The Ultimate Guide to A STEM-Themed Christmas Celebration


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The Ultimate Guide to a STEM-Themed Christmas

Are you looking for the most educational way to spend the holidays? That’s awesome! Many parents believe that science and Christmas aren’t a good mix. But with the right kind of STEM activities, your kids’ Christmas celebration can be no short of fun yet still packed with learning. So get ready to infuse your holiday calendar with fun STEM undertakings, projects, and ideas! 

So how does this work?

Truth be told, it involves an insane amount of research. Thankfully, we covered all that in this ultimate guide to a STEM-themed Christmas season. This contains all the topics you need to make your kid’s holiday an educational success.

We believe that a STEM-themed Christmas celebration can be possible if you have these things at your disposal:

  • Awesome Christmas STEM experiments (both experiments and crafts)

  • STEM Christmas presents for children

  • Fun STEM family-bonding activities (like games and movies) 

All three are discussed in this article. Visit the specific section you want to read by clicking the option below: 


Table of Contents


Ready to fill your Christmas with STEM? Let’s get straight right to it!

 

Christmas STEM Activities for Kids

 

Fun, games, and the joyous laughter of children always fill traditional Christmas celebrations. But the same can be said of STEM activities.

Engaging in Holiday STEM projects DOES NOT take the fun out of Christmas. Instead, it introduces a new avenue of amusement to children, where the result is enjoyment and lifelong learning! Plus, these are avenues to improve your parent-child relationship, so don't let it slip!

Your quest for a STEM-themed Christmas doesn’t begin until you insert some Christmas science activities into the mix. Below is the curated list of fun science projects that kids (and parents!) could do this December. 

 

Engaging in Christmas Science Experiments

Christmas Science Experiments

Experiments are always crowd-pleasers because of the curiosity they inspire among kids. So, if you want your little scientists focused and motivated, we urge you to do the simple experiments we’ve listed below! 

Click this link for the complete list: 8 Simple Christmas Science Experiments for Kids to try this 2021

The link above features the full walkthrough and scientific explanation behind each activity. That way you can explain it thoroughly to your little scientists!

 

Dissolving Candy Canes Experiment

The dissolving candy cane experiment is a fun Christmas STEM activity that uses simple materials. The setup takes no more than 2 minutes, but the learnings kids can get here practically lasts a lifetime!

Get your kids thinking about this holiday STEM activity by letting them guess which would dissolve first. Our dedicated article (linked above) discusses the steps in-depth and explains the science behind them!

 

Peppermint Slime

Slimes are always a fan favorite among children. But, as parents, we may not fully understand what it is about this slimy flubber that kids love. But hey! If we want them to have fun, let’s take a crack at slime in this Christmas STEM activity. Even if you’re not the biggest slime-lover, you might change your mind once you smell a slime as Christmas-y as this.

This STEM activity for Christmas is simple and easy to do. Plus, nothing would bring the Christmas essence more than this peppermint-smelling stuff! 

 

Hot Chocolate Science Experiment

The winter isn’t as enjoyable without a hot cup of cocoa to keep us warm, right? Well, this Christmas STEM experiment is not only fun and educational but also yummy. Make hot cocoa sessions with your kids a source of learning with this simple holiday STEM activity.

Preparing hot chocolate drinks doesn’t need any manuals. Same with the dissolving candy canes experiment, let your child guess which water temperature would chocolate powder dissolve fastest. 

This experiment shows how we can incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math principles with simple day-to-day tasks. So enjoy your delicious drinks after this simple Christmas STEM activity!

 

Winter Play-doh Making Activity

Kids always watch people playing with the winter snow on TV. However, it isn’t as fun when it starts to get chilly outside. Worry no more. This Christmas STEM activity brings the snowy experience indoors! 

Since winter will begin shortly, you may opt for the winter wonderland theme in this STEM experiment. The preparation is very similar to making bread, and we’re confident kids will enjoy every single step of the process. There will be a ton of mixing and kneading and playing in this Christmas activity so make sure to check the full recipe!

