Become a Christmas engineer with this simple sleigh building challenge using egg cartons! Kids will love this Santa sleigh STEM challenge! We have conducted many amazing Christmas STEM challenge ideas already, and the girls are having a blast! In this engineering activity, I challenged my kids to create a new sleigh design for Santa using egg cartons.
The designs they came up with were so cute and they had a blast making them.
See how to make your own sleigh-building Christmas STEM activity below! Elementary kids will have a lot of fun making their own Santa sleigh designs.
Santa Sleigh STEM Challenge Activity Guide
Follow these directions and learn how to set up your own Santa sleigh STEM challenge with your students. This activity guide will show you how to introduce the sled STEM challenge to your students so they can create new ways for Santa to deliver presents!
Sled STEM Challenge Lesson Overview
This Santa STEM challenge focuses on the engineering side of STEM. Children should focus on how to improve on the standard sleigh design.
Students should consider the weaknesses of the traditional sleigh design and try to create designs that would address those problems.
You can also include other conditions, as desired, such as to limit the size of the vehicle, or require that the design slide on ice or withstand a variety of weather conditions.
When testing the designs, don’t hold back on your tests, elementary kids love the testing process and will enjoy that part almost as much as the design phase!
What are the Best Materials for the Santa Sled Challenge?
You can use whatever materials you like to limit the scope of your students’ sled designs, but I used cardboard egg crates when I did this activity.
You’ll also find the following materials will be an asset when completing this Christmas engineering challenge.
Santa Sleigh STEM Challenge Shopping List
- Popsicle sticks
- Egg cartons
- Paint brushes
- Santa figurine
- Glue or other adhesive
STEM Extensions for the Santa Sleigh STEM Project
Here are a few ideas for how to expand on the learning potential of this activity for students.
Before starting, show the kids a variety of traditional sled designs and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Students should keep this knowledge in mind when designing their sleds.
After the designs are built and dry, test their design strength by pushing the sleighs over a smooth surface. Have the children note any design flaws and discuss which design was the best in the classroom as well as ways to improve on the design.
The STEAMsational STEM challenge worksheet is designed with the whole STEM process in mind and includes sections on design, technology, tests, reflection, and design improvements. Click the image below to download your free STEM challenge worksheet.
Build a Santa Sleigh STEM Challenge Lesson Guide
Before starting this activity, make sure you have everything you need for the lesson including the picture and information on types of sleds and sleighs used around the world.
I usually break the students up into groups of 4-5. I find that smaller groups tend to come up with better designs than when kids work alone.
Discuss what makes a good design before letting the kids sketch out their prototype designs using the STEM challenge worksheet.
After the design phase and building phase, test the designs and allow the students to modify their designs if there is time.
More Holiday STEM Challenges
Erupting Christmas Ornaments STEAM Activity for Kids
How to Make Your Own Homemade Bubble Christmas Lights
Science Christmas Ornaments: Long-Lasting Gingerbread Ornaments
Christmas Agamograph STEAM Project
STEM Sleigh Challenge Directions
Follow along in the printable directions below to learn how to set up and complete this STEM activity with your students or your kids at home.