Preschool Christmas activities are a blast, especially when they involve Christmas tree STEM activities. Preschoolers will love this Christmas project for preschool designing their own ornament holder that isn’t a Christmas tree! It’s a fun way to introduce the concepts of out-of-the-box design and engineering to preschoolers.
Follow along with these directions to learn how to do your own Christmas project for preschool that will introduce 3-5 year olds to engineering for the first time.
Keep reading to learn more about engineering with preschoolers and the background info necessary to teach a whole preschool Christmas project lesson plan on Engineering and building basics.
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Why Do Engineering Activities with Preschoolers?
Building challenges can offer preschoolers a wide range of educational benefits, fostering their cognitive, physical, and social development.
Here are some of the valuable lessons and skills preschoolers can learn through building challenges:
Building challenges often involve handling small pieces, placing them precisely, and manipulating various materials. These activities enhance a child’s hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
Preschoolers are encouraged to think critically and find solutions to challenges. They learn to overcome obstacles and make adjustments when their initial ideas don’t work as planned.
Building activities help children understand concepts like shape, size, and spatial relationships. They develop an understanding of how pieces fit together and create structures.
Through building, preschoolers can explore basic math concepts such as counting, patterns, and symmetry.
Building often involves experimenting with materials and observing cause-and-effect relationships. Preschoolers can learn about stability, balance, gravity, and simple physics concepts when constructing an ornament holder.
When making an ornament holder, preschoolers develop critical thinking skills by evaluating the effectiveness of their designs and making adjustments based on their observations.
Building challenges like this christmas project for preschool building ornament holders are not only fun and engaging but also provide a rich learning environment that supports various aspects of preschoolers’ development.
They offer a hands-on approach to learning that aligns with the natural curiosity and creativity of young children.
How to Set Up the Christmas Project for Preschool
I created this christmas project for preschoolers and challenged them to create a stable holder for a Christmas ornament using drinking straws and a few other craft supplies.
Follow along with the directions to learn how to set up your own ornament holder STEM activity in your preschool classroom and get the complete lesson plan below!
Related: Christmas STEM Challenge Ideas
What you’ll need to make a Christmas ornament holder:
Here is what you will need to do this activity and make the ornament holder Christmas project for preschool a reality!
- Small Christmas ornaments
- Paper drinking straws
- Low-temperature hot glue gun
- Ornament hangers
- Kid-safe scissors
Hands-On STEM Resources about Trees
Here are some hands-on STEM resources about trees that can be used alongside this Christmas tree STEM activity.
Doing the Ornament Holder Challenge
The goal of this STEM challenge is for preschoolers to design their own structures to support a Christmas ornament.
You should let preschoolers make their own designs and only offer suggestions if they ask for help.
There isn’t much to this activity at all. You can provide just drinking straws for kids to use or offer a variety of materials for the kids to work with.
Discuss the principles of design and what a structure needs to be stable and how it won’t be able to hold the weight of an ornament if it doesn’t have the right amount of support on the top and bottom of the ornament.
We used an ultra low-temp glue gun to prevent burned fingers but still allow for a fast drying time.
In a large group, kids will come up with a variety of different designs for holding their ornaments.
More Engineering Projects for Preschool
Engaging preschoolers in Christmas engineering projects can be both educational and festive.
Books about Christmas Trees
These science books about evergreen trees will be a good addition to any Christmas tree STEM project!
Here are six more holiday-themed preschool engineering activities to try.
Gingerbread House Construction
Provide graham crackers, frosting, and assorted candies. Show preschoolers how to design and build their own gingerbread houses using frosting as “glue.” Discuss basic engineering concepts like stability and balance.
Challenge preschoolers to design and build a sleigh for Santa Claus using a variety of craft supplies. Test the sleigh’s ability to carry miniature presents (e.g., small candies or toys).
Ornament Drop Challenge
Challenge preschoolers to engineer a protective package to prevent a holiday ornament from breaking when dropped. Test the designs by dropping the ornaments from a low height.
Instruct preschoolers to engineer their own snowflakes using craft sticks and paper as the building materials.Discuss symmetry and patterns as they create their snowflakes.
Marshmallow Snowman Tower
Give preschoolers marshmallows and toothpicks. Encourage them to build a tall snowman tower using the marshmallows as connectors. Discuss stability and balance as they construct their towers.
These holiday-themed engineering activities for preschoolers foster creativity, problem-solving skills, and a basic understanding of engineering principles while celebrating the holiday spirit.
If those ideas aren’t enough, try these other hands-on holiday engineering activities for preschoolers!
- Play Doh Christmas Tree Preschool Engineering Challenge
- Christmas Color by Number: Dot Marker Color by Number
- DIY Kids Christmas Hat Engineering Challenge
- Gumdrop Structures
Preschool Christmas Ornament Holder Engineering Challenge Lesson Plan
Grab the free lesson plan for this preschool holiday engineering activity below!