 

Weather Storm in A Jar

No kid nor adult wants to experience a snowstorm outdoors. But if you could replicate that weather storm in a jar, that would be superb! Bottled snowstorms are what this STEM activity for Christmas is all about.

Using only 5 ingredients that we’re sure you have at home, namely: baby oil, water, glitter, seltzer tablets, and white paint, you can recreate the December winter in a bottle. Watch your kids wow as they gaze at the result of this STEM Christmas project. 

 

If you loved the experiments above, visit our 8 Christmas Science Experiments for Kids to Do this 2021 for the complete walkthrough behind each activity! We gave clear, in-depth explanations so you can guide science-loving children throughout the experiments. 

 

Unleashing Kids’ Holiday Creativity with STEAM Crafts

Holiday STEAM Crafts

Doing holiday experiments are not the only ways you and your kids can celebrate a STEM-themed Christmas because STEM often overlaps with arts. After all, science in itself is a magnificent work of art. That’s the reason why some people call it STEAM, where the A stands for art. 

Below are easy 5 easy DIY Chrismas crafts cloaked with an element of STEM that you and your kids can do this holiday season. 

Click this link for the complete list: Creative Christmas STEM Activities Your Children Should Try!

The link above contains the supplies and steps you need to perform the activities below. Visit the link to access our clear and in-depth instructions on each activity below. Your educational bonding with the kids you love is one click away!

Christmas Ornament Making Project

Christmas Ornament Making Project Using Milk-Plastics

Buying ornaments for your Christmas tree or curtains is overrated. So why not consider making the decorations for the holidays? I’m sure kids are big fans of Christmas arts and crafts. That’s why this STEM activity is perfect for your little artists.

For this holiday STEM project, you’re going to use a bit of chemistry and a whole lot of creativity to do it. Using milk and vinegar, you will create milk plastics that your kids can then design whichever way they like!

If you’re interested, our creative STEM activities this Christmas article features the complete step-by-step for this activity!

 

Building Gingerbread Houses

Building Gingerbread Houses

Who knew Christmas arts and crafts plus engineering could combine into a super fun holiday STEM activity? Don't worry. This STEM project uses all-edible materials like gingerbread, graham crackers, and marshmallow, so that means you can munch on the masterpiece after. 

The concept is easy to understand, and it falls on you and your kid to decide what engineering structure to create. Here's an interesting idea, how about a re-enactment of the nativity using the materials provided -- now that's STEM-themed Christmas in action!

Unleash your kid's passion for Christmas arts and crafts with this easy DIY Christmas project.

 

Edible Stained Glass DIY Christmas craft

Edible Stained Glass DIY Christmas Craft

Stained glass windows in churches look amazing whenever Christmas lights illuminate them. But with winter out and about, going to church might be difficult, especially for your kids. No worries because this Christmas STEM project brings the church to your home.

You will need to get some jolly ranchers and pretzel sticks from the nearest convenience store for this Christmas craft for kids. Using only heat and some creative magic, the former will serve as the stained glass, while the latter would be the framing material. Stay tuned if you want to know how it's done. 

 

Flying Reindeer Straw Art

Flying Reindeer Straw Art

They say Santa’s reindeer could fly, but I don’t think kids have seen one before. But that’s okay because this easy kids’ Christmas craft can get their reindeer flying all over the place!

You may view the flying reindeer STEM activity instruction from JDaniel4's mom but we'll bring you a much-simplified manual for this creative Christmas STEM activity. The materials to use are simple and readily available in the nearest convenience store. Click through the link above and send Rudolph soaring through the air!

 

Marshmallow Catapult

This popsicle sticks Christmas craft is another art that uses good ol' engineering! It's still easy to make, but finishing this Christmas DIY kids' craft will take some creativity and patience. For this project, all you need are popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and some bottle caps, then you can design your own catapult. Even preschoolers can do this DIY Holiday craft!

If you visit our dedicated blog post, we have the perfect video to assist you with this process. But of course, you and your kids can design your own catapult if you wish. This is an awesome STEM project to squeeze out some creative engineering juices!

