50+ Awesome Winter Stem Activities For Elementary Kids

50+ Awesome Winter Stem Activities For Elementary Kids

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Looking for some winter activities your kids will love? Click over to grab the ultimate list of winter STEM activities for kids aged 6-8! We’ve got 50 + activities, challenges and projects to wow your children. Which will you do first?

In a hurry? Here are our top 7 favorite fun winter STEM activities to try: 

  1. Design and build catapults to launch marshmallow snowballs
  2. Take a stem challenge to try and stop an ice cube from melting
  3. Download a free pack of Winter math printables
  4. Challenge your kids to make a gingerbread house and test to see which one is the strongest!
  5. Design and build a Christmas sleigh for Santa
  6. Find out how to crush a bottle with your mind (and the power of science).
  7. Plan and construct an igloo from sugar cubes or marshmallows. This one includes free printables to help with planning and reflecting on the completed structure.
Winter STEM Activities pin

Winter STEM Activities

Colder temperatures, shorter days and hot chocolate mean one thing! Winter has arrived! This season can bring challenges for those of us with kids (hello polar vortex). However, it is the perfect time to get kids interested in science. That’s right! Why not take advantage of the snow and freezing temperatures to enjoy some hands-on learning?

But that’s not all! Weather too cold for outdoor play? Live in a place where it doesn’t get cold enough for snow? No problem! We’ve put together a HUGE list of winter STEM activities that can be enjoyed indoors. Most importantly, your kids will be learning about chemistry, biology, physics, engineering and more!

Our activities are geared specifically for 6-8-year-olds, but many of them can be adapted for other ages.

Ready to wow your kids? Let’s jump right in

Are you ready for some serious fun? Use the table of contents to jump straight to the section you want.  

Winter Science Experiments

First off, lets start with the science activities. They are my favorite thing to with kids. There are so many choices, it is hard to know where to start! I have attempted to sort the science activities by theme, but many of these fit into more than one category. They are all fun though. Therefore, I would encourage you to look through all the lists and choose the ones best suited to your kids.

Outdoor Science

Get your family outside with these fun activities

  1. This simple watercolor snow paint activity encourages kids to mix colors and create some colorful art. Moreover, it is a great way to investigate the physical properties of snow and see what happens when it melts.
  2. I loved this fun appearing snowflake activity for kids. Explore the properties of water and throw paint balls at the same time. What kid doesn’t like paint balls?
Snow Explorations

Snow Science Experiments

Do you have snow on the ground? These simple experiments are perfect for you. Snow is interesting, it is free to study and kids love it. And above all, these experiments are super easy to set up!

  1. These 3 Easy Investigations to Explore Snow are very simple to set up and will teach your kids more about the properties of snow.
  2. Kids of all ages will love to build a volcano from snow and then make a baking soda and vinegar volcano eruption! What fun!
  3. If the snow is falling, why not catch a snowflake and study the beauty. Your kids might be interested in the book Snowflake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin. It is a beautifully illustrated account of the scientist Wilson Bentley and his fascination with snowflakes.
  4. This simple snow science experiment explores two questions. Firstly, how much water is left when the snow melts? And secondly, is the snow clean?  The last one is particularly important for any kid that loves to eat snow!
  5. Here’s another a quick and easy snow science experiment to do inside. Find out whether snow sinks or floats? 

Ice Science Experiments

There is something almost magical about observing a liquid change into a solid form. Certainly, it is a perfect activity for sub zero weather. Here are some icy science experiments that will give your kids the opportunity to expore and create ice.

  1. Let’s begin with a fun video that shows how to make ice grow
  1. How about making frozen bubbles? It can be a little tricky, so get all the tips and tricks right here. Don’t forget your camera!
  2. Engineering an Ice Lantern is a fun winter STEM activity  and is perfect for cold climates. Learn about states of matter and expansion as the water transitions to ice. Moreover, you end up with a beautiful decoration.
  3. In addition we also found these wonderful Ice Ornaments.
  4. Use cold water and an ice cube to create Instant ice. This one is guaranteed to wow your kids.

