Love Christmas and STEAM? Then you’ll love this surprisingly challenging Christmas engineering challenge building a 3D paper tree!
At our house, Christmas is about more than just presents and Santa crafts. It’s also all about Christmas STEM activities. Our Christmas science experiments have become a highlight of our season each year, and this year was no exception.
We always seem to find ourselves doing more Christmas engineering projects this time of year, and this time, I decided to make the challenge a bit more… challenging.
The goal of this challenge was to make a 3D Christmas tree engineering challenge, which turned out to be pretty challenging, but also simple, so it became the ultimate Christmas engineering activity for my kiddos this year.
In the end, we all had a blast with this project. The Christmas tree engineering challenge was a favorite with the kids and it is completely classroom friendly. The Christmas tree engineering challenge would be a perfect maker project for STEAM class, STEM lessons, and after-school activities.
The included printable makes this a print-and-go activity that teachers and parents alike will love!
THE BEST CHRISTMAS TREE ENGINEERING CHALLENGE YOU’LL FIND THIS YEAR
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ENGINEERING ALL ABOUT?
Engineering projects are all about getting children to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems. You can solve real-world problems, like how to make a bridge design stronger, or use it for more abstract activities, like how to build a Christmas tree from paper triangles.
In this project, the kids are challenged to create a 3D Christmas tree engineering challenge to make a Christmas tree shape using 3D equalateral triangles.
CHRISTMAS ENGINEERING PROJECT TIPS
If you want even more Christmas STEM project ideas, had tons of fun making our programmable light-up Christmas tree, using an arduino board!
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: DESIGNING AN ORNAMENT HOLDER ENGINEERING CHALLENGE
We had so much fun with our 3D Paper Christmas engineering challenge! You’ll need a few supplies if you want to make your own version of this project.
- 3D triangle template
- Green cardstock paper
Astrobrights Colored Cardstock, 8.5” x 11”, 65 lb / 176 gsm, Gamma Green, 250 SheetsNeenah Astrobrights Premium Color Card Stock, 65 lb, 8.5 x 11 Inches, 250 Sheets, Re-Entry RedBest 8 Inch Stainless Steel Blade Scissors, Pack of 10STEAM Kids Christmas: Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Activity Countdown for KidsElmer’s Washable No-Run School Glue, 4 oz, 2 Bottles (E304)
DON’T MISS: THE PRESCHOOL SNOWMAN PRINTABLE PACK!
HOW TO MAKE THE PAPER 3D CHRISTMAS TREE ENGINEERING CHALLENGE
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the printabels for this project. Each kid will need about 2-3 sheets worth, depending on how ambitious they are with their Christmas trees.
You can make the trees using regular school glue, but if the kids are old enough, I recommend using hot glue, because it dries so much faster that way, eliminating some of the frustration when putting the triangles together.
You can print the templates directly onto colored cardstock paper, or you can use white and color in the triangles.
Cut out the triangles, then fold along the lines.
Glue the tabs together to build each triangle. Make sure the triangles are glued together completely before trying to build.
Once everything is dry, challenge the kids to build a Christmas tree from the triangles.
In our tree, my kids used 9 triangles for the bottom, 7 for the middle, 4 for the top, and 1 red one for the very top. Because the triangles are the same size on each side, it’s a bit tricky to get the tree to work! It takes a lot of patience and design trial and error to get the tree to work properly.
I suggest if you’re working with classroom with this project, that you let 4-5 kids work together in a group to construct their tree. You’ll save on paper, and time this way.
Watch us complete our 3D paper Christmas tree engineering challenge in the video below:
TAKE YOUR ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES FURTHER!
STEAM Kids Christmas: Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Activity Countdown for KidsSTEAM: STEM Activities for ChristmasSTEM Starters for Kids Engineering Activity Book: Packed with Activities and Engineering FactsMaker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * DiscoverSTEM Starters for Kids Math Activity Book50 Stem Labs – Science Experiments for Kids (Volume 1)SuperScience STEM Instant Activities: Grades 1-3: 30 Hands-On Investigations With Anchor Texts and Videos