 

Our creative Christmas STEM activities come with complete walkthroughs and steps on how to conduct the activities listed above. Pay it a visit to start working on these STEM projects with the children you love! 

 

Battle it Out with Kids’ Holiday STEM Challenges

 

Whether you have many kids at home or teach a group of preschoolers, engaging in STEM challenges is a fantastic Christmas activity. STEM challenges are game ideas integrated with STEM concepts, but kids can play them in teams or competitively like regular games.

If you’re searching for Christmas game ideas for kids, we have two incredible examples that children will certainly appreciate!

 

Christmas Cup Tower Challenge

 

How high of a tower can you build with 100 plastic cups? This Christmas STEM challenge will put kids’ engineering and gross motor skills to the test. All that’s needed are 100 cups and a whole lot of planning, imagination, and building!

If you can divide your kids or class into several teams, that would be excellent for this holiday STEM challenge. There are no rules when building the tower or Christmas tree, except it needs to be sturdy enough to remain upright and tallest among all towers within the given time.

A reward for the winner of this classroom activity is perfect for encouraging kids to do their absolute best!

 

STEM Christmas Gum Drop Tower

 

Engineering is a pillar of STEM education. Like the Christmas STEM challenge prior, the Gum Drop Tower is another holiday activity that uses the E in STEM. But this time around, kids will work with gumdrops and some toothpicks to finish the challenge.

The materials for this Christmas STEM challenge are simple. Each team receives 1 pound of gumdrops (around 60 pieces) and a packet of toothpicks. The goal is to make the tallest and sturdiest gumdrop tower they can make, using only their imagination and creativity,  before the time limit. 

Of course, a reward for the champs in this cool Christmas game is ideal. Nevertheless, everyone is entitled to eat the gumdrops after!

 

STEM Christmas Gifts and Presents

Christmas STEM gifts for kids

Christmas is indeed the season of giving. There is nothing more central for kids during the holidays than to open Christmas presents under the mistletoe.

If you want to transform the holidays into a STEM-themed Christmas celebration, choose scientific toys as Christmas gifts to children you love. Not only will children appreciate these STEM learning toys, but they’ll be learning as they play! We rounded up the best Christmas gift ideas for both boys and girls who like science.  

IMPORTANT REMINDER: STEM toys for kids are not gender-specific. Everyone may play with these science learning toys whether it is branded as for boys or girls. Upbringing and environment greatly influence the preferences of children. We created a separate list only to pique the average interests of both genders when it comes to educational STEM toys. Check them out below!

 

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Small Boys

Two boys playing with the STEMscopeCredits: @playfulcrafts

This list features some of the best Christmas gifts for science-loving boys in your life. We tailored the STEM toys for boys below to their natural thrill-seeking and adventurous nature.

Access the full review of the toys below here: Best STEM Christmas Gifts for Kids Who Love Science

The link above contains our review, pros and cons, and complete guide when buying kids' toys this Christmas. Click the link above to know which toy would be the most fun and educational for your science-loving kids. 

 

The STEMscope Portable Microscope

The STEMscope Portable Microscope

The STEMscope is a versatile Christmas gift option for kids. Children can use this portable microscope both indoors or outdoors if the weather is being friendly. Give your little scientists a chance to explore the micro-wonders of this world using this science toy for kids. You can check out the catalog of science gadgets for more exciting STEM gift options.

 

Magna-Tiles 100-Piece Clear Colors Set

This building set is one of the most acclaimed STEM toys in the market. Kids can nurture their engineering and imagination by building impressive structures using magnet-powered pieces. Magna-Tiles is a no-brainer option for open-ended fun and fine motor skills training.

 

Science in Action Water Rocket

This water rocket is a good Christmas STEM gift for boys with children's hyperactive and thrill-seeking personalities. Grab the opportunity to watch this science toy go up in the air if winter hasn’t arrived yet. Running around and watching this water rocket fly, you’re exercising kids and teaching them about gravity at the same time!

