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Holiday STEM Projects to Make and Give

These 16 activities combine creativity, science, and engineering to make unique STEM gifts students can make to keep or to give!

Science and engineering project to make and give as gifts, including candle carousel, marker tie-dye, and crystals in seasonal shapes

Science and Engineering to Make and Give

Do your students like to do projects that give them a take-away at the end? Many students especially enjoy projects that result in a finished product they can use, display, keep, or share. All of the projects and activities below provide opportunities for STEM learning and result in a finished object that kids might keep or give as a gift.

Try One of These 16 Creative STEM Projects

These STEM projects and activities combine creative "making" with hands-on science and engineering. With these projects, students will be learning, exploring, innovating, and practicing important STEM concepts while creating colorful, unique, and custom items they can keep or give away!

  1. Apparent Motion in Flipbooks: illustrate a unique story that comes to life when the pages are flipped.
  2. Make a Paper Circuit: use paper circuits to make special cards. See our holiday-inspired greeting card version for inspiration.
  3. Take a Candle Carousel for a Spin: build and decorate a simple candle carousel.
  4. Build a Paper Speaker: build a working paper speaker using neodymium magnets.
  5. Make an Awesome Paper Lantern: design and build a paper lantern. It can be lit with a battery tea light or with a circuit.
  6. Turn Milk into Plastic: make special beads or small sculptures from milk plastic.
  7. Make Marbled Cards Using Science!: use food coloring to fit the season for these easy-to-make marbled cards.
  8. Cosmetic Science: Testing Lip Balm Recipes: make your own custom lip balm formula.
  9. How to Grow the Best Crystals: experiment with changing the shapes and colors of the crystals you grow.
  10. Making Homemade Bath Bombs: fizzy bath bombs are fun to make and fun to use.
  11. LED Dance Glove: see our patch example to get inspired about ways to turn wearable electronics into a unique personalized gift.
  12. Make Tie-Dye T-shirts with Permanent Markers: use marker tie-dye to create custom clothing, accessories, or ornaments. See our seasonal ornament version.
  13. Grow Rock Candy Crystals: make your own custom flavor of this classic sweet treat!
  14. Build a Bird Feeder to Study Birds: a bird feeder can be used at any time of the year in a backyard.
  15. The First Cartoon: Make Your Own Thaumatrope!: create a classic paper toy with a simple spinning cartoon.
  16. Design a Cell Phone Stand: design a functional cell phone stand with simple materials.

Creative STEM in Action

These videos demonstrate some of the activities highlighted above:

Make a Candle Carousel
Make a Paper Lantern STEM Activity
How to Build a Paper Speaker
Explore Flipbooks
How to Make Paper Circuits
Paper Marbling – STEM Activity
Build a Bird Feeder to Study Birds – STEM activity
The First Cartoon: Make Your Own Thaumatrope!
How to Make Great Rock Candy – STEM activity
Turn Milk Into Plastic!

More STEM Fun for the Holidays

For additional hands-on STEM inspiration, see the following examples of science projects that students can do with the holidays in mind:

Share Your Science Buddies Story!

Have you used a science project, STEM activity, or Lesson Plan from Science Buddies in your class or program? We would love to hear your story! Email us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org and tell us how you use Science Buddies with students.

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