Melting Experiments

You played with frozen bubbles, made ice, and explored the properties of snow, so you might as well melt it too! Try these simple winter science experiments and get things melting!

  1. Rescue the Lego man entombed in the ice glacier in these Lego Ice Excavations. Along the way explore how the ice responds to salt, water, and toothpicks.
  2. This Santa’s frozen hand ice melting experiment is probably more suitable for younger kids, but it looks fun. So, I had to include it
  3. Compare melting ice and snow with this simple winter science experiment.
  4. Learn how salt affects ice and discover how to lift an ice cube with string. A magical experiment that never fails to impress.
  5. Try this simple salt and ice experiment that goes beyond simple observation. Use a little technology to record and measure the effects while manipulating variables.

Indoor Winter Science

Let’s face it, there are some days when it is too cold or miserable to go out. I dreaded the days with “extreme cold” and “risk of frostbite” warnings. Bring out these experiments for those days when the kids are climbing the walls and it is only 8:00 am

  1. Learn about super saturated solutions and grow some beautiful crystal snowflakes.
  2. These printable Thaumatropes are super quick and easy to assemble. Kids love them and they are a great way to explore and learn about optical Illusion. Take a look at them in action.
  1. Create an indoor blizzard with this Winter Science lab. Perfect for when you are stuck inside.
  2. A classic science experiment with a wintery theme that kids love! Don’t dismiss it as a science experiment for younger kids only.  The kids in our tween group at the library were really impressed by magic milk.
  3. Snowflake marshmallows are a great thing to add to your hot chocolate! Invite your kids to make their own marshmallow snowflakes.  After that, the best part is eating them!
  4. How about making frost in a can? This is another simple winter science experiment that uses things you already have around the house. Most importantly, it is fast to set up.
  5. Grab your budding chemists and learn about acid-base reactions, emulsifiers and surfactants with these snowman bath bombs or minty fizzing snowballs.
  6. Oobleck is a hands-on way to study non-Newtonian fluids. Your kids will love this melting snowman oobleck.
  7. Learn how snowflakes form and design your own. This is a great indoor activity.
Winter STEM activities pin

Making Candy: Experiments You Can Eat

Most kids love candy, but did you know that the science behind candy making is fascinating? Invite your kids to try these experiments and discover some fascinating chemistry concepts. In addition, you get to enjoy the sweet outcomes!

A word of caution before we dive into these sweet experiments. Making candy often involves heating sugar to very high temperatures therefore, adult supervision is required at all times.

  1. Learn the science behind maple snow candy and make a yummy treat.
  2. Who doesn’t love hot chocolate? Why not mix it up with some hot chocolate science?
  3. Did you know that you can bend and shape candy canes?  It is easier than you think! It is also a tasty way to learn about sugar bonding, melting points, and heating and cooling.
  4. Make some fudge to learn about the science behind crystalline candy and the tricks to keeping the creamy constancy.
  5. Mix three ingredients with clean snow to make snow ice cream. If you don’t have any snow, why not try our ice cream in a bag experiment?
Observing animal tracks

Animal Science

We’ll finish off our science section with some animal science. Cold temperatures bring many challenges for our animal friends however, they are marvelously adapted to survive.

  1. If you have fresh snow, why not try looking for animal tracks? It will get you outside and it is fascinating to see how many animals cross your yard.
  2. Why not set up a bird feeding station? It is a great way to observe and record the birds. Here is a free backyard bird unit study you can download and print. These simple bird seed feeders will attract a lot of feathered friends.
  3. Did you know that penguins can stay in the water for months? This easy Penguin Science Experiment  is a fun way to find out how they stay dry and warm.
  4. Find out how Arctic animals stay warm in freezing cold temperatures. This is a fascinating experiment.
  5. Learning about Arctic animals? Try folding some polar bear or penguin  corner bookmark. They are also a great way to experience symmetry.