 

GeoSmart Mars Explorer

A toy car cannot be out of the list of Christmas toys for boys. This STEM toy promotes both engineering skills and dynamic play as kids tinker with them. With over 50 pieces and motorized parts, boys can recreate the Geosmart STEM learning toy whichever way they like. Plus, they get to control it with a remote, sweet!

 

National Geographic Break Open 15 Geodes

If there is one thing common about boys, it might be their insatiable desire to break stuff. But what if there’s a STEM toy that they can break and learn from at the same time? NatGeo’s Break Open 15 Geodes is the perfect Christmas STEM gift for boys like these. Teach them about geodes and rocks!

 

Educational Insights Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Recycling Truck Toy

A STEM toy for kids that combines drill bolts and trucks might be a boy’s toy dream! Educational insight Design & Drill puts these both in one single piece of equipment. Giving your kids tools won’t be as scary anymore because this STEM gift is 100% kid-friendly and safe.

 

Our Christmas STEM Gifts for Kids is a comprehensive guide to help you select the best toys to buy your science-loving kids this Christmas. Start their 2022 right with the best educational toys you can get online!  

 

STEM Christmas Presents for the Little Girls

The STEMscope as Christmas Present for GirlsCredits: @mommy_craftsandlaughs

Educational STEM toys are not only for boys. In the 21st century, there must no longer be any gender biases in the scientific field. So, engage the interest of a little girl you love with these hand-picked Christmas gifts for girls!

Access the full review of the toys below here: The Top 10 STEM Toys for Girls in 2021 (Perfect Gifts for Girls You Love!)

Never take your gifts for granted. The link above features the review, pros & cons, and buying guide for when selecting the best STEM gifts girls you love. Get ready to make your little scientist happy by giving the best Christmas gift that fits her scientific interests!  

 

Educational Insights Design & Drill Flower Power Studio

Who said gears, power tools, and machines are for the boys only? These STEM toys for girls break the boundaries of gender stereotypes, making them good Christmas gifts for girls. Let your kids have fun with Design & Drill Flower Power while training their dexterity and motor skills.

 

MAGBLOCK Magnetic Building Blocks

Engineering and building stuff is not only a man’s game. Throughout time, we have produced some of the most outstanding female engineers on earth. So let your little girls’ intuitive imagination come to life with this Magblock STEM toy building kit. The macaron color is a cute must-have!

 

GoldieBlox Rainbow Paper Craft Kit

 

This STEM kit for kids is a good Christmas gift for STEM girls who love to be artsy on the side. Unleash their hidden creativity through the STEM activities waiting inside the box. Not only does this STEM kit result in beautiful artwork, but it also trains your kid’s fine motor skills.

 

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Build & Bloom Building Set

From gears to cranks, all the way to flowers and critters, this STEM learning toy for girls has got it all. Using the over 117 tools provided, your little scientist can build the complicated garden designs they imagine—a great Christmas gift idea for girls to teach them mechanical concepts and arts.

 

MindWare Science Academy Bath Bomb lab

Who wants to shower when it’s freezing during the Christmas winter? I bet this girl’s STEM toy can change your mind. The MindWare bath bomb lab is the perfect place to start teaching your girls and boys about chemistry. Plus, it produces fragrant scents to spice up their early morning shower sessions.

 

If you want to have a complete review of each item above, including 5 more, visit our STEM toys for girls article. It also packs a complete buyer's guide and FAQs to help you pick the best toy to give a little girl scientist you love!  

 

Christmas STEM Family-Bonding Activities

 

If there is one moment in a year for family bonding activities, it’s Christmas. Whether it’s hearing the joyous laughter of innocent children or smelling those freshly baked cookies in the oven, Christmas is a gentle reminder that a year has passed and a new era is budding. So we listed fun and educational ways to bond with the family this holiday season.

 

Educational Family Games to Play this Holiday Season

Christmas Family Games

If a STEM-filled holiday season is what you seek, there are fantastic STEM games that can bring the family closer. This listing features some of the best educational games in the market. From science board games to academic card games, we introduce them below! 

