This Christmas STEM activity was a huge hit with my preschoolers! It’s a simple, colorful engineering activity for kids to get into during the hustle of the holidays. I enjoyed sitting down with the kids as they planned and built with some fun materials.
engineering activity for kids to do this Christmas
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Prep before the activity
Before letting the kids at the activity, I dyed the little wooden sticks. Yes, they would have been fine they way they were. But I am in love with my glitter liquid watercolors and wanted the sticks to be super festive. To dye the sticks, I placed a handful in a baggie and added a few squirts of the watercolors. Then I closed the baggie and shook it up. Once the wooden sticks were covered in color, I spread the wet sticks on a a tray to dry.
What we did
The kiddos helped me sort out the glitter balls, putting all of the colors together. One of my girls exclaimed, “They’re Christmas disco balls!” Needless to say, that’s how they were referred to the rest of the week. 🙂 I placed the colorful sticks out alongside the glitter balls and invited the children over.
Some of the children got started right away, while others took a little while to plan out what to make. I decided to build alongside the children, too. We spent a good hour building, creating, and talking – it was so cathartic! The glitter balls are small polystyrene balls covered in glitter, and the little wooden sticks are a bit sturdier than regular toothpicks. The materials were perfect for little hands to manipulate and build with.
As usual, there were a variety of structures created with our blinged-out materials. One child made a monster truck racetrack, while his brother made a robot. There was a cube, a few triangles, and a mini elf house. I made an “epic Christmas castle” according to one of my boys. We also had some pattern snakes built and then taken apart a few times. I love the wide variety of creations!
Some of the children took their structures home, while others decided to disassemble theirs. I left the materials out in our math and fine motor center for the rest of the week, at the kids’ requests. A few children decided to merge the materials with the trees from our Christmas tree geoboards!
This engineering activity for kids explored a variety of concepts. Here are a few:
- Fine motor skills
- Sorting by one attribute (color)
- 2D and 3D shapes
Would your children enjoy this Christmas engineering project? If you try it, I’d love to see photos shared over at Fun-A-Day’s Facebook page.