. The festive season is one of the most imaginative times of year which is ideal for inspiring family crafts and activities. We have put together the ultimate round up of creative STEM projects- one for each of the 12 days of Christmas! Feast your eyes on these homemade decorations, cards, games and tasty treats:
Nature Tree (via Trunkaroo)
Wrap up warm and head outside for a leaf-gathering scavenger hunt! You’ll need as many colourful, beautiful fallen leaves as possible for this nature Christmas tree craft. These homemade trees are ideal for the creative development of fine and gross motor skills, along with encouraging experimentation and imagination. We thing they’ll look magical as decorations on your mantelpiece or windowsill!
- Large piece of paper (A3 or above)
- Lots of leaves of different sizes and colours
How to make a mini Christmas tree:
- Take a large piece of paper and roll into a cone shape. Secure with sellotape. Next use scissors to cut off the bottom of the cone to make it flat- get an adult to help when using scissors.
- Begin to stick your leaves to the cone using sellotape. Start at the bottom and work upwards.
- Once you reach the top of the cone find a tree topper such as a pine cone or a twig.
- Decorate your tree with glitter, pom poms, tinsel or anything you like!
Coca Cola Science (via The Dad Lab)
Forget the Coca Cola Christmas truck- we are more interested in this cool soda can science trick! Curious kids can try standing a coke can it’s bottom edge and watch it miraculously balance and spin. This will only work with a can that is 2/3 full of liquid as this lower amount of liquid moves the centre of gravity. Try the experiment using cans filled with different amounts of liquid to see how it effects the centre of gravity, and consequently the balance.
Winter Animals Origami Envelope (via Red Ted Art)
Origami projects are the holy grail of developmental activities. The intricate art of folding paper into magical objects nurtures creativity, comprehension of instructions, problem-solving, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Try making these awesome winter animals envelopes using just a piece of paper and some coloured pencils. They are perfect for Christmas cards and letters to Santa. Little crafters can choose to make a polar bear, owl or penguin- we simply had to try all three!
Make it Snow! (via Playtivities)
If Mother Nature has failed to deliver the snow this Christmas then your petite professors can create their own! With a little bit of science, creativity and our old faithful baking soda, you can guarantee a White Christmas inside your home. Make your own snow by mixing shaving foam and baking soda- it’s as simple as that! The whole family can enjoy sensory play, making shapes and building snowmen.
Christmas Story Stones (via Crafts On Sea)
These Christmas themed story stones can provide hours of imaginative storytelling entertainment. Begin with an outdoor hunt for a selection of flat pebbles and stones. You decorate the stones easily using paint pens or chalk pens. Think of as many Christmas objects and characters as you can! The more varied the story stone the more interesting the stories will be. Once the drawings are dry it's time to play! There are heaps of ways to use story stones, including group activities, where each player tells the next part of the story using a stone as a prompt. Unleash your imagination!
Christmas Cottage Construction (via Trunkaroo)
Construct an enchanting winter cabin complete with woodland animals and fir trees! This activity ticks a ton of developmental boxes, including both gross and fine motor skills, as mini makers create their own imaginative winter world. Trunkaroo's December trunk comes equipped with press-out pieces, stickers, paper circles, paint, glue and a pen. We will send you instructions and everything you need to bring this charming Christmas scene to life. Once complete the Winter Cabin can be used for creative play or proudly displayed as a festive decoration. Find out more about our Winter Wonderland activity box here.
Hot Chocolate Spoons (via A Beautiful Mess)
Is there anything better than a Christmas activity you can eat at the end? These yummy hot chocolate spoons are easy and fun to make, but are even more enjoyable when you dip them in some hot cocoa or warm milk. Firstly melt some chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave (adult supervision required here!). Next take some wooden or plastic disposable spoons and dip them into the chocolate before laying them on waxed paper to harden. Whilst the chocolate is still melted you can decorate the spoons with all kinds of tasty toppings. Mini marshmallows, chopped mints, and peanut butter are just a few of our favourites!
Reindeer Wrapping Paper (via Splash of Something)
Christmas crafts don't come much cuter than this one! Mini makers can create their own DIY wrapping paper to give Christmas gifts the X-factor. For fingerprint painting fun you will need: brown craft paper, small pom poms, paint, PVA glue and a slim marker pen. Dip little fingers into the paint and make fingerprint patterns all over the brown paper. Allow the paint to dry before using the pen draw eyes and antlers onto each fingerprint. To make the process easier wrap your present first before gluing a pom pom nose onto each reindeer face.
Snowmen Marshmallows (via I Am A Food Blog)
Edible crafts are our favourite kind of creations! Bring your hot chocolate to life with snowmen marshmallows. You can make your own marshmallows using this recipe or buy some from a shop. Arrange the marshmallows on a tray and dust with powdered sugar. Kids can get creative using melted chocolate to paint on the snowman’s face. Pop your finished snowman into a hot cup of cocoa and watch him melt. What a perfect (and tasty!) opportunity for a mini science lesson about solids, liquids and melting points.
Peppermint Play Dough (via In The Playroom)
Stimulate the senses with some sensory play! This DIY play dough recipe from In The Playroom includes peppermint essence to tantalise both smell and touch. Once the play dough is ready let the creative experimentation commence! Kids can make mini Christmas trees using rolling pins and tree shaped cookie cutters. Decorate with glitter, sequins, buttons and anything else you can find in your craft box.
Snowman Catapult (via Science Sparks)
We love this festive spin on a traditional catapult experiment. Budding engineers and physicists will be in their element constructing this wintery game. To make the catapult you will need lollysticks, elastic bands, a milk bottle top and double sided tape. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions. To play the game decorate paper cups and ping pong balls with snowmen faces, then have fun launching the balls at the cups. Who can knock down the most? Can you explain how energy and force causes the ball to fly?
Homemade gifts (via Let's Do Something Crafty)
Add a personal twist to your Christmas gifts this by giving these homemade tea bags. Not only are these Christmas-themed tea bags adorable but making them is also a superb activity for developing fine motor skills. This is a super simple but delicate project that involves fashioning coffee filters into shapes, such as trees and stockings, and filling them with loose tea. Adult supervision and guidance is required for the cutting and sewing elements. You can even hang these on your Christmas tree if they look too good to use!