Access the full list and review of the games here: Best Educational Family Games to Play this Christmas Season

QBitz by MindWare

The concept is simple: whoever gets the most cards wins! But how to walk away as a victor? That’s the challenging part. This educational card game infuses analytical thinking and quick response time. Qbitz is an excellent tabletop family game to sharpen your kid’s ability to think and respond fast -- a quality desired among professionals!

 

SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception

STEM does not only focus on analytics but also spatial reasoning and visual perception. This is what this science board game for kids is all about! SET is a combination of logic, speed, and visual prowess. Like QBitz, it's is a great STEM board game that trains kids to react quickly and analytically in various situations.

 

Sum Swamp by Learning Resources

Sum Swamp shares very similar mechanics with the classic Snakes & Ladders. But this version by Learning Resources has an added twist. Sum Swamp boasts itself as a math board game for kids. Using the provided dice, they will either add or subtract the numbers to determine the number of moves they make. A game to teach kids basic math without being boring!

 

Code Master by ThinkFun

Learning how to code is a critical skill today than ever. In this techno-age, it is advantageous if kids can learn to code early on. Code Master is a scientific board game that might help out in this regard. This game effectively bestows coding logic, sequential thinking, and problem-solving to kids in a simple, fun, and digestible fashion.

 

Dr. Eureka by Blue Orange

Test tubes, molecule balls, and instruction cards. I don’t think there’s anything more chemistry than this next STEM game. Dr Eureka is a scientific board game that deals with delicate laboratory practices. So, if you want kids to enter the scientific field in the future, this educational family game is an excellent place to start. 

 

Family game nights should never be out of the schedule when Christmas arrives! Of course, there are many tabletop games to play out there. But the educational games for Christmas listed above are excellent options for a night of fun and also learning! Access the full reviewer's guide by clicking the link above!

 

Watch STEM Movies to with the Kids

STEM Movies to Watch this Christmas

Aside from family game nights, movies are always a staple choice during the holiday season. To fulfill the STEM-themed Christmas experience, join in the fun by popping in animated sci-fi or educational family movies for the kids. There are also a ton of educational TV shows that your children might like!

We rounded up a list of the best educational and sci-fi movies for kids to watch. Check out the films below!

 

If you want the full review of each movie, plus insightful discussion questions, visit this link: 10 Awesome Science Movies for Kids that Inspire Brilliance 

 

The Martian

The Martian Movie Poster

Going to outer space has always been a lifelong dream of every child. Getting to ride on rockets, walking on other planets, this space movie for kids has that all. But the thrill begins when the protagonist astronaut gets stuck on Mars. Will his survival skills and scientific problem-solving mind be enough to survive? This awesome 21st century STEM family movie teaches innovation and instills the importance of logical thinking in children.

 

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures Movie Poster

This movie shows the untold story of 3 African-American women who were instrumental in launching John Glenn to space. This educational kids’ movie discusses scientific principles and taps into sensitive topics of racism and sexism. An inspiring film that focuses gives a clear message: Never let your race nor gender limit your contribution to society.

 

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 Movie Poster

The movie follows the life of a 14-year-old genius as he invents micro robots to join a robotics program in a university. But due to a tragedy, he and his friends teamed up using their skills in chemistry and engineering to topple down another evil genius scientist. Big Hero 6 is a fun animated movie that inspires STEM-fondness with a teeny bit of drama.

 

Wall-E

Wall-E Movie Poster

Wall-E takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world where humans have left the earth degraded and chose to orbit into space. The curious robot tasked to clean up the planet finds himself in space searching for his love interest -- Eve. His presence caused trouble to ensue, but Wall-E becomes instrumental in the restoration of life on earth. An animated STEM movie that teaches the importance of progress, but never at the expense of the environment.

 

Meet the Robinsons

Meet the Robinsons Movie Poster

The young Lewis finally gives up all hope when an evil guy steals his invention. But then, out of the blue, another young time traveler visits Lewis and whisks him away using a time machine. The boys spend a day in the future together, and Lewis meets the kid’s family and uncovers a great secret as well. It is a fun sci-fi family film that teaches kids to keep moving forward and never allow setbacks to block their path to success.

 

Watch Classic Christmas Family Movies for Kids

Classic Christmas Family Movies 

STEM family movies work best in teaching kids a thing or two about science while bonding with the family. But, let’s not forget to leave some room for other classic Christmas movies that also leave invaluable lessons to our children.

So here are our top picks for the best Christmas movies for children that you should consider watching this coming holiday.

If you want the complete list plus, the moral lessons of each film, click the link: 15 Christmas Movies Every Kid Should See at Least Once!  

 

The Polar Express

The Polar Express Movie Poster

This animated movie was touted as one of the best animated Christmas films when it came out in 2004. The story follows a doubtful young boy who gets on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole along with other children. The action-packed adventure is something kids would love, and the silver lining of the film is simple: the wonder of Christmas never fades away to those who continuously believe.

 

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol Movie Poster

Although it might be a bit dark for everyone’s liking, this animated Christmas movie deals with Mr. Scrooge discovering the true meaning of Christmas after the three ghosts appeared before him. Perhaps one of the best holiday family movies that talks about greed, family, and forgiveness all in one.

 

Home Alone

Home Alone Movie Poster

When an 8-year-old Kevin McAllister is left home alone, all he can do is defend himself and protect the family home from two robbers. It’s one of the best Christmas movies that kids can watch, but what amazes viewers to this day is Kevin’s ingenuity and wit. Your kids might learn a thing or two from this Christmas family flick.

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie Poster 

This classic Christmas family movie is a little darker than the cartoon versions, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, who plans to ruin Christmas for everybody in Whoville. But this bitter grump finds his plans ruined when he meets an innocent young doll who changed his vengeful heart. It's an excellent kids holiday movie that teaches it's not okay to hurt others just because you've been hurt yourself.

 

Elf

Elf Movie Poster

Everyone knows that Will Ferrel is a gold mine of comedy. But his portrayal of this huge Christmas elf is bonkers! Watch him go on a quest from the North Pole to find his real dad in New York. This movie deals with all things family, the innocent joy of Christmas, and oh, did we mention Will Ferrel? If you haven’t seen this, then you and your kids will love it!

 

If you want the complete list of best movies, featuring key lessons and discussion questions that children can learn from, simply click the link below of the article you'd like to read:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is it important to teach kids STEM?

 

Teaching STEM to kids sets them up for success. Apart from their learnings in science and mathematics, STEM also teaches kids how to solve problems, be inquisitive, think critically, and express creativity. These are essential skills that are a must-have among professionals. That’s why starting STEM early is advised.

 

Can we teach STEM at home?

 

Yes, kids are naturally curious, and teaching STEM at home caters to their inquisitive nature. Unlike school, teaching science, technology, engineering, and math in the home focuses on interactive learning experiences rather than textbooks. Hands-on, play-based, and cooperative activities are the best methods to teach STEM at home.

 

How do we teach STEM to kids at home?

 

The best way to teach kids STEM education is through hands-on experience. When you involve them in household projects, you give children platforms to exhibit their critical thinking skills. Conducting household experiments, participating in educational play, or infusing STEM into important occasions are ways to teach children STEM.

 

Are you ready for a STEM-themed Christmas?

 

There are countless ways to celebrate Christmas at home. But if you’re looking for fun and educational means to usher in the holidays, then having a STEM-themed Christmas might be the best solution. 

We believe that STEM shouldn’t only emanate from textbooks and lessons from school. Instead, it would be best if you integrated it into toys, experiments, and even family-bonding activities for STEM learning to be effective. The Christmas season gives the perfect platform for STEM learning to be possible.

So, while your family stays at home, take advantage of the opportunity to make the holidays a STEM education success. We hope this ultimate guide for a STEM-themed Christmas helps you make this goal possible.

So, are you ready to have a STEM-filled holiday celebration?

Looking for exciting toys to give kids this Christmas? Check out our STEMscope kids microscope and our exciting collection of science gadgets.  

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