Festive Dec-STEM-ber Projects for Kids!

By Allie VanNest

Looking to do a STEM project this holiday season with just the materials around your house? Look no further! The littleBits team has compiled some of the coolest STEM-related projects on the internet.

Here are some ways to let simple STEM projects light up your holiday season!

Off to the Reindeer Races!

reindeer balloon, STEM, littleBits

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a favorite holiday character for generations. That’s why bringing Rudolph to life with balloons — another kid favorite — is sure to give even the grumpiest Grinch joy.

 

Requirements:

  • Thread
  • Straws
  • Tape
  • Balloons
  • Decorative materials (googly eyes, red dots, pom-poms)

 

Procedure:

  • Begin by blowing up balloons and decorating them like reindeer — a great opportunity for kids to have a go at their creativity to make their own unique Rudolph.
  • Tape a straw on top of the reindeer and put a thread through it.
  • Tie up the ends of the strings to any two ends of a wall.
  • Blow air inside the balloon and let go. You will watch the reindeer ride through the string as it slowly loses air once you leave it.
  • Fun idea: Create multiple Rudolphs and have them race each other!

 

What kids learn:

The difference in air pressure causes a thrust. When the air escapes the balloon, the pressure exerted by the escaping air pushes the balloon forward.

Seasonal Slime!

slime, STEM, littleBits

Slime is magical at any age. Combining holiday-themed slime and the most magical holiday of all is pure genius.

 

Requirements:

  • Saline slime
  • Wax crayons
  • Shaving foam
  • Bowl
  • Spatula

 

Procedure:

  • Heat the saline slime in a pan.
  • As it starts to melt, add a wax crayon to add some color to it.
  • Pour this mixture into a bowl and let it cool down for a minute.
  • Now, add an equal amount of shaving foam and mix it with the help of a spatula.

 

What kids learn:

Air molecules are compressed while the mixture is cooling down, but the texture of the shaving foam opens up gaps between molecules, which increases volume and reduces density. It works great as a sensory ball too!

Snowflake Symmetry

paper snowflake, littleBits

Kids love patterns. One of the most gorgeous patterns that naturally exists is the snowflake.

 

Requirements:

  • Snowflake templates
  • Pencil
  • Paper

 

Procedure:

  • Print large templates of various designs of a snowflake.
  • Fold these through the center into two equal halves and place it on a blank sheet of paper.
  • Ask your child to finish the second half of the snowflake by replicating the symmetrical pattern.

 

What kids learn:

A great way to learn the concept of symmetry and learn to observe all the symmetry that nature surrounds us with.

Crystal Wreaths

crystal wreaths, decorations, littleBits

During the holidays, it seems like trees get all the attention. So why not adorn them with sparkling crystal decorations that are super simple to make?

 

Requirements:

  • Green garland pieces
  • Borax
  • Hot water
  • Stirring ladle
  • Mixing bowl

 

Procedure:

  • Cut the green garland into pieces, and tie them up in circles with ribbons.
  • Tie the garland to a stick using a ribbon.
  • For the crystallization solution, mix hot water and borax in the ratio of 1 cup of water to 3 tablespoons of Borax. Mix until all the borax is dissolved.
  • Immerse the green garland circle into the solution and let sit for 12 hours.
  • Voila! Your crystal wreath is ready.

 

What kids learn:

Kids learn molecular structure with this activity. Hot water dissolves more Borax crystals than cold water. When the solution cools, water molecules move closer together again, and the excess borax between molecules is expelled. The borax molecules align themselves around the water molecules in the shape of a six-sided crystal.

 

STEM activities are all around us. You can create them with common household ingredients and — most importantly — your imagination! Show us some photos of your family’s inventions this holiday season @littleBits

The post Festive Dec-STEM-ber Projects for Kids! appeared first on littlebits.com.

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