Books About Winter For 6-8 year-olds

This can be a tricky age group when it comes to books. Most kids aged 6-8 are growing out of picture books, but are still developing their reading skills. Here are a selection of no fiction books about winter that are just right for this age group. Read them together or leave them out for kids to browse through on their own.

Technology and Coding For WInter Days

Most of our technology activities involve coding fun with a winter theme. These are essentially designed to build the foundation of coding, so in this section you will find games and activities that

  • Teach children to think logically.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller tasks
  • Identify and fix errors.

Coding Activities With A Winter Theme

  1. Candy cane coding
  2. Christmas coding game
  3. Frosty sequences coding activity
  4. One snowy day algorithm printable
  5. Binary coding bracelet Ok this one doesn’t really have a wintery theme, but it is a fun activity.
  6. Challenge your kids to create a winter game on the website  Scratch
Boy enjoying snow experiments

Winter STEM Activities- Engineering Challenges

Simply put, stem challenges are open ended activities that are designed to engage children’s problem-solving skills. Kids must work to plan, build, and adjust their designs to solve an engineering problem.

The best part about  STEM engineering projects is that students are DOING science. This is so much better than just reading or answering questions about it. Here are some Stem challenges with a wintery theme

  1. This candy cane bridge STEM challenge will get your kids problem solving! They must construct a bridge that can hold up a weight. However, the only building material they have is candy canes. Is it possible?
  2. Popsicle Stick Catapult Snowball Fight STEM Activity: First your kids will build a catapult with popsicle sticks and a plastic spoon. Then they test two different projectiles. Which one will do better? Will it be marshmallows or cotton balls? Let the fun begin!
  3. Take this winter STEM challenge and build an igloo out of Marshmallow and toothpicks.
  4. Download a set of free winter Stem challenge cards to keep your kids amused for hours.
Winter STEM activities pin

Some Math Activities For Winter Days

Finally, it wouldn’t be STEM without some math activities! The trick is to make it fun! We’ve found some interesting and fun math activities that are super easy to prepare. Most of them require a printer and a few basic supplies. The best part is that they are all free!

  1. Learn about shapes as you build an Igloo for a Penguin.
  2.  Build a snowflake using geometric shapes – this is a fun perfect winter STEM activity for elementary kids.
  3. Challenge your kids to discover the mystery picture by using coordinates to color in the correct squares on the alphanumeric grid.
  4. This free winter math activity will brighten up a snowy day. Encourage your kids to estimate the number of snowmen’s noses that will fit in a jar!
  5. Have your kids tried Sudoko yet? It is a paper and pencil game that helps develop logic and critical thinking skills. Here are some free wintery themed Sudoko puzzles designed for 6-8 year-olds. There are 3 different skill levels.
  6. Practice addition facts with this free Penguin bump game. Just download and print!

So that is the end of our winter STEM activity list. Before we finish this mega post, let’s answer a few questions about STEM

STEM FAQ’s

What is STEM?

STEM ( Sometimes STEAM) is an  acronym that stands for  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Add in Art and you have STEAM.
It is a Inquiry based approach to teaching and learning the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is hands-on learning at its best.

What is a STEM activity?

A STEM activity is something that draws on elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to solve problems.

What are winter STEM activities?

A winter STEM activities are simply a STEM endevour with a winter theme.

Why should I do STEM activities with my kids?

Science, technology, engineering, and math are becoming increasingly important in our modern world. As are critical and creative thinking. Employers are increasingly looking for innovators that can think outside the box, solve problems, and identify areas that need improvement. STEM activities provide a safe and fun way for children to develop these skills. They will also build a love of learning and that is always a good thing.

Your Turn

What are your favorite winter STEM activities? Do you have anything to add to our list?

Winter STEM activities pin

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