Holiday lessons are always a hit in the classroom. Students are usually already excited about the upcoming holidays, so adding in classroom activities that relate just adds to the fun! This can be a great way to get kids engaged and involved even when they are itching for a break from school.
However, as a teacher, you want to make sure that the lessons you use are actually valuable to your instructional time. If fun, holiday-themed lessons that address content and develop students’ thinking skills are what you are after, holiday STEM activities are the answer!
STEM activities are popular in many classrooms because they have so much to offer students and teachers. They address important science, technology, engineering, and math content through hands-on learning. They help students learn to use critical thinking and problem solving skills. While higher order thinking is going on, students are also being creative and cooperative.
All of these elements are important, but kids really love STEM because they are having fun while learning. Teachers can harness this positive engagement to facilitate effective lessons that will stick with their students. Adding holiday themes to STEM lessons just increases the fun! They are great to use during classroom celebrations or during those last few days before a holiday break. Students will enjoy a fun activity with their friends, and they might not even realize they are learning during a classroom party.
Here are some of my favorite Christmas and holiday STEM ideas
One of my favorite STEM holiday activities is the Elf Zip Line Challenge. Students will plan, design, and engineer a zip line to carry a visitor from the North Pole. They’ll use their skills to make sure the zip line works, and to write about their findings.
Another fun activity is the Christmas STEM Challenges resource. It includes five Christmas-themed activities that will have students using their problem solving skills. These are especially great for a classroom party as each challenge can be set up as a center that groups of students rotate through.
The STEM Christmas Lights Circuits challenge is another favorite. Students not only exercise their thinking skills, but learn about energy and creating circuits.
You can check out all these activities as well as many more on my STEM Holidays page!
For more Christmas STEM ideas, check